Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augie Adventures: Traveling to Aberdeen, Scotland

Throughout my first year here at Augustana, I have been spending a plethora of hours at the EDGE Center in Olin. Doug Schopp has given me the opportunity to event plan with senior, Alyssa Mish by interning for our client William (Bill) Hiebert who hosts the International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) Conference. Throughout the years this conference has taken place in Waikoloa, Hawaii (2016), Mâlaga, Spain (2017), Bangkok, Thailand (2018), and this year, Aberdeen, Scotland. To prepare for this conference Alyssa and I communicated with people around the globe in order to register them. Along with registration our job description entails taking payments, sending invitations, organizing presentations, creating presenter and attendance certificates, and a bunch of other tedious tasks to make sure the conference runs smoothly. While this is my first year interning, Alyssa has been involved with IFTA for the past three years.
We left Rock Island on Friday, Mar. 22, and traveled by bus to the Chicago O’Hare Airport. From there we had about an eight-hour flight which took us to Amsterdam, Netherlands. The time change was awful because it fasts forward five hours. After a short stop in Amsterdam, we continued with a short flight to reach our final destination, Aberdeen Scotland.

Michelle Quinn / Observer Staff
Taking a selfie with Scottish currency after arriving in Aberdeen.

Once we reached our destination, we were told we could not sleep until it was night time in Aberdeen. So we went out on the town. Aberdeen is not a very touristic place. While all of the shopping centers here are much like the malls we are accustomed too, ie; McDonald, H&M, Zara, etc, it was still very interesting getting to see the buildings here because they are made of granite.
It was also intriguing to learn and survive crossing the street. In the U.S. we have always been told ‘look left, right then left again.’ But here, not only are the steering wheels on the right side of the car (opposite of the U.S.), but they also don’t drive on the right side of the street (pun intended). Crossing the street here is confusing because there are very few intersections;  you see a lot of roundabouts. When you cross the street you must look right first, then left, and right again because here they drive really fast.
After our extra long day of being awake for 36 hours, we were finally able to come back to our hotel and get some sleep to prepare us for Sunday’s activities.
On Sunday, we went on a tour of Stonehaven, which was beautiful. The coast was lined with wire statues related to sea and harbor life, dolphins, Viking ships, lighthouses, and more. We saw the oldest building in Stonehaven and learned that it was originally a town hall and then it was turned into a prison. It now serves the public as a museum. We also learned about the town’s tradition of the caged Fireball Ceremony. In order to rid the town of bad spirits, every new year people would use fire in a chicken wire cage to purify the streets while the townspeople watched from the crowded streets. We toured those exact streets where the ceremony occurred.
After our tour, we were able to wander the Dunnottar Castle, which is still standing from the Early Middle Ages. In order to get to and from this castle, we had to go up and down over 400 stairs.  It was an absolutely incredible experience to stand in this castle and look out over the deep cliff and to the North Sea. Doug pointed out an observation of the windows in the castle and how they were angled inwards as they went out to the sea; this was for the defense of the castle. While in the castle, we learned about some of the Ghostly Hauntings. It is said that visitors have seen a young woman in traditional green plaid, looking for her lost children in the bakery. So far the Dunnottar Castle has been my favorite experience in Scottland.
For lunch, we dined in at Quayside Restaurant located on the harbor of Montrose. We all enjoyed a very fresh haddock for our traditional Scotland Fish and Chips! It also came with a vegetable, Mushy Peas, which had the consistency of mashed potatoes.
Photo Courtesy of Derek Ball
The staff of the IFTA Conference enjoyed Scotland’s version of Fish and Chips served with mushy peas.

At the end of the day, we went out to the local pub, Noose & Monkey, where we tried Haggis,  which is beef in sheep intestines, and the dessert Sticky Pudding. We ended our night at Noose & Monkey hiding a rock for the Quad City Rocks Facebook, painted by LuAnn Freese.
Michelle Quinn / Observer Staff
One of the many rocks painted by LuAnn Fresse which were hidden all over Aberdeen.

On Monday, we traveled to Dundee. We were able to see the RSS Discovery Museum and explore the boat. The RSS Discovery was taken on an expedition to Antarctica by two men named Scott and Shackleton who brought back a penguin to use for research.
In this museum, we were able to interact with a multitude of hands-on activities. We also saw interesting artifacts one of which being a pair of wooden goggles. After walking through the museum and exploring the boat, we all went for a walk in the City of Dundee. We got lunch at a small local pub recommended by our tour guide Jacqueline.
Michelle Quinn / Observer Staff
I got to explore the RSS Discovery which sailed to Antarctica for research.

There we became basic tourists, taking pictures of all the statues throughout the town, looking for souvenirs,  and shopped till we dropped. When we were finally finished, we ended our day at the V and A museum. This museum is the first ever museum in Scotland (and the world outside of London) specifically designated to design. The outside of the building is unlike anything I have ever seen before; it’s astonishing. The inside of the building is just as unique. There are a lot of hands-on activities for all ages to interact with as well as a special gallery in a quiet room that contained many unique clothes, dresses, and even furniture.
Tuesday was another long day. We all woke up early to catch breakfast before the three-hour bus ride to Loch Ness. For breakfast, I had what the hotel served: creamy eggs, a croissant,  Cumberland sausage, and yogurt with fruit compote and granola. After that, I took a nice three-hour nap during the bus ride only waking to play the Scotland trivia game our tour guides had created for us on the way to the Highlands of Scotland. Once we arrived,  we cruised along Loch Ness in search of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.
When we got off of the Loch Ness cruise we had arrived at the Urquhart Castle. This castle, unlike the Dunnottar castle, was truly built for battle. We saw a trebuchet which is like a catapult, and the giant stone balls that were thrown at the castle, as well as the magnificent flag of Scotland standing tall and proud at the highest point of the castle. On the way home, we stopped at the Culloden Battlefield. The battle that took place here was very significant in the history of Scotland; it was the first battle which joined a multitude of clans to fight together as one.
At this battlefield, we left another QC rock. This one had several birds painted on it and I chose to leave it because each bird was able to represent a clan that joined the fight. When we got back to the hotel we walked over to the Aberdeen Exhibition Conference Center (AECC) where our IFTA conference would be taking place a couple of days. There Bill, Doug, Alyssa and I met with the staff in charge of the building and went over some important details for the conference.
On Wednesday, it was time to get to work. Wednesday after breakfast we walked to the AECC and began setting up. We rushed to stuff around 360 folders with the program books that consisted of the schedule Alyssa and I made. This book was brilliantly designed by senior Augustana student Tony Dzik. We had this early check-in, in an attempt to lessen the check-in rush on the first day of the conference. Every day after Wednesday was an early morning for us since actual conference took place from Thursday to Saturday. 
Thursday we began our day at 5 a.m. After our early rise and breakfast, we walked over to the AECC to begin checking in our guests. This year we had over 350 people attending the conference hailing from 38 different countries. It was cool being able to interact and communicate with people from such diverse backgrounds.
All in all, being a staff member for the International Family Therapy Association conference is unlike anything  I have ever done, or will ever do again. Having this experiential learning opportunity has truly given me the hands-on experience I will need to prepare me for the real world. From working here, I have gained many diverse skills such as event planning, better communication,  organization and time management, to name a few. This was my first time traveling internationally, and Scotland has been a dream. I cannot wait to continue my work and grow even more as an event coordinator with IFTA for the next three years.

America vs Scottish terms:

Elevators = Lifts

Thanks = Cheers

Bathroom = Water Closet/ Toilets

French Fries = Chips

Chips = Crisps

Bye = Chou

Trunk of a car = Boot

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Augie Adventures: Traveling to Aberdeen, Scotland