Friday, September 23, 2011

Hard work, great life

This busy Travelife day began and ended quite happily. Mid-afternoon, I returned home to change into my nth saree for this week, for my nth Sri Lanka event, and then I headed to the Peninsula Manila just before the cocktail hour to first meet with my old friends at the hotel and iron out the details for our upcoming AIESEC Alumni Asia Pacific Congress 2011 opening night and alumni reunion next month.

The party is going to be a wonderful reunion of old AIESEC friends from everywhere, and a night of great music -- including performances from AIESEC musical greats. When I learned about all these musical numbers and also about the music from the 80s being planned, I felt this party just had to be at the Conservatory of the Peninsula Manila. So this afternoon, I sat in the lobby with my old friends at the Pen and finalized the plans.

Everything is turning out very nicely, and I'm really looking forward to going back in time to the happy times of college and AIESEC, even just for one or two nights.


"Why are you working so hard on this?" My friend Steph asked. It's very simple, really. AIESEC gave me so much and the lessons learned, experiences undergone and friendships made via my years in AIESEC proved invaluable in the real world. And thinking about it now, perhaps the most valuable lessons I learned were time/ task management and the maximization of resources. These two skills have been crucial to running a business. And now there's so much to give back to the organization especially because I'd received so much from it.

From the Peninsula, I headed for the Dusit Thani Manila to emcee the second private dinner and cultural show organized by the embassy of Sri Lanka in cooperation with Travelife Magazine, in honor of their visiting deputy minister and to promote Sri Lankan culture. My entire team was there for the second night in a row, and again I really appreciated what an efficient and hardworking team we have at Travelife.

We just organized a very successful Travelife Italy Night two weeks ago; and this week we have Sri Lanka events three days in a row; the Sri Lanka events culminate tomorrow with Travelife Sri Lanka Night, a free public service event we've organized to bring the experience of travel and the beautiful culture of Sri Lanka to our readers and friends.


Thinking about these two sets of events, it's been a pretty tough few weeks, especially as this was combined with a 10-day trip to Malaysia for the entire editorial team and also the production of our upcoming October-November 2011 issue; but my team has been incredibly hardworking and efficient. I am so lucky. In fact, I left the Dusit Thani past 10 pm tonight, after the event, and my team was still in Dusit's ballroom finalizing the last details for our fantastic Travelife Sri Lanka Night tomorrow with the equally hardworking team of Picar Development Inc and the officials of the Sri Lankan embassy.

I left ahead because I knew I could leave the final details in their hands and everything would turn out fine tomorrow.


Anyway, tonight was the second private dinner organized by the embassy in cooperation with Travelife Magazine for about 250 people. After the cultural show, one society lady came up to me and said: "When you first described the culture of Sri Lanka earlier, I thought you were exaggerating. But it's true. The dances were mesmerizing. I'm converted! I want to go to Sri Lanka now."


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