Sunday, October 14, 2012

5 Tips and Tricks for Travelista's on the Go!

The Traveling Brown Girls Carnival is back in town! This go round hosted by April Thompson of Absolute Travel Addict. The last time we all came together we blogged about our Travel Pet Peeves and now we are coming together again to share insight on Travel Tips and Tricks for all our Travelista's on the Go!

It's easy for us all to get overwhelmed with our next trip and sometimes get so caught up that we do things that are so out of character, like forgetting to charge the camera, or loosing our passport at the last minute.... yes this happened to me the month before I went to India :-(

Since I know most of you are on the go here are some quick tips on ways to travel with ease!


Most travelista's know to pack light but some may not know how to do so and still feel fabulous. My secret? SCARFS! I usually pack simple tees and add a scarf to spice things up. A scarf and accessories can enhance the limited number of outfits you pick.


This may seem like the obvious but have you seen the lines at airports?! You will be surprised at how many of those people are simply checking in! For women on the go we have no time for unnecessary lines. Checking in online before arriving to the airport can give you an additional 30 mins at the airport. You can even get your boarding pass on your phone nowadays and skip printing anything at the airport all together!


Foreign exchange counters and centers are not only EXPENSIVE as hell but they are also time consuming most times. I like to use my debit card at an ATM and just receive my foreign currency that way. There is still a small fee depending on the bank $3-5 dollars but it beats the currency exchange fee. 

PREPARE FOR THE WORST not think that you will star in your very own version of  "Taken" lol but think ahead.  A big part of travel is dealing with the unexpected. While there are some things you will never see coming your way there are the typical things like loosing luggage, your passport, or money that we can have a plan for.

- Luggage: If your traveling alone  pack underwear, deodorant, and toothbrush/toothpaste in your carry on. If you are traveling with a friend each of you should pack an outfit in the others luggage!

-Passport: Make multiple copies of your passport and visa's. Most times if you do this you won't ever need to take your passport out once you reach your destination.

-Money: Travel with insurance and use a prepaid card rather than your most used credit or debit card if you feel comfortable.


-TripIt: (FREE) app that helps you track all your travel itineraries including flight/hotel/ and activity confirmations

-Camera+: (0.99) ultimate app for folks like me who can't afford a DSLR yet. It enhances your original camera app by allowing you greater editing features, clarity, and more.

-Postagram:(FREE and can be downloaded on Androids) allows you to use photos in your photo gallery, instagram, or Facebook to send physical postcards to family and friends for 0.99 cents each.

-WhatsAppMessenger: (0.99) the best way to communicate when's texting for free! Send sms, images, etc. with other users.

Lastly, remember travelista's "If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness,selfishness,and fears"- Glenn Clark

These tricks and tips should help you on your next you have any tricks or tips for travelista's on the go? What are your travel secrets? 

Monday, October 8, 2012

PR First Impressions: El San Juan Resort and Casino

As you all know my mother and I went on a vacay to San Juan, Puerto Rico to celebrate her 40th birthday. #40andFabulous There's so much to tell you all but I'll start with my first impressions, and what usually creates your first impression on any vacation or trip?Your hotel and it's staff!

Long story short I LOVED our hotel .... El San Juan Resort and Casino. I was greeted by friendly smiles from everyone which immediately made me feel like I made the right choice. Nestled in the Isla Verde district we stayed in one of the city's most popular resorts. Known for it's bustling nightlife scene of gaming and dancing we were clearly in the right place for a good time. Oh but that's not all. There are also 2 salons, 2 night clubs, and 10 different restaurants, lounges,cafes, and even a sports bar. Let's not forget the casino! Momma came up on the black jack table lol. Can you say poppin?!

I can't help but sharing three photo's of my favorite part of the resort....the pool and beach!!!The hotel had three pools on the premises. The main pool has a swim up bar for guests to get wet and wavy! lol Which meant Mommy and I were bouncing around in the pool with mango mojitos heyyyy!!! The sprawling white sands of the Isla Verde beach were right outside our room which made lounging in the sun all the more convenient (although we only made it there one day). Both the pool and the beach are so beautiful and relaxing that you could spend not one but two days playing in both!

We spent most of our time out of the room ( which you will read about in later post) but the room was a simple modern design that left us with tons of closet space and comfort. In my opinion it was the average accommodation nothing over the top but just enough to keep me in the bed for a late wake up lol.

One of the greatest things about the hotel was the location! Under 10 minutes from the airport and Old San Juan. It was good to feel like we were central enough to walk around the streets and find a Walgreen's yet secluded enough to escape to peace and relaxation when we needed it.

All of this came for a little over $100 per night which is a steal in my opinion. I'm usually a budget traveler but it's good to treat yourself to a little luxury sometimes....especially when you call yourself treating your Momma  ;-)

What are your hotel preferences? Do you like to be in the action or in a secluded environment? Share your thoughts! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Packing for Long Weekend Trips: Puerto Rico/Beach Edition

It was the night before leaving for PR and I realized I don’t have anything new to wear for my trip, so like most people I went shopping in the closet. I wanted to pack light but still have some style. My packing inspiration comes from ‘s Mexico Travel Outfit. I figured what can work for Mexico could work for Puerto Rico.

 So according to this packing list you should only pack 10 things:

-Jean shirt
-Tank blouse
-Striped t-shirt
-Black pants
-Orange maxi skirt
-Jean shorts

This is what my packing looked like with the travel fashion girls suggestions with my own twist ….I think I did pretty good only 11 items ;-)

 ü  Jean shirt
 ü  Tank blouse: white/grey tank
 ü  Scarf
 ü  Sandals
 ü  Earrings ( pearls are my everyday earrings)

BGBW Additions

-High waist shorts: A good way to spice up the jean short option

-Day dress: I believe that every trip needs a day dress, they are so simple and cute!

-High wedge pumps: Duh! You never know when the music will call your name and you will end up partying the night away lol!           

-Mustard blouse:Good for dressing up or down. You can pair it with the black skirt to go out to the club or the navy maxi to go to the beach.

-Black skirt: Another dress up or down piece that can be paired with the mustard blouse or with a tank or t-shirt.

Here’s a few photo’s to show you how I put it all together. I consider myself to have a classic style so if you’re looking for fanciness I can’t help lol!

I hope this helps for your next trip to the beach. Do you have any suggestions on ways to pack light for a trip?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An Evening at the Embassy of Costa Rica

Greetings All! In case you didn't read my 12 things to do before the end of 2012 post I have been dying to get to a DC Embassy event.Considering I have no fancy international friends I had to go the commoner route and buy a ticket lol. So here's my review on the event titled " Evening at the Embassy of Costa Rica".  This is what the night entailed....

Costa Rican Salsa Demonstration, Lessons and Dancing 

The salsa demonstration was entertaining and a great way to warm the party up. What started out as a stiff crowd turned into a pretty good party after a few rounds with the lively instructor!

Diplomatic Greeting

 I missed this part and I'm not sure if the greeting was from the current Ambassador Anne Andrew but let's just say if it did happen it was great lol.

Costa Rican Artist and Film 

Now this time it wasn't just that I missed it there was no artist and no film. I checked with many of the attendees and confirmed that this did not happen. I was actually looking forward to them both to learn more about the country and it's history. So much for that. 

Costa Rican Sampler Buffet 

My favorite part of any event is usually the food!!! This event was no different! Everything was delicioso! The buffet included the following:

Pollo de Santa
Grilled Chicken Breast Marinated in Coconut Milk 
Gallo Pinto
Black Beans and Rice
Picadillo de Plantano Verde
Tangy Platains
Hearts of Palm Salad
Costa Rican Corn Muffins
Tres Leches Cake

Overall Impression

While I was dying to get to an Embassy event, and this one was definitely a lovely event, it was not worth the $49.00 that was spent on a ticket. I invested in the experience because I knew I wouldn't be able to move on without trying it out at least once but now that I have I don't think I would pay for another Embassy event. The food was the best part and I only got one plate of it and the salsa lessons were only for about 20 minutes of the 2 hour event so that left most of the time to get a drink and have mindless chatter. I did get to meet two cool people but no one that I would keep in touch with. Despite my overall impression I would recommend that everyone try to get invited to one of these Embassy events though lol!  They are great ways to have a cultural outing that make you feel like you took a mini vacay because once your inside you are technically on the country's yes I went to Costa Rica last week lol! 

Have you ever been to an Embassy event? If so what are your impressions?

P.S. I'm off to Puerto Rico in 2 days so check back to read all about my Mommy and Me adventures in San Juan!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Review: Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water For Chocolate has been a classic for decades now however if you have yet to read this book or waiting to get around to it (like I was) GO READ IT NOW! If you want to jump right to it go watch the 1992 movie rendition! 

Like Water For Chocolate is a tale of magical realism. Set against the backdrop of the most important modernizing force in Mexican history, the Mexican Revolution of 1910-17,the book follows the life of Tita De La Garza. Born the youngest of three sisters her destiny from birth was to take care of her mother until she died which ruled out all opportunities for love, marriage, and a family of her own. The story surrounds the forbidden love of Tita and her one true love Pedro who marries Tita’s sister Rosaura at the request of Tita’s aging widowed mother. Pedro only agrees to be closer to Tita which only makes matters all the more tense on the De La Garza ranch. The book is divided into twelve chapters for each month. Each chapter is introduced with a recipe of Tita’s as cooking was the only way she knew how to express her emotions. The recipes are so central to the plot of the story because each one tells a part of the story and each recipe will have you craving Mexican with its intense detail to flavor!  

Why do I love this book?

Because it’s SPICY!!! The title itself describes anger and passion.  “como agua para chocolate”. In Mexico, hot chocolate is made with water, not milk. Water is boiled and chunks of chocolate or chocolate tablets are dropped in to melt. The saying "like water for chocolate," means to be hot like the water is hot enough to receive the chocolate. It means to be at a boiling point and is a metaphor for describing a state of anger, passion or sexual arousal.

There is so much sensuality throughout the entire story, between the love, war, and food everything is sizzling! This is a tale for anyone who has had issues with their mother, anyone who has questioned traditions, and anyone who dreams of true love. This book captivates the reader so much so that you will find yourself crying with Tita as Pedro marries her sister and smiling with Tita as she makes her favorite Christmas rolls. 

Have you read this book before or watched the movie? What are your thoughts? Do you have any favorite travel reads or movies? 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Safety Tips for Women Traveling in India

Don't get caught slippin!

Traveling alone might seem like a fun thing to do, but for some women it can also be stressful. Packing your bags and scooting off to strange new lands can seem to be an impossible task, but any girl can do it with a few tips here and there! As a destination, India can pose problems for female travelers, but offenses rarely happen. That said, don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from venturing on an empowering trip to Bombay, New Delhi, or any other destination in India with these tips.

First of all, India is a place of extremes. There are a lot of beautiful places to see, exciting dishes to try, Bollywood movies to watch, but you’ll also find barren lands, heavy traffic, filthy streets, and poor citizens who barely scrape by. You may be surprised, Bollywood films show women dancing with seductive costumes and yet when you actually visit everyone seems covered with social conservatism, something that a lone female traveler should take note of before packing her bags. In the west women are almost always free to wear what they want, but in India even if it’s sizzling hot you have to be careful so as to not attract trouble.

Wardrobe Choice

Upon arrival at the airport, you may see a lot of women like you, often traveling in groups or with companions. Some arrive through prearranged tours, and come prepared by dressing and behaving in a way that’s respectful to Indians. Shorts, skirts above the knees, tank tops, low cut, and tight fitting shirts are discouraged, unless you want to attract denigration from women or piercing stares (or worse) from men. And if you’re fair or showing a lot of skin, you might attract men who might actually be bold enough to pinch your skin or touch you. India is a place where tradition is still very much adhered to, so it’s important to be aware. You’ll attract the attention of thieves and other ill doers with your foreign looks alone, but you can immerse yourself with the local culture by purchasing loose-fitting pants known as Salwars and loose-fitting blouses called Kameez. Locals will even advise you to wear saris and dress properly so that you won’t look like you just got off the plane. At the airport, don’t ever let a stranger carry your baggage. In the blink of an eye everything you need for the rest of your trip may be carried away.

Dealing with the Public

When walking in public friendliness may be misconstrued as personal and flirtatious, so avoid initiating conversations. Even something as simple as eye contact may be interpreted as an invitation. If the inevitable happens, never let them know you are traveling alone—pretend someone else is with you. When traveling by train, which by the way lets you explore the beautiful countryside, do not doze off or else you might just find a hand making its way to your blouse. You’ll have a greater degree of privacy by asking for the upper berth where there is less congestion, or a women’s only car.
Book your hotel ahead. You are already traveling alone so be sure that you don’t arrive without a hotel in mind. Never be alone with a man and that includes the hotel’s staff or bellhop. Your next concern will be protecting your personal belongings. When traveling, keep your bags together by securing them with a cable lock, and use bags such as leg pouches, backpacks, and bags with a belt loop.

Avoid Being Overcharged

The most common problems women travelers experience are with servicers. Hotel desk clerks, tour operators, and taxi drivers tend to overcharge tourists. As in most destinations, if you’re foreign-looking you’ll most likely encounter situations wherein locals will try to overcharge. The same is true in India, where culture suggests the assumption that foreigners are likely to be richer than average citizens. And since foreigners make an easy target for scams, because of their lack of awareness, it’s best to research beforehand about the cost of a service before setting a price. To avoid taxi scams, choose pre-paid taxis where you purchase receipts or tickets at a prepaid booth. Wait until the taxi driver delivers you to your destination, and then hand over your ticket. Don’t give the driver additional payment apart from the prepaid slip no matter what he might say.
When shopping for souvenirs or local goods, pretend you don’t have much interest. The higher your level of interest the higher their price. Always bargain, and if they won’t give you the price you want then there are plenty of other shops that could offer a better bargain. Remember there’s no fixed price for most souvenirs.
Keep in mind that incidents are rare, and anyone traveling alone should be alert at all times. Learn how to say “no”, no one should coerce you in to doing something you’re not sure of.  That said, nothing compares to that liberating feeling after exploring a place on your own, the streets of India included. If you’re careful, you’ll have a fantastic vacation ahead.

Although these tips are specific to India many of them are applicable to women travelling ANYWHERE!

I hope this post gave you some things to think about before your next take off to India! This is a guest post from Check them out for for travel tips and hotel deals! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

12 Things I MUST do before the end of 2012

Summer is leaving us and Fall is approaching and before you know it 2013 will be here! I feel like it was just January and I was writing down all the things I wanted to accomplish this year. I cannot believe that I'm already pass the 6 month mark! WAIT 2012 COME BACK!! Well people it's not coming back so it's time to dust off your goal chart, wish list, or whatever else you made for this year and get going! Since I'm way behind I decided that I would commit to 12 things to do before the end of 2012 #12in2012. I may not get them all done and I may switch them out with other things but the point is I WILL make 2012 a great year!    

      1. Visit A Vineyard/Winery
I’m trying to become a big girl and step it up. The only wine I can truly judge is sangria. I’m that girl who asks for the “sweet one” lol. A visit to a vineyard/winery will probably not change that because I'm such a light weight but I at least want to try to expand my palette. You never know I may discover a new favorite.

2. Officially Join a Church

3.  Explore the U.S.
Have you ever been asked “if you could travel the world where would you go?” and find yourself listing destinations with none of them being in your home country?  I do this ALL THE TIME!  How sad. When I go abroad I meet so many people that speak about how much they want to explore in the U.S. from New York to Texas to California.  There is so much diversity in our own land and we need to do better at playing in our own back yards, being residential tourists. Did you know Colorado has natural hot springs tucked in between the mountains? An Indian told me all about it and that’s when I decided….I’m there!

Tikal pyramids in Guatemala

4. Book at least one international trip for 2013 
Clearly because I have the travel bug junkie itch and it needs to be remedied.

5. Go to one Embassy event
D.C. is known for being a global melting pot of cultures. It’s one of the reasons I love this city so much. So I thought that I should take advantage of the many adventures right around me. I recently learned that embassies have events regularly and while they are somewhat pricey ($50 average) they are great ways to learn about a country. They usually include an authentic meal, movie, and some type of live performance or art showcased from a native artist. I'm signing up for the Embassy of Costa Rica. I joined a DC Meetup group for young professionals in international development but there are tons to join for travel or international interest.

6. Get better at Spanish
I’ve been learning the language since 7th grade and I’m still not fluent….I simply need to do better lol.

 7. Splurge on Food
I love food but I realized that when I budget I always get stingy when it's time to calculate meals.I’ve started using a website/app called Savored that gives you 30% off your bill at a restaurant. Their selection of restaurants and bars are 4-5 star so it’s a super deal! However sometimes it's worth it to just spend the money, I’m interested to see how true this really is!

8.  Learn to Cook Mac and Cheese
#catchamankeepaman enough said

9. See Broadway Musical
It’s Broadway week September 4-16! 2 for 1 tickets!  I plan to cash in!

10. Host a learning event for other students looking to pursue travel after graduation
So often my Spelman sisters reach out to me with questions about travel and fellowships and life after college. I would really like to find a more efficient way to answer all these questions, especially because they are usually the same. I’m thinking a live webinar or chat would be the best option with either Ustream or Youtube but I’m open to ideas!

11. Go to music performance at Kennedy center for free!

12. Get a Library Card
I LOVE READING! When I was growing up reading was my first introduction to traveling . While packing my bags from my 10 months in India I realized I had a whole suitcase with nothing but books! Since I can admit that I have an addiction I decided that rather than buying all these books I needed to get a library card so that I can not only save money but space!

*Create a brand for myself that allows me to pursue my passion while getting paid. 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Top 5 Travel pet peeves.... In A travel buddy...

It's finally here!! The Traveling Brown Girls Blog Carnival! I'm so excited to participate and the first topic of the carnival is "Travel Etiquette: My Top 5 Travel Pet Peeves". So here are my top 5 in a travel buddy.

 1.    Doesn't want to stray from the guidebook

If you’re the adventurous type like me then you like to stumble upon a quaint cafe or bookstore and you probably don't make your entire itinerary based on your guidebook. It's a pet peeve of mine when I suggest something like walking around a neighborhood and my travel partner responds with" that's not in the book".

2. Passes judgment on the experience within the first day

As we all know first impressions are important but I do not agree that they have to be your last impression. It's a pet peeve of mine when a trip starts off rocky with a lost taxi ride from the airport or, slow check in at a hotel, or a nasty attitude having waiter and my travel partner decides that the country, city, or town sucks! I believe that everyone and everything deserves a fair chance to redeem itself. So the next time you experience one of these... Take a second and decide to have a fresh start and then if it still seems to be nightmare, RUN!

3. Can’t go with the flow and be flexible

 Time and time again I have traveled with one plan and ended up with a whole new one. Once I went to Morocco during Thanksgiving and the whole city of Marrakesh was shut down... I learned this from the male flight attendant who invited me to his family's farm. Now when you first hear this you think... “Hell naw I'm not spending my thanksgiving on a random man’s farm” but once you wake up and realize literally no one is in the city you get in  a bootleg taxi and be happy with slaughtering that goat on that random flight attendants farm. It was a crazy experience but had I not gone with the flow my friends and I would have never experienced this Muslim holiday celebration that we will never forget.

4.  Comes broke!

This is my #1 travel pet peeve. BYE GIRL if you are that girlfriend who thinks everything is too expensive and keeps saying “back at home that would cost..." Travel doesn't have to be expensive but it's not fair to come on a trip broke and make everyone conscious of every dollar they spend. If you are on a budget make that clear in advance and be ok with tapping yourself out when your travel friends ball out or do things that you'd rather not spend your money on.

5.  Doesn't communicate

It's so important to discuss your expectations before traveling with someone. All parties should discuss their must do's as well as their budgets. I've found this to be so helpful when trip planning. My friends all list what we want to do and evaluate our interest and where they differ to know how we should plan our time together and separately.

We all have our moments when we can be annoyed, frustrated, or upset about something during travel however we must remember that when we are with others the journey is a team effort! In my opinion that's the beauty in traveling with someone. You don't have to deal with it all by yourself. So next time your planning a trip with a friend think back to my pet peeves and make sure you don' fall into one of these categories as the pet peeve travel buddy :-)

Don't let this....

Turn into this

Follow me @blkgrilbigworld

Friday, August 10, 2012


As you all know Girls Going Global is up and running!!!! We finished our first weekend in Latin America and this weekend we will explore the continent of Africa! More than anything I want these girls to one day go abroad and actually see the places that we learn about but what's the first step? PASSPORT!

 Not one of the girls I work with have a passport....NOT ONE! I want to change that so I am selling BLACK GIRLS TRAVEL T-SHIRTS for a MIN. DONATION OF $20! Feel free to give more as one passport is $105. ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TOWARDS A GIRLS PASSPORT. Below is an example of the t-shirt. Place your order today! Last day to submit a pre-order is August 20th! Email me at or click on the link below! 

Any and all support is appreciated!!! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Indian Jams I can't get out my head

Lately I've found myself in the shower, office, and streets humming Indian tunes and then breaking out into full on Bollywood dance scenes with hip thrusts and intense facial expressions. Of course every time I do this people look at me like I'm crazy and judge my life! So here I am sharing my favorite tunes from India with all of you because I will continue to sing them and you should join!

1. Kolaveri is an international party starter.....The U.S. is not up on it yet but I promise you that when this song starts people GO CRAZY! I think it's because of his hip hop swag lol.

2. If you want to still hear a hip hop/pop beat but know something from a Bollywood movie Teri Meri ( You and Me) is the jammmm....this was the very first song I learned and sang for all the auto drivers.

3. Sheila is the Indian Beyonce!!!!! EVERY MAN LOVES SHEILA AND EVERY GIRL WANTS TO BE SHEILA! I love her especially because she does belly dance and the chickenhead all in one 8 count lol! Jam with me people. I even included the lyrics for you to learn and understand what she's saying ;-)

4. And lastly if you want to go full have to know Munni!!!! She's also an Indian favorite. I learned this song on my 15 day train journey with 500 bunk mates said I had to learn all the words and now they call me Munni lol.

 I hope this short list has helped expand your musical selections lol. Some are very old but I promise you that if an Indian hears you singing ANY of these songs you will become their best friend...I almost became some one's wife lol. Hope you enjoyed!

Don't forget follow me @blkgirlbigworld

Friday, July 13, 2012

What's the 411?!?

For all that may be wondering what the heck I've been doing since I got back from India I figured I should give you an update. So the deal is I left my program in India early to accept a great opportunity at the founding social enterpise organization in Washington, D.C. Yes, I'm still trying to save the world and make money at the same time lol.

The real 411 is that I'm finally taking a risk and pursuing my dream to empower girls through travel. In 21 days, 18 hours, 44 minutes, and 15,no 14 seconds Girls Going Global will launch in Philadelphia!!! Yes, I do have a countdown on my phone because that's how crunk I am! s/o to the T-Zero app :-)

Girls Going Global is a global engagement program that will expose inner city girls to the different cultures of the world through experiences in their city (God willing we will be actually going abroad by year 3). We will dance our way through Latin America and Africa with salsa  and African dance class, eat our way through Asia with sushi making, and strut through Europe with our very own runway fashion show! I'm so excited and I can't wait to share updates on all our fun so stayed tuned!

For updates follow me @BlackGirlBigWorld  

Friday, July 6, 2012

It has been almost four months since I left my family in India and it's been surprisingly easy to adjust back to life as an American. Before leaving I wondered how my return would be? Would I be overly grateful for everything I have? Would a new patience emerge from my spirit? Would I take all the chaos of India and bring it back to D.C?
So imagine my shock when I jumped in the car from the airport, went one mile towards home, and all of sudden felt like I had only been gone for 6-8 hours when I was indeed gone for 9.5 months! I felt like life in India was a dream and I had finally woken up. It's been 4 months and I still can't properly describe how normal everything felt within the first hour of being back home.
I appreciate India for all that it taught me about myself. Despite the challenges, because of my neighbors/family  the Tivoli's ( above)  I can say that my Indian experience was a gratifying one. No matter how bad my day was I could always count on one of them to make me smile or put things in perspective. The Tivoli's were a family that lived below the apartment complex. Mr. Tivoli was the buildings watchman who was in charge of any and everything that happened within the building. The floor you see in the picture is where he and his wife slept at night outside. The children had some small living quaters in the back that I never got to see. My greatest memories with the Tivoli's were Sunday dinners ( chicken curry amazing!!!), Mommy walking in my apartment to check on me (no she didn't knock just walked through the front door lol) ,movie night with the girls featuring Beauty and the Beast on youtube, and the unforgettable night that Mr. Tivoli and Sunderi ( girl to the right of me) fetched 2 buckets of water for me!
With all my memories what will always remain with me is the look on their faces once the lost in translation moment revealed that I was leaving Hyderabad for good. They were so upset that we didn't have a party before my departure. Looking back on it I wish we would have because I allowed my frustration with everyone else to keep me from enjoying my last moments with the people I grew to love. At 4:30am when my taxi got to the front gate Mommy got up from her bed ( the floor outside), walked me to the gate, grabbed my face and began shrieking with tears. It broke my heart to let her go and leave them behind. They will forever have a special place in my heart. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Days as an MBA student: Indian School of Business

Before coming to India I told myself I wanted to get the most out of this experience both professionally and personally. Thus far I think I'm learning a lot about myself and how I interact with other people, but for a while I was struggling with ways to maximize my professional development. An MBA is in my 5 year plan so I thought what better way to challenge myself, gain knowledge that can be used in social enterprise, and get a feel for an MBA experience than taking a class!

The Indian School of Business (ISB) is one of the top business schools in the world. Luckily for me it is in Hyderabad so I talked my way into a Marketing Communications Strategy course. I thought I may enjoy this because a part of me missed being a student and after my first class I did but it didn't take long for the time and expenses that come along with school before I was over it. The campus is about 30mins- 1 hour from my side of town which equals either 2 hours commute on buses or paying 300-400 rupees for an auto round trip. Now I'm not ballin over here but I am my mother’s child and we operate on convenience so auto it was. This of course meant that my budget became really tight really quickly which I have always felt was for the birds. *Financial independence is invaluable.*

ISB reminded me of my beloved Spelman from the first day. When you first reach the campus your are stopped at the gate, and security does not play just like public safety at Spelman. Explain yo self! Once you get past you have to walk about 1km up a road of palm trees and then like a Disney movie AHHHH...the school emerges as a castle. Or at least that's how I felt. ISB in my opinion is separate from Hyderabad. The campus is spotless and there are bathrooms with western toilets and...TISSUE!

What really tripped me out were the students! All I can say is " o you fancy huh" * swizz voice* The first thing I noticed were legs. Bare legs. Girls showing they’re bare legs! In case you don't understand why this is a big deal, Hyderabadi women are always covered; arms, necks sometimes, but especially legs, so to see an Indian girl in a skirt blew me away! They were just all too cute. I felt like a bum in my flip flops that fell apart as I walked on campus, my sweaty kurta, and muddy pants. #loosing

What I like most about my ISB experience was the happiness it brought me. No matter how my Monday or Wednesday began it always ended with me happy as I left the campus. I think the happiness came from my change of environment. Working at my school and being around my cohort is cool but I needed some time to shake things up, be around different people, and do something for me.

I still don't know if I did well in the class but it was definitely worth it! Now I'm just debating on doing it again.

p.s. don't forget to donate