October Trip Report 2022

What a month! From day one, we have had such adventures and experiences.

From sari clad puja pandal hopping, prepping and serving multiple lunches for 25 American guests, prepping and serving food for 100 guests at the inauguration ceremony for the HFC training center and sending the ladies on a three day Baking Adventure; it has been non-stop fun. Both to watch unfold and to be a part of.

We have been preparing for the week of foreign guest lunches and the inauguration ceremony party for a month. Working on recipes, practicing, figuring out logistics of prepping and storing all the raw materials in a tiny kitchen with limited space. The ladies were awesome throughout it all!!

As I was sharing about the day with one of my cycling/running buddies, I mentioned the thrill the ladies had post inauguration event. He said is it like doing a race, they had an adrenaline high! What a perfect analogy!

Just like training for a race, we planned, we prepped, we practiced, we fueled. (Boy, did we fuel!) We made best care scenario timelines. Then, we waited.

Just like a race, waiting for the start is the longest wait! There is time to wonder what might happen, how will it go (April), will I trip in my sari (Kelly), will I be able to pronounce “Oatmeal Monster Cookie” (Amrita), how will the foreign food be received by locals (Puja), how will I speak to a room of 100 people (Rinku), Is my role important (Aasta) Will I have enough to do? (Nikita).

When the race, I mean event, was over we all went to the kitchen and just sat. We poured tea and relived the day. We shared stories and experiences and basked in the successful completion of the day! Just like a race, everyone’s experience of the same course was different. Different perspectives, different challenges to overcome, different highlights, but all crossing the same finish line. All celebrating the success of getting there and things going off without a hitch.

We sat over tea for an hour, the adrenaline rushing, before we started to finally clean up. On Monday, when we met again, we all shared how we couldn’t sleep that night because we were telling friends and family about the day, looking at photos, and basking in a job well done.

I couldn’t be more proud. Good job Ladies, good job.

During the inauguration event, two of our ladies shared about their experiences in the hospitality program. Neither of them had ever used a mic before or spoken in front of a crowd of a 100 people. Infact, neither of them had done public speaking of any kind whatsoever! They spoke from their hearts about all the things they are learning, including and maybe most importantly, about themselves. They shared that they couldn’t have imagined this opportunity and how glad they are to have this experience as a part of their life.

It was another proud moment from the week (month!) of many proud moments.