Anyway, I've been waiting until the very last minute to write this post because I don't think my winter break could have been any more rejuvenating, and I've been trying to stretchhh the end of it out as long as possible. But as I return to campus tomorrow for the start of my last semester of college (!!), I just wanted to recount what a perfect vacation this has been, especially the two-week trip to India I got to take at the end and now find myself very jet-lagged from.
Basically, I know when my mind needs to take a complete break and do absolutely nothing, and that's more or less what this trip was. Lord knows there's no better way to relax than at the homes of one's grandparents, so that's just what I did, but first...
I had the awesome privilege of getting to return to one of my favorite cities in the world after five years to help out HUII Presidents Zahra and Udai with this year's Harvard US-India Initiative conference in Mumbai!! These two days (and the run-up to them) were utter craziness, complete with all the adrenaline and late nights that I'm sure have to accompany planning an event of this size. High school- and college-age delegates arrived from around the country to discuss solutions to India's greatest development challenges of today. I mostly just hung around and tried to make myself vaguely useful for most of the conference, and on the second day I moderated a panel on Alternative Care for Abandoned, Orphaned, and Abused Children which featured Jacqueline Bhabha (Professor at Harvard Law School and Kennedy School), Suparna Gupta (Founder of Aangan Trust), and Meera Gandhi (CEO of The Giving Back Foundation). Getting to learn so much about a topic I care so much about was a really, really engaging experience, and the content of the conference as a whole was hugely inspiring and optimistic. On a personal level, getting to spend time with some of my best friends and their family and friends in India was unbelievably special.
I flew out from Mumbai, full of all the feelings this country fills me with and so excited and inspired to get my hands dirty post-undergrad and start working on some of the things that are so close to my heart, in a place so dear to me.