While the IOI team is busy during the week of the IOI, this series of blogs is being written by team leader, Joshua Lau.
I apologise that this series of blogs is being written some time after these events occurred. The IOI has been a busy time for both staff and students alike! I trust that you will nonetheless enjoy the recounts and photos provided.
Today marks the official arrivals day for the IOI! Kevin, Donna and I spent a rather eventful morning looking for SIM cards for our phones, while students met and bonded with members of the Croatian team over Uno.
A city bus tour of Baku was organised for the afternoon, which was a nice touch by the organisers for teams arriving early. We zigged and zagged our way past the famous Flame Towers – which give the city its iconic skyline – and all the way up to Highland (or Upland, as the tour guide never ceased to remind us) Park. This park is the site of an eternal flame, and Martyr’s Lane, which together commemorate those who died during the Black January massacre in 1990.
The park then opened up to panoramic views of the city, from which one could see iconic buildings such as the Caspian Waterfront Mall (shaped like Lotus, with an uncanny similarity to the Sydney Opera House), Baku Crystal Hall (the site of Eurovision 2012), and the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum (shaped like a roll of carpet). It was here the team bumped into our New Zealand friends, whom the students promptly attempted to “Koala” (a verb, meaning to clip a clip-on koala onto another person), with varying degrees of success.