When I got invited for the IVLP program, I was very happy but clearly I didn’t realize how prestigious this program is until I stumbled upon this Wikipedia page. Amazed to see the kind of World leaders who have participated in the program. Like BBC News Magazine said, this is a powerful ‘Leadership spotting’ program.
Ofcourse, this page only lists the political leaders but the program also encompasses from different domains as well. The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is a professional exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The mission of IVLP is to offer current and emerging international leaders the opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of American political, economic, social and cultural life. This is done through carefully designed exchange programs that reflect participants’ professional interests and the public diplomacy objectives of the United States government.
I leave for the US tonight and look forward to three weeks of learning and meeting leaders from different departments. The program takes us to five cities, Washington DC, Harrisburg, Pittsburg, San Franscisco and New York City. If you are in any of the five cities, I look forward to catching up with you. I can be reached on my email Kiruba@Kiruba.com.
Photo taken at Vivekananda Rock in Kanyakumari. Notice the ominous clouds in the background. Minutes after this photo was taken, there was a huge thunderstorm with squalls and the ferry service was suspended. While everyone were scurrying for cover, we enjoyed getting drenched.
One of the smarter moves done by the Airport Authority of India is to do away with the need for printed sheet of tickets booked. For years, all of us had to grudgingly bear with this really archaic process. Taking a printout was an additional irritant during the travel rush. I found the lazier way of asking for a print-out from the airline counter until they stated to levy Rs.100 per printout.
If the Railways can accept e-tickets, why can’t the Airports? Glad better sense prevailed.
With the new rules, I found the entry to be a breeze. All I had to do was whip out my phone and show the ticket. Surprisingly though, a lot of people still carried printed sheets. Maybe, they aren’t aware of the new rules. There wasn’t a single board that mentioned the change in rules. But hey, who am I to complain! I’m just for the positive change. My next wish? Do away with the stamping of luggage tags. I’m told that’s next in line.
When I visited TIME’s Top 25 blogs, the one that really caught my attention was the WanderingEarl blog. Its the blog of Derek Earl Baron, who is a perpetual traveler. What is that, you ask? Derek started out on a travel vacation 12 years ago and has not stopped ever since. He has covered 83 countries so far. Read his wonderful bio.
I found his profile fascinating enough to shoot him a mail requesting for an interview. He has agreed and now its time to ask him interesting questions. I have a few in my mind but I figured it would be add any questions you may too. As always your questions will be listed down in the list and the best will eventually be forwarded to Earl. You will be duly credited with links to your blog & Facebook profile. You can either leave your question in the comments section below or shoot the question to me at Kiruba@Kiruba.com
I took my wife and two daughters on a road trip. We set our eyes on Munnar and decided that we would stop at places en-route that caught our interest. We made night halts at Yelagiri and Yercaud.
We didn’t pre-book any of the hotel rooms and decided to pick a hotel after we landed at the places. While checking online with very scant connectivity, one particular place caught my eye. In fact, it was one particular type of accommodation that caught my eye…a Tree House. I immediately knew this was it.
I called up the owner, Mr.Gregory Bosen, and inquired about the availability of the Tree House. When he heard that I was bringing along two kids, he was quick to advise me against the tree house as it is perched on a tree 80 feet off the ground. That nailed it! I knew this is the place for us!
We landed up at Glenrock estates, spread over 100 acres of coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations. Mr.Greg relented seeing my perseverance and let us use the tree house.
We had to walk a good 10 minutes downhill into the foresty plantation before we came across this magnificent tree. The first thing that it reminded me of was the Eva tree in Avatar movie. It was massive and earned my complete respect. The tree would easily be over 100 years old.
While I was hoping for a rope ladder or even pegs hit against the trunk, it was a slight let down to see proper steps made out of iron rods that lead to the tree house. A little less adventurous but convenient for my wife and kids.
It was at dusk that we began to realize how lonely and secluded the place was. While there is basis light and water available at the tree house, it can get eerily lonely at night. My kids began to freak out by the sounds of the forest.
I later found out a wonderful wood house on a hill top with a brilliant view in the estate. But more importantly it was closer to the owner’s house and the kids felt a lot more comfortable. We shifted over but we will never forget the one hour that we spent on top of the tree house.