Worldly Reunions

It's Monday and I'm lying on my (death) bed, sick with the flu. I just got back on Saturday from a crazy, but great, week in Boston/Cambridge. I ran into a lot of old friends, helping to prove that this world is much smaller than we believe. I flew in on Tuesday, landed at 7pm, and headed to my $400/night hotel and had the hardest time falling asleep. I'm still in shock that my company covers such expensive lodging! I finally got my corporate card (the day before I departed, phew), and have to learn how to fill out an expense report for all the cash monies I had spent during my week there.

On Wednesday, I spent the only beautiful day indoors at the MIT career fair. This is probably where I got my first instances of sickness... I shook thousands of hands and collected hundreds of resumes, germ-tastic! Forgetting all about the usage of Purell, I rubbed my nose and eyes with my germ-ified hands. Gahh! On a happy note, I ran into a Smithie at the fair and my Beijing roommate! SO random!

The following day, I had a meeting at Harvard with the Director of Career Services. I might be going back to visit next month! Afterward I met up with my good ol' Expo friend, Kate. It had been a year since I'd seen her and it was a great reunion at Harvard Law School. I sat in on a couple of her classes, where I found "Torts" to be quite interesting, and "Citations" to be quite damning. I was pretty lost and felt like Elle Woods all afternoon. Ran into my two friends from Fudan - Christine and Dorothy in the law library. Reunions everywhere!

That night, Kate took me to a house warming party, where outside the front door I ran into an old middle school friend (what?!) and inside I ran into a guy who went to my high school! So Harvard Law School proves that this world is infinitesimally small.
Following the housewarming party, we went to a bar for the weekly "bar review". It's some kind of law school thing for kids to unwind on a Thursday night. I had fun with Kate's law school buddies and the team of Harvard Business School Rugby boys. was l.o.t.s. of fun... ;)

Friday for lunch, I met up with DDDu and Christine at Tory Row for lunch. Finally had a lobster roll!

On Friday night I finally got to see Tina and Phil from the Expo! It had also been a year since I last saw them both. Tina took me out to meet some of her co-workers for drinks and dinner. Then, we met up with Phil and Kate to go out to Lansdowne Pub, right next to Fenway Park. Loved the vibe and the live music that was playing.

Got home around 3am and had to shower in the dark since the electricity was out. Had to wake up at 5:30 to catch a cab to the airport.

Now I lie sickly in my bed for the past 3 days, with the feeling of razor blades in my throat. Ugh. But I still can't wait to go to Dartmouth in 2 weeks, and I'll bring Purell AND Airborne next time.

Rafting, Ziplining, Tarantulas and Corporate Offices - PURA VIDA!

Greetings from my Oracle office! (This will be an extremely long post, with a plethora of photos. Be warned!)

It's lunch time and I'm taking a break to finally update my blog. Since my last post, a lot has happened. I finally made the transition to Oracle last week, and it has been amazing! While I thought my experience at Cisco was corporate, my new experience definitely tops that. I'm getting used to using "Self-service applications" to set up all my e-mail accounts, phone, laptop, etc... without having the access to phone or in-person support. Tough, I know.

Many of my friends have asked...well, what do you do? I'm a recruiting program manager (RPM) in the college recruiting department, which is the only on-site recruiting department at HQ. I work in a team with 5 other RPMs, 3 recruiting coordinators, and a handful of recruiting support staff. Together we reach out to specific colleges to find the creme de la creme of geniuses to induct into one of our company's many tech job openings. I, myself, am in charge of visiting Harvard and Dartmouth this season. I've been armed with a corporate card, have flights booked, and am ready to go!

I love my team and they have been extremely welcoming, especially my director. I feel well taken care of and have already felt the benefits of the many perks of working in corporate. Not to mention, I was given my own personal office! (I know, what!?!)

Of course I have to represent!

 View from the window, overlooking Foster City and San Mateo Bridge.

But that's the "boring" part of my life. On the more adventurous trip to Costa Rica was incredible! It wasn't much of a relaxing vacation since I was doing 2 to 3 rigorous activities a day, but I had the time of my life.

Day 1: Flew into San Jose and met my roomie for the trip. We took the afternoon wandering the streets of of the capital, ate some Gallo Pinto (staple of CR), and visited the National Museum. Later that night, we met the rest of our travel buddies, coming from all parts of the world - London, Canada, Australia, and of course a couple Americans :)

Costa Rica National Museum
Yum! First Costa Rican Meal.

Day 2: We headed out on the road towards La Fortuna/Arenal. After a couple of hours in a van, we hopped off to white water raft our way to La Fortuna, down the Rio Toro- a grade 3/4 river. This was probably the most exciting part of my trip. Not only did it rain, shine, downpour, rain and shine...I fell into the river! So much fun!

Rio Toro...yup.

 Most of our some strangers behind me.

Can you see me in the river? My friend is holding my leg...I don't know why!

Was quite the adventure, if you ask me!

But, if you can't tell, I made it out alive! We dried off and headed to our hotel, which had the most amazing view of the active volcano, Arenal Volcano.

Day 3: While my group decided to go ATVing this day, I chose to have a more peaceful approach and went kayaking on Lake Arenal, right in front of the volcano. Later in the afternoon, I went rappelling and canyoneering, which was a first for me!

Kayaking on Lake Arenal.

The best pineapple and watermelon I've ever eaten in my life!

My first rappelling attempt. Scary!
Down a waterfall I go!

Getting completely every other day on this trip.

Day 4: Early in the morning we headed towards Monte Verde, where the climate was much cooler - hence my rain jacket in the following photos. This was the most naturist part of my trip, including night hikes and wildlife tours. You can't forget the coffee and sugar cane tour either. Oh! or the ziplining!

A mini pineapple on our coffee tour. So cute!

Ox-cart ride. Did you know, the ox cart is the national symbol of Costa Rica? Now you know!

Making candy out of Sugar Cane.

A cute little tarantula on our night hike.

A hummingbird in it's next! The most amazing thing I've seen yet!

A sloth! Didn't even know what they looked like before.

Day 5: More nature hikes in Monteverde. Saw lots of monkeys in the forest!

Cloud Forest

So beautiful, and serene.

And then we ziplined the longest zipline in the world! 1km long!

Then I swang from a rope, like Tarzan.

Did an 11km mountain bike ride, which kicked my butt!

Day 6: Headed towards Quepos and Manuel Antonio Park.

Saw some crocodiles...

Stayed at the Hotel California...

Ate some fresh Ceviche. Probably ate ceviche 6 times during this trip!

Day 7: Spent the entire day at Manuel Antonio Park's beaches.

Pura Vida is the truth.

Enjoyed the sunset with pina coladas and our sunburns.

Day 8: Headed back to San Jose...and there we ate our final meal and said our goodbyes.

So that's my last 2 weeks in a nutshell. Next post will probably be when I get back from Boston...

More exciting news - I joined another hockey league! So I'm playing in two leagues right now, but my new league is at Sharks Ice! We played our first game last night and the rink was fantabulous. I played on the same rink the SJ Sharks practice! Woohoo! Can't really get better than that.

Til next time!