Country Club – NYC’s International Meetup Group

About 6 months ago, I started a “Country Club.” Nope, it’s not what it sounds like. No fancy meals, luxury cars, or golf carts. The name “Country Club” is just a pun 🙂

So, what is it?

Imagine your 4th-grade geography class, except with adult beverages. Each month, we select one country to “study” (learn a few fun trivia tidbits about politics/economy/history/culture). We assemble at the end of the month to celebrate that country and everyone gets a chance to showcase what we learned. We also play a fun trivia game called “2 truths and a lie” game that I put together ahead of the meeting (the goal is to figure out which statement about a country is actually a lie). The winning team gets to choose the next country we’ll study. In the past, we’ve used this random country generator to help them pick. Generally, 5-10 people will show up, so the group isn’t very large – mostly friends of friends. It’s always a ton of fun!

Our first club meeting in July 2017!

What we’ve learned so far

I created the club because I wanted to keep learning about the world even when I’m not traveling. NYC is this amazing, diverse place where you can easily get to know a bit of a foreign country’s culture without leaving the city. There are ethnic restaurants all over the city, and international cultural events happening nearly every day. This is my favorite part about NYC and I wanted to take full advantage of it.

So far, we’ve had four meetings. Here are my favorite facts:

1. Botswana: At the time of its independence from Britain in 1966, Botswana had only 7.5 miles of paved roads, 22 university graduates and 100 secondary school graduates. Since then, the country has been regarded as a role model for economic success in Africa (BBC).

2. Mongolia: Mongol Khuumii or throat singing (starts at 0:30) involves producing two simultaneous tones with the human voice.

3. Paraguay: The national beverage of Paraguay is called “terere.” It is similar to mate (traditional South American caffeine-rich tea) but prepared with cold water rather than with hot. Our Argentinian club member, Maria, made it for the club to try!

4. Libya:

– Sahara Desert covers about 90% of the country of Libya.

– Libya’s Great Man Made River is the world’s largest irrigation project. It has a network of 2,820 km of pipes that deliver the water across the country. The water comes from a vast fossil aquifer.

If you like these facts, check out my game notes – you’ll find them linked above in the country name. If you want to start a club in your own town – feel free to use my trivia game prompts!

Sounds like fun. When is the next meeting?

This Sunday!

On Sunday, January 28, 2018 we’re meeting up again to discuss Indonesia. There’s a bonus excursion this week- after a boozy lunch full of fun facts, we’re going to the New York Times Travel Show to see the Indonesian Saung Budaya dance group perform.

If you’re up for it and want to join, we’re in for quite an afternoon:

When? Sunday, Jan 28

What? Country Club! Indonesia Ed.

The plan:

– 11:30 AM We meet at the Gotham West Market for brunch.

– By 1:15 PM, we’ll take a short 10-min walk to the Javits Center for the NYT Travel Show (Budaya ladies tell me that they’ll be on stage by 1:45).

– We should be done by 2:30, but if you’re up for staying longer, there’s a legit ninja performance at 2:45. As you can imagine, I’m staying for that.

Write me a note if you’d like to join!

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