In case any of you aren't aware, Montreal, Canada, is absolutely frigid. If you ever find yourself venturing up North be sure to bring along a parka, snowboots, fluffy socks, gloves, hat (the Russian kind), earmuffs, scarves, sweaters, extra leggings (for under the pants) as well as anything else you may think of.
This past weekend I ventured up North to Canada for the first time ever with the Penn State International Affairs and Debate Association (PSIADA) here at University Park. It was quite an adventure starting out with a 10 hour car ride taking up most of Wednesday. I drove for about 4 of those hours and maybe 1 1/2 -2 were taken up in breakfast, lunch and driver switching stops. Luckily the weather held out (I've heard that it can get very messy and take until after midnight to arrive!) and we reached the Montreal hostel around 5. McMUN is McGill University's Model United Nations Conference, its one of the largest in the world, this year there were 1,500 delegates present from various Universities.
The conference is held in the Sheraton, only about 2 blocks from the hostel (which is much cheaper than the Sheraton's $250 per night). We had 10 people in two attached rooms sharing one bathroom, quite an adventure I must say (luckily only three of us were girls and since I shower at night that left two for the morning). The walk isn't far at all but once you venture out into the cold for about 30 seconds you felt it, even in boots the toes go numb, even with gloves, the fingers go numb. I highly recommend wearing layers something like this: scarf wrapped around the neck and pulled up over the nose, on top of that place earmuffs, finally the Russian hat with ear flaps down and secured under the chin (outside of the scarf). That just might keep your nose and ears from falling off (think about bringing goggles for your eyes).
Back to the conference itself: Penn State was chosen to represent Yemen and Tuvalu in various international committees as well as President Obama in the G20 Summitt (that means we beat out West Point, Georgetown, York, Toronto, et cetera Go PSU!). I represented Yemen in the Organization of the Islamic Committee (OIC) among such countries as...Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Russia (not a voting member), Palestine, Syria...you get the idea. We passed 6 total resolutions on two topics (Combating Islamophobia and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict) but I'll have to tell you all about those some other time. My classes may be finished for the day but now it's time to write the Delegate Guide for the Godfather Committee for PUNC 2010 (PSIADA's Model UN Conference).
Enjoy the snow!