The reason I blog is mostly to get my thoughts out of my head. It’s also a way for people to see what I’m up to since I find it a convenient way to communicate to the world about my activities. Maybe you’ll read something interesting, maybe you’ll just skim through, maybe you find yourself staring at these words thinking why you clicked on the link in the first place.
I figured that the best way to organize my thoughts is by headings so that when you skim through and see a heading that interests you, you’ll be more inclined to read that in detail. Posting pictures also helps I find. I sometimes just skim through blogs myself to look at the pictures or a video that’s posted.
Starting The Week Off With School
Since finishing off my degree has become prioritized, I went to lectures and met with my Supply Chain Management team to meet and greet and talk about our assignment, which is a business simulation about a fruit juice company’s supply chain, and how we can improve it since their ROI starts off negative. Our team is split into 4 roles: purchasing, supply chain management, operations and sales. I’m doing purchasing since I wanted to be in control of sourcing inputs and negotiating with international suppliers. I have a nice team to work with so I’m sure we’ll be fine.
Financial Accounting is interesting to me, just because I like understanding how business can broken down into numbers. I think accounting knowledge is useful and interesting but its another thing to make it my life. Our tutorial teacher is doing her Masters in Accounting having studied a BSc in Financial Accounting in South Africa. It’s nice to see someone young be so excited by T-tables and balance sheets. I enjoy going to tutorials because of this and also the fact that its a lot more practical and interactive than lectures.
Amsterdam Days: Food, Energy and Business Opportunity
After school, I headed to Amsterdam to attend an event centered around the future of food security and agriculture. They were several international speakers who were involved in local projects from their respective region (Ethiopia, India, Mexico and Kenya) and also some Dutchies talking about developments in the Netherlands as well as their experience abroad. There was a lot of attention towards urban farming as a way to alleviate problems in certain areas which I found interesting and reassuring because of what I do. Urban farming might not be the solution, but its definitely a step in the right direction.
After the event, I stayed over at my friend’s house Menno van Dam (who has a blog at mennovandam.wordpress.com). It’s cool to hear about the projects he’s up to because he’s in a similar space as I am in terms of working on sustainable entrepreneurial initiatives. Definitely need to hang out more with this guy; I think we have really good potential for synergy as shown by our past projects mostly relating to music, but perhaps business as well. We just need to focus our energy.
The next day I met up with an entrepreneur working on new (sustainable) ways to fuel inland cargo ships, creating a more open source and collaborative space instead of a more competitive nature that most companies are in. It was exciting to meet with him because of the stories he had about traveling to Antarctica as part of an impromptu research team, subsequently also doing research on the coast of Greenland on a sail yacht. We talked a bit about the organization and my role, and he also showed me the ship where they would test and display all the technology on, the Berezina.
Here’s an Airbnb link for more pictures: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/446019?s=5FIB
I had a good meeting, so I will be meeting again next week in Haarlem.
Rotterdam: Permaculture and Music
It’s good being in this city. I feel that Rotterdam is often considered by other Dutchies as a ‘rot stad’, which means ‘rotten city’ directly translated, because of the namesake and city’s history. Much of the classic architecture was bombed in the second world war giving rise to more modern builds, which tends to have a love-hate relation with people.
I’ve developed a soft spot for this city however. I’ve discovered many opportunities around me and I like my networks here. For example, I gave an ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ workshop to these high school kids who came by to help out in the community garden at Proefpark de Punt. That was good practice for me. I gave two workshops on two separate days as they split the group to rotate activities. It gave me the chance to improve my presentation by learning from the first group, so that my second presentation was better.
I started off with explaining what Permaculture was and some principles, making sure not to overload them with too much. I talked about world problems like soil erosion, deforestation and pollution which are some key ecological factors of focus in permaculture, subsequently moving on to some examples and questions about design so that some practical ideas can come to mind for the students. I ended the presentation with the 3 sister garden example because that’s what they’d be helping create in their field trip.
It’s good having contacts for my interests. Not just in permaculture and gardening, but also music. I’ve been hanging out a lot with my neighbor recently, who is a DJ/Producer (amongst other things). I was chilling with him, and also a singing artist that he was recording with at the time, playing saxophone and didgeridoo. We had some sweet jam sessions. We recorded some didgeridoo on the computer as well, and he found a way to include it in the electronic music he was making. I found that it gave a very earthy balance to the music although I was kind of critical about it sounding right. They liked it though, so we’ll see if I’ll ever hear it back in a track somewhere.
Super Hero Trash Party
My neighbors had a house a party with a ‘Superhero Trash’ theme. I went as Aquaman. I forgot to take pictures although there is a video:
Basically, my costume was a diving mask, a camel pack (which kind of looks like an aqualung), a lycra, boardshorts and my fivefinger vibrams. We just jumped over our balcony fence to get to the party which was convenient. It was pretty cool 🙂 Its always easy to start conversations when everyone’s wearing superhero costumes, and its fun to play around 😛
Game of Thrones Boardgame Day
After getting up from a bit of a daze, I went to another intense Game of Thrones board game day. I was playing as the Martells this time, pretty much dominating the south end of the map. I made an alliance up front with the Baratheons so that I could focus all my energy on the Tyrells which worked out pretty well until I was fighting too many enemies, with people supporting each other to stop me from winning. In the end the Lannisters won because they started out conservatively, taking advantage of an opening that was created by other battles and securing their victory with some successful final moves.
What I could’ve done differently was the way I positioned my units, and how I coordinated my final attack.
My unit positioning could’ve been better by spreading my ship units better. There was a ship sitting in the sea of Dorne for most part of the game not doing much because I thought I needed to keep a bridge open in case I wanted to attack, however, I realized way later that this was unnecessary and it cost me another potential support unit. I also had troops stuck in the southern part of my territory, although these might’ve been leftovers from mustering cards so maybe they were just bonuses anyway.
Although placing orders is also based on what opponents do, I feel like I didn’t use my troops in the utmost effective way. At least, my endgame was a bit sloppy and it could’ve been why I lost. My siege tower attacks were also perhaps a little premature since I was able to gain lots of territory with their use, but wasn’t able to hold the territories I conquered. I could’ve maybe slowed down and switched to a defensive strategy, creating a little bit more of a foundation and support basis before the next significant expansion or winning move.
Ideally, I’d like to hang around holding 4 castles/strongholds and then in one round, make 3 attacks to reach 7 and win the game. I don’t think this is impossible, especially when using siege towers effectively. It’s definitely tricky however, especially when taking into account the actions of 5 other players who’s combined actions can really screw you over. Especially when they can see you building up forces like siege towers, you have to move quick, and probably create a bridge of ships so you have several options for your attack. With a six player game it usually comes down to the last round and owning the most castles, or some excellent execution to get 7.
What I did well in this game was my early expansion and control of water tiles, the long standing alliance with House Baratheon, and my aggression towards the Tyrells. I ended up in second place but when playing the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.
It took more than 5 hours to finish the game, which is quite standard. It’s like a game of chess, except with a lot more variables to consider. I like the strategy aspect of the game however, since diplomacy with other players is key to winning.
I ended up going out that night to ‘Wunderbar’ where my friend was working. Me and my roommate decided to go for one drink and then leave since we were pretty knackered from the night before and I had a volunteer day at Uit Je Eigen Stad the next day. It’s good to experience as much as you can, while you can, which is why I push myself to explore new territory.
My volunteer workday was alright. It’s good to be out and about working in the garden although I sense that the environment there is a bit individualistic… which kind of makes sense since its a commercial enterprise looking out for its own interests. I can see a lot of economic opportunity as there is plenty of under utilized capital, especially with almost no plants in the aquaponic system at the moment. I would have to make some more rigid plans if I were to do anything however, since its not like a community garden where everyone just does as they pretty much please. Opportunity is there, I just have to formalize it.
I have an offer from the Impact Hub in Rotterdam to flex work for free at their location in exchange for a workday in the gardens. Flex working there might have its advantages since I’ll be able to connect with other entrepreneurs easily, and especially after my studies are done, could offer me the right stimulation to further pursue entrepreneurial activities. Exchanging work so I can do more work might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but I feel like I should explore this option to see where it leads.
Tonight is King’s Night and tomorrow King’s Day in Holland so I’ll see what I get up to. That’s all I’m updating for now. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your day 🙂