I realized I wouldn't have much time to look aroundWashington, which seems smaller than how it is made to look on the screen. Decided to visit the Smithsonian and look around a bit before coming back for the welcoming dinner organized for us. And I finally met all the other mentees yesterday over dinner and also Chris Miner, Managing Director at the US Department of State.
The CEO of Vital Voices addressed us telling us we got here after a really competitive selection process. I have the embassy in Chennai to thank for this. All this seems bigger than I imagined. Meeting women from Egypt, Pakistan, China, South Africa, Ghaza..Most of us are still learning to say each other's names correctly :)
Talking of names, my last name is being pronounced in the most interesting ways here.
Today we head to Panel Discussions at the US State Department and the White House.
I thought, some day I would be performing at these places sooner or later but never imagined to be part of panel discussions with some of the most powerful women in the US State Dept .. ever. My Blue Elephant is quite a lucky vehicle :)
Listening to the women at the introductory dinner, their challenges, how they have grown to be who they are, their dreams for the future, was more a time of bonding than just mere introduction. Vital Voices has an interesting thought of "Invest in Women Improve the World" and I cannot agree more. Every lady who has been selected as a part of this mentoring partnership somehow made a silent pledge to just not help each other but also each others' communities. The world is as small or as big as we want it to be.