Been back a while from my awesome possum trip to the US. Still horrendously jetlagged or maybe its the winter creeping into my ol’ bones and making me lazy. Dunno. Either way, about time I got my act together and started workign ‘coz I tell you my peeps, I got tons to do.
This blog post is not gonna be any different than previous ones. Just confused, random thoughts all over the place. But it helps me get stuff out of the way onto this digital page so I can start thinking about new stuff or put things into perspective. So here we go.
Was invited to a one week ICT Trade Mission by the US State Department. Me and a couple other women were sponsored by the US-Pakistan Women Council hence how I was there. Yes, I am still poor and can not afford a trip to Murree never mind the US. Had some big shots from the Pakistani ICT industry including minsiters, chairman this-and-that, CEOs of fancy firms. US Ambassador to Pakistan accompanied us on the mission. Actually, the whole thing was his idea. He is really keen on geteting trade dialogue going between the 2 countries. Great guy except that he was at Google HQ in Mountain View and it was his first time and he was completely calm!! How can you not be excited about being inside Google? I asked what would get him as excited as us and he said a trip to the beach. But why, I ask you? You can Google the beach! Oh well … !
Spent 2 days in Washington DC. Stayed at the same hotel I did 3 years ago while on Artemis/10k. Missed the girls terribly. Walked through rain to the National Mall, visited Capitol Hill, went to the Smithsonians – and did all of this in my kolhapuris. I AM INVINCIBLE! And just in case you don’t know what a kolhapuri is:
Met Saba Ghouri at the State Department. I almost cried. Had been reminiscing about her just an hour ago with a friend and telling her how she was in Islamabad these days. And in she walked. Got to meet new director of US Pak Women Council, new director Econ at US Embassy Islamabad, had a great meeting with Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues, Catherine Russell.
Had my dream come true as we flew to San Francisco to spend 4 dreamy days at Silicon Valley. I DIED of excitement. Visited Stanford, almost got run over by the campus bus, had a mouth-gaping-wide-open lecture by 2 professors, decided I love the academia more than any other specie, was given a personal tour of the campus by one of the professors. It was one of those moments when your faith in God multiplies by a gazillion times and its reaffirmed that He listens to everything I say to Him but He waits for the right moment to grant you your wish.
Went down to Microsoft and Google and Oracle HQs for meetings. They were all great but somehow they paled in comparison to Stanford.
– Made acquaintance of some wonderful people who accompanied us on the trade mission. Got to know others I knew from before more closely and some misconceptions were removed.
– Stanford tops Google.
– Academia tops programmers and coders and CEOs.
– I know about entrepreneurship … 6 years have taught me a lot.
– Being friendly comes naturally but putting people in their place early on when they get out of line is important.
– Jet lag sucks.