Thursday, April 2, 2009

welcome to strasbourg, mr. president

President Barack Obama is coming to Strasbourg tomorrow afternoon. Our U.S. president and countless other country delegates are basically taking over this Alsatian city for the entire weekend as a result of the NATO summit being held here, in my very backyard.

Many people may not have heard of Strasbourg, France before, and I'll admit that I hadn't until I looked at the abroad programs offered at my university. But let me assure you, it's a very important place :). This city is the seat of the Council of Europe and their Court of Human Rights, in addition to the EU's European Parliament.

Currently, the city is... I've heard helicopters overhead for the past 24 hours if that gives you any perspective. The most extreme of extreme security measures have and will be taken to ensure the safety of the delegates that are here and will be coming.

Schools are closing, troops and police are plentiful, and even manholes are being sealed up. Strasbourg is shutting down this weekend.

Good thing I'm leaving for Paris, right? Not so fast.

I'm catching a 9 am train to the "City of Lights" tomorrow and as a result will be missing the town meeting that President Obama is holding for American citizens that will take place early that afternoon.

My friends are volunteering to aide the president in ensuring that the meeting runs smoothly. I could've been able to meet President Obama!

And I'm missing my chance almost as quickly as it came :(.
Nonetheless I hope that his time here is worthwhile and productive in protecting our (American (U.S. & Canada) and European) solidarity, freedom, and security.

Perhaps he may even be inspired by the recent green developments in the European Union lately, including new energy-efficient buildings, energy performance requirements for appliances, and a greater investment in the infrastructure like public transport.

I sincerely hope that with President Obama and countless leaders from around the world we have a bright future to look forward to. Literally.
And I'll leave you with that, everything that has been on my mind (and in my mouth) for the past couple of days. I've got to get ready for my weekend getaway, a very full schedule of art museums with my class and social plans with Marie and others. I guess I have nothing to be too upset about then, do I? Take care lovelies, wherever you may be :).

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