A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Sowmya that was sent to a number of people, and it described some work she was doing for her Master's thesis in Peace Studies. First of all, what an amazing program: Peace Studies. (Incidentally, the program had her studying half the time in Austria, half the time in Costa Rica. I need to find schooling that looks like this!). Second of all, the work she was doing spoke to me in light of my own experience, so I put it out there just in passing mention to Kelsi that I would like to get together with Sowmya to talk.
I don't think a day passed before a plan was in place to meet and brainstorm (that's another thing about Sowmya (could not be more opposite of me in this regard): she is TOTALLY on top of stuff). Anyway, that led to...
Today's New Activity: Coffee Shop Non-Profit Organization Brainstorm
First of all, any meeting that starts with the participants' places prepared like this, I think, is pretty promising:
A deck of "Love, Compassion, Forgiveness" cards and a freakin' Cutie! I mean, I just walked in and saw that and felt like: yes, I need to know better and work with this person :)
Joining us was an intelligent and knowledgeable woman named Nivi, whom I met for the first time at this meeting but who immediately also struck me as an energetic and kind person, eager to turn her experience into positive support of others.
Today's meeting was all about sharing our personal experience and our ideas for what population to serve and how. I am not an on-track discussion kind of person myself, so I was pleasantly surprised that we were actually able to accomplish a productive brainstorm (doesn't sound hard, but it can be, given the right (wrong) mix of chatty cats like myself) and lay out the next steps.
I have no idea how much it takes to get an NPO off the ground and running. Thankfully, my Mom is nearby, who has a lot of great experience in this realm (she was invited to the White House to discuss one NPO she worked for with President Clinton himself!) and she has already expressed her desire to help. Aside from that, it is clear that both Sowmya and Nivi are motivated and capable people. I am excited to start down this road.
Part of what I like about today's new activity is that I am not, to be forthright, a person who does stuff. Hahahaha. I know how goofy that sounds, but I'm really not. I mean to say that I'm not the kind of person who does this kind of stuff. I do a whole lot of stuff, but this kind of thing is what I mean in my mind when I think 'Damn, that girl *does* stuff!'
Sowmya was kind of trying to express a similar sentiment yesterday (I cry foul because she is obviously someone who does stuff, but we know ourselves best I suppose), so she was very excited to meet up with some people who were interested in furthering the project. It can be daunting, for sure, to think about giving birth to a program or organization all by oneself, and I completely identified with Sowmya's expressed gratitude and confidence in the strength in numbers.
I felt truly honored to be among these two women...what a wonderful way to start the day!