An adventure across the pond, and back into time to explore how culture and environment affect health

Remember remember the 5th of November…

Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

Fireworks on the 5th of November

It was explained to me that the Fifth of November is known as Bonfire Day, a holiday where Brits  celebrate someone’s (Guy Fawkes) failure to blow up parliament. Bonfires rage, effigies smolder, fireworks explode and its all around quite a good time.

It also, much to my dismay, marks the British entrance to the Christmas season, seeing as Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, is a particular sticking point with those who may still refer to the US, as “Those uppity colonists”.

I must say though that Grey College put on a wonderful fireworks display that had hundreds in the streets, necks craning upwards, mouths fluctuating between the OOoo and Ahhh shapes. This brings me to some information about Durham itself, which I realized that I have neglected to describe very well. Like Notre Dame, Durham does not have fraternities and sororities; they do however have what is tantamount to ND’s dorm system, though not single-sexed. All students are part of a “college” through which they live, play sports and all around identify with. Different colleges have different personalities. One of the most desirable happens to be the one situated in the ACTUAL Durham Castle.

My friend Ana and I at the gate to the Castle

However, sadly… I cannot say that I live in a castle. While I spend a significant amount of time in its library (pictures to come later), I actually live in Ustinov College, which was created specifically for post-graduates. While all the colleges have post-graduates within them, so far I have enjoyed Ustinov immensely because of its intense international culture. Here is a picture of my dorm… while not as classically striking as the castle, it is home sweet home.

Box Tree at Ustinov College.... Home Sweet Home

Thats all for this one! More about Durham in the next post…. including other masters offered besides Evolutionary Medicine!!

Signing off from Durham,



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