By Paul Johnejack (San Diego, '91)
In Winters, CA on September 26th, 30 AIESECers from UC Davis, four international trainees, and AIESEC alumni celebrated a warm fall central valley evening at the Tuscan strawbale home of Sofie and Michael De Nardi. Conversations started with AIESEC strategy, visualizing Traineeships to be, carving agendas in the rough, and proposing other world changing events. As more folks arrived and the italian lemoncello imbibed, the atmosphere quickly livened, We enjoyed freshly made cheeses, mouth watering breads, and delicious brownies and other delectable sweets. Sophie and Micheal's homestead is like a new age Italian Villa, the stucco walls sashay in outward style but inwardly are constructed of thick strawbale muscle that no Godzilla could blow down much less a wolf. The hill top home with wide veranda, lavender tufts, burbling fountain, and expansive Siena vista provided the perfect backdrop for our AIESEC gathering.
We moved onto the patio with a 360 degreee view and then experienced the first prize of the evening: the jaunt around the olive orchard. Michael lured gullible AIESECers into tasting the almost ripe olives. The olives were bitter and astringent as all uncured olives are just a few weeks before harvest. We enjoyed a hearty laugh and then climbed the hill back to the house.
Next the AIESEC Davis team led by Nassim, started the presentation portion of the evening by providing an overview of their recent LC successes and plans for the upcoming year. Then the Alumni team lead by Edith showcased the top upcoming alumni activities on the drawing board.
Finally we broke huddle and Michael completed the tour of his home by bringing us down to the cellar for the grand finale - the ceremonial ""pass of the chilean porron"". We crammed ourselves, alumni, trainees and AIESECers alike, into the closet size cellar for a cozy survey of Michael's wine barrels and we proceeded to 'trombone the porron' testing the steady hands and lips of students and alumni alike. Much of Michael's tasty homemade wine hit the target but not all. The spectacle will remain humorously stained in our memory and clothes for a long time to come. See more of our spectacular evening in the photo gallery
Hope to see you at a future Alumni gatherings!