I’m wondering where the past 4 months (since my last post) have gone. Tweeting is so easy in comparison to blogging. Alas.
Since Italy in November, I’ve been to Germany (Berlin), Canada, and taken 6 other domestic trips (mostly east coast – met Natalie Portman at the gym in Soho!). So, it’s safe to conclude that a lot of the past 4 months have been spent on planes, in meetings and exploring other cities.
I leave for India in less than 2 days. This will be my fourth time there in less than 2 years. I am really excited, as I always am to return there. It’s a combination anticipating the sensory overload that awaits + exhilaration about new discoveries and places + a good dose of anxiety about all I/we have to accomplish while there.
The main reason for this trip is the inaugural WaterCredit Forum. We’re bringing together — for the first time in the world, in such a setting, as far as we know — a crowd of peers from the microfinance, water/sanitation (WSH), and banking sectors to learn and discuss opportunities for innovation. There will be MFI CEOs, WSH organizations and experts, catalytic philanthropists, commercial bankers, public WSH authorities, microfinance consultancies, and several current WaterCredit partners on hand. The interest in attending has been outstanding; makes me both very happy, and a little nervous.
The WaterCredit Forum also coincides with World Water Day on March 22. I’ve heard incredible stories about how moving and memorable the day is in places where water is a scarce, precious resource. I’m going to be in Tamil Nadu then, in a water-scarce area, attending celebrations for how water has been brought to many communities — yes, proudly thanks to Water.org and WaterCredit.
Before all that happens though, a flurry of meetings in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and beyond. I won’t even have an option to get jetlag, with our first appointment only hours after arrival.
And at the end, I swing through Cambridge (Massachusetts, not England) for presentations at Harvard. Should be great fun to take a trip down memory lane and share what I’m doing now with others, that grew directly out of what I studied there. I’m especially keen to catch up with professors who trivialized topics like microfinance, deeming it somehow inferior to “real” finance.
My tastebuds are gearing up for chai. My balmy-hot weather clothes are packed (there goes winter this year — by the time I return, it’ll be full spring). I can’t wait to see my in-country colleagues again and meet many new interesting, inspiring people too.
Time for pre-dawn Kingfisher flights, Ambassador cabs, brightly flowing saris, and beautiful smiling faces like nowhere else in the world!