Everyone is gone. It was both sad when the last left, including Axel who left with Sita for Norway, and exhilarating. What was I going to do with all these hours alone after work, with no expectations, no obligations, no need to think about dinner? As much as I relished our busy two weeks, before and after the wedding, I now relish the total freedom of doing as I please.

The first few days I was busy with an event at MSH that is part of the Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative, an annual program that brings promising young Japanese women from the public and private sectors (for profit and nonprofit) to Boston. Here they spend an entire month learning about the ins and outs of leading change, nonprofit management, fundraising, and what it means to be a woman working for social change in a society back home that has few role models for them.

It is my candy land version of work: I am in charge and given total freedom to design the program as I see fit and invite whomever I want from my colleagues to contribute. I bring interesting colleagues in and listen to their stories. For three days we sit around a table, talk, listen explore, experiment around the notion of leadership. I ‘feed’ them tools and instruments to learn more about themselves and about the dynamics when people come together. It is my favorite activity of the year that doesn’t require travel, just 3 very long days. Next week there will be the final presentation practice runs, sushi and celebrations before they all go home.

In the meantime my calendar is beginning to fill up, albeit it a bit late, with promises of trips to faraway lands before the year is over.

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September 2016
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