A shot of energy

For three days four Fellows of the Japanese Women Leadership Initiative came to MSH to learn about us, about women and leadership, about how we teach management and leadership and how to do political advocacy, NGO financial management and fundraising. It’s a competitive process, to become a Fellow. The prize is worth fighting for: four weeks of learning in Boston; interspersed with sushi meals, dinners, receptions and outings. But it is hard work; one of the Fellows started her Japanese workday by email once we had reached the end of ours.

Last year we were invited into this one month program for a day and a half. Its success led to a request to double the time. I am the chief cook and bottle washer of this program: logistics, administration, delivery. I started working with the same faculty as last year but then this one left and that one got sick and that one sent a replacement, requiring all sorts of last minute corrections. But in the end everything fell in place. This always happen when you are passionate about something. It is an informal program. We sit around a square table and talk for three days in a row about topics we care about. I love doing this workshop which I hope becomes an annual event: it is exactly what I like doing and am good at, without having to get on a plane.

Like any other event, including those that take 24 hours to get to, through the skies, it also makes for long days as there is still travel and traffic: I arrive in the office at 6:15 AM (to avoid traffic and leave me some extra hours to prepare). Our Fellows arrive at 9AM. We stop at 5PM. I clean up, get in the car and hit traffic. 13 hours after I left the house in the morning I pull up at Lobster Cove. Some days I put on my bathing suit and walk straight into the ocean. It’s good that the program is only 3 days and that it is at this most beautiful time of the year when the water is still warm enough to swim in.

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