Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 20: "Look at her! She's wide asleep!"

After reading Shakespeare's tongue-in-cheek Sonnet 20 this morning, I finally got to meet Papa’s colleague Ramon, about whom I have heard so much, but whom I had never met before today! We grabbed assorted morning refreshments before going to the World Bank travel office to apply for a Brazil visa for me -- I may be accompanying my dad on a business trip next week! While we waited for the impossibly slow computer system to respond, Ramon and I chatted about languages, shoes, and, well . . . the impossibly slow computer system. It was so awesome to finally meet him! 

When I walked up to my dad’s office, I got to see Maribel Auntie again, as well as meet the incredible Rachel Nadelman!! Rachel first introduced me to the amazing Sasha Bruce Youthwork (amidst piles of work and preparations, including an all-nighter, for a presentation required for her Ph.D program). Rachel met Debbie Shore (founder of SBY) when they rallied together for a D.C. vote, and proceeded to spend ten hours in jail together -- what a way to connect! When she heard I was looking for a children's organization in the D.C. area, Sasha Bruce immediately came to her mind . . . and the rest is history!

After a 12-minute lunch, I raced to SBY and (after a quick chat with Ginny) met Dan Davis, coordinator of Sasha Bruce’s Safe Neighborhoods program. We went to Bruce House (one of SBY’s shelters, which is also D.C.’s Drug Prevention Center) and he told me about the organization’s different outreach programs. Representatives drive around high-risk areas distributing resources and information about the agency’s various programs. I spent a few hours assembling packets containing this information, and also adding specific information about Sasha Bruce locations to “Safe Place” posters which will be displayed around the city.

Next, Dan shared with me a report he is compiling about SBY’s summer programs. He showed me the government-distributed rubric used in D.C. to assess non-profit initiatives such as these -- a very interesting piece of literature, especially to be used in comparison with the metrics used to assess Gyaan Ghar programs.

We then headed back to the main office, where I quickly said “hi” to my girl Jessie and checked in with Vera to plan tomorrow, before meeting Papa at the Bank. On the way, I received a phone call from my friend Ramiya, a sophomore, who had a few questions about the SAT and college admissions process. I told her it is too early to start worrying, but we had a good conversation about the many ways to be involved in one’s high school community.

At night, we donned our Tuesday Best and went to dinner at the home of a family friend. There, Priya and I met two adorable young boys, Siddharth (6 years) and Shaurya (3 years). We had a fantastic time, with Siddy hurling projectiles at me while Priya and Shaurya looked on. Eventually, Babysitter Priya took over while I started to nod off, much to Siddharth’s amusement.

We had a great time and hope to see their family again soon. What a fun night!

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