Saturday, April 18, 2015

This Time Tomorrow...

So. It has been a long winter. But DC is gorgeous now. It's sunny and 72. DC has this beautiful crisp season of spring for about two weeks before the sticky, humid summer sets in and this is truly it. The cherry blossoms are blooming:

So that has me in a good mood but I'm also so excited about the NBA playoffs. This year looks set to be one of the best playoffs of my entire life. Every single opening round playoff series in the west has riveting big stars. The Spurs won 17 of their last 18 and are THE 6 SEED. And the 'weak east' has the historically good Spurs East (Hawks) and a juggernaut in Cleveland with the best player in the NBA and also a rejuvenated LBJ.  It's all gonna be amazing. It's the best time of the year. (Predictions: Spurs over Warriors in the west, Cavs over Hawks, finals goes Spurs repeat if they are still healthy and Cavs if not.)

My favorite TV series of the last few years just wrapped up. Justified was a great ride and I was team Boyd all the way. I'm working on a fan fiction alternative ending where Ava shot him just to get away from Raylan and they are reunited and run off Bonnie and Clyde style. I'm just a romantic.

Speaking of romance, the new season of Louie is already incredible and Pamela's description of life a la carte has me optimistic about the state of the human race for the first time in decades.

But tomorrow I'm going to New Delhi. New trip for a new job. I was offered a truly wonderful opportunity at one of the coolest companies I'ver ever heard of and I'll be joining Dimagi, a Cambridge based social enterprise that delivers open and innovative technology to help underserved communities everywhere. They're best known for CommCare a truly revolutionary mHealth platform. So I'll be moving to Cambridge and spending some time traveling to their projects and offices around the world. I'm so excited to see New Dehli and meet some members of my team and dive right in to some exciting work where I can leverage my technology delivery experience from the Accenture days. Check back in this space for photos and experiences from my first trip to India soon.

I'll miss my friends (and still believe in the mission) at GlobalGiving. (Thanks to them for the fun send off!) Dimagi is in the same universe and I expect I'll still cross paths with folks from that organization. It's a busy time and I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

6 Futures Update - The Wonders of a Gap Year!!!

For every generation, there's a gap?

You remember this picture:
Top row L-R: Claude, Maurice and Innocent
Bottom row L-R: Serge, Pacific and Du
and maybe this post about those six young men.

These were my top six students at ASYV. We worked together a ton and I really love these kids. They're being very serious in these official photos, but I remember them more like this:
Serge, Pacific, me, Innocent, Claude & Du.
(Maurice typically not pictured because, as always, he is behind the camera.)
So last year I told you that one of these six students received a full Scholarship to McGill University in Montreal (Innocent in the top right). I also told you that Pacific (bottom center) and Claude (top left) were accepted into a gap year program called Bridge2Rwanda.

Well a gap year does wonders. Five (5!) of these six students now have full scholarships to universities abroad! I am delighted for them all.

Thanks to support from Bridge2Rwanda and mostly their own hard work, Pacific (bottom center) will be attending Texas Christian University in Fort Worth Texas & Claude (top left) will be attending the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.

Always resourceful, Maurice and Serge both found their own gap year programs. Serge was working with a program at the US embassy and will be joining Innocent at McGill University as a MasterCard Scholar. I am so glad they will be there together. Maurice was in a film internship program supported by the German government (? sure, why not?) and will be joining Immaculee & Jeaninne as a MasterCard Scholar at Arizona State University where he will major in film production. Maurice is going to fit right in and I can get regular reports from Macky & Jeaninne like the overprotective mother hen I have become.

Du, (bottom right) is still in the process of applying to Ashesi University in Ghana and I know he won't let up until he finds a program where he can succeed.

The resilience of these kids never ceases to amaze me. There have been a lot of “No”s on this journey but they kept pushing and fighting and this determination has been rewarded with some pretty huge opportunities.  I can't want to see how they use these chances.

Spring Break in PR and other late winter updates

Waaaay overdue for an update here. Sorry. I've been hella busy.

I spent some time in Rincon, PR with my sister at the end of March. I cannot recommend it enough. Great time. Beautiful beaches & snorkeling. Bioluminescent Bay. Yoga by the sea. Easy peasy.
View in front of our beach house
View in front of our beach house

Lindy and Kate being cute

Selfie at the beach

Lindy gamely struggling under the weight of an island

On February 9th my friend Sarah had a tiny baby, Nathaniel. They are both doing great:

Also in February I went with my friends Heather and Annie to Tucker’s organic farm in New York to see the chickens, goats and Tucker’s daughter Kai. It was a blast to get the band back together again.

Tuckaer and Kai in the cool log cabin on the farm they call home
On the way home we swung by Brooklyn for some brunch and saw some more of the old guard (and Allie's two gorgeous girls).
This is a great starting 7. In 2005.

I also got the chance (at a work outing) to bowl in the Truman Bowling Alley below the old executive building. They have a photo up there of Nixon bowling across the line.