Friday, November 28, 2014
This day was a whirlwind from beginning to end.
There were no Track meetings today.
First, we all got together for a quick Group Photo. I'm the big white blob in the exact center!
The only session (and it was a L-O-N-G one!) was a joint session of the entire iRYLA. The Master Trainers were seated on one side of the stage, and across from us were 4 experts – one from each of the Track fields of Education, Health, Environment and Entrepreneurship.
The Education Track went first and they gave three presentations concerning a significant plan to improve the world in the area of education. They needed to show a need, and have a concrete plan for meeting the need in a specific measurable time-frame. Each goal had to satisfy the 7 requirements of a SMARTER Goal:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable by you with your own efforts
R – Relevant to your current goals and values
T – Timely (it has to have a deadline!)
E – Exciting! (no one gets motivated to reach a boring goal!)
R – Recorded (you have to write it down and SHOW it to others!
The Education Track did an excellent job and all three presentations were professionally done.
The Health Track went next and did the same thing. They were all excellent!
Then the Environmental Track took the stage and presented their three plans. The first involved planting trees, and making sure they were cared for after they were planted. The second involved using recycled plastic, like from water bottles, to make roads that would last longer and be cheaper to build. And the third plan was the most unusual: it was a plan to create a social media website that could be used to record and track and assist significant social activism projects for anyone.
After the participants presentations the experts offered advice and encouragement and the Master Trainers summarized the week and wrapped up the curriculum.
Then there was a long graduation ceremony. Many scarves and plaques were presented.
When the final session was over I tried for an hour to get to lunch, but was stopped every few seconds by someone wanting just one more photo, or for me to write something in the autograph book. By the time we got to the dining hall most of the participants were already finished eating and thought NOW would be a great time to get a quick snap!
Saji & I finally broke away (I literally had to run) and went back to our rooms to pack our things. A member of the Gandhinagar Rotary Club met us and took us first to a Government Guest House (which had been reported to be a luxury accommodation, but…no) and then to the company Guest House of the Kalpataru Power company, which was much, much nicer.
Jitu called and told us they were taking us to the Akshardam Temple for the 3D Sound & Light Water Show, but we had to leave right NOW or we would miss it! We ran outside and a Rotarian was there, waiting with a car.
We raced over there and met up with Supna (Kamal Jain's daughter-in-law), Anu (Katan's brother's daughter) and the Nigerian girls. Supna left and the 5 of us went inside and a guard or guide stopped us and told us the whole story we were about to see, because it was going to be in the Gujarati language).
We went in and saw an amazing show with colored lights, jets and sprays and fogs of water and mist, lasers, fire, sound effects, and a few live actors. It told the story of a young boy whose father got angry with him and threatened to sell him to the God of Death. The obedient little boy went to the land of Death without question or hesitation. But he outsmarted Death and got sent back to the land of the living where he was reunited with his father. Who didn't deserve him, IMO.
After the show we went to Sankalp Restaurant in Tech City and had Dosas. Ketan Mehta, Supna and her husband met us there. We had a bunch of different Dosas.
They invited us back to Ketan’s house for coffee but we were just too tired and asked to able to go back and sleep. We planned to meet up with Jitu the next afternoon.
Saji & I had a nightcap and called it a night.