I have probably not had a week this hectic in recent times. With everything planned to the last minute and the last detail.
Learned a lot about how events are organized. Events or entertaining , as such in India is nowhere close to any of what happens here. In spite of the kind of people I have met and who they are.... some of them are on the Fortune Most Powerful List.. but they come on time. They respect other people's time. While in India, there is an ongoing battle with everyone to do anything on time. Forget award ceremonies, thats too much to ask for in India I guess, but I still do not understand why most channels cannot start their shoots on time. Anyway. Cannot but help compare it with what we are used to.
On the other hand, our mobile phone services are better. There are just way too many dropped calls here. Domestic flights are way better. And in a way I think we Indians are comparatively more polite and nicer on the services side and are willing to help or assist.
Also, talking to the other mentees who are a part of this program has been quite an illuminating experience on cultures, thought processes, people and their perceptions. And also, no matter where women are, which country, which culture, we can all connect instantly. And I guess it makes sense to have more women as policy makers and in politics. I somehow believe the world will be a better place that way.
I have also been meeting mostly women the past few days who are key decision makers, high level policy advisors ( We met the Policy Advisor to the First Lady at the White House), women who are campaigning for change and yes this country needs a lot of work too. A lot of us outside of America think this place is perfect, but not quite. I met Michela English over lunch yesterday and was totally amazed by her work and the facts she showed us. http://www.fightforchildren.org/ is the President and CEO of this organization. You might want to take a look and I learned so much from her in those two hours.
Other observations -
Washington is way smaller than I imagined. Most roads are single lane in the city
Roads in Chennai seem wider :)
Traffic is held up here as well when an important politician passes. We were held up for about 10-15 minutes in DC. So maybe we in India should not complain. It happens in developed countries too :)
Amazing subway system and the officers at the Information desk at the subway are super helpful.
And meeting so many women and actual doers in politics I wonder how much longer before it all happens in India. And I wonder how much longer we will have excuses. How much longer the really educated and visionary enter politics. How much longer......