So, i just returned from the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC) held in Washington D.C. and New York City a couple of days back and if I had to summarize my experience at GYLC in one word, it would be 'DIVERSE'.
I mean, you just name the country and you could find a student from there at the conference. It was Global in the absolute true sense of the word. You won't believe it but now I have friends from practically every sphere of the world (not counting the inhabitable south and north poles, i.e.... though I came close with friends from Russia, Canada and New Zealand). It was such an amazing amazing experience meeting students from across the world and participating as one group in such a fantastic setting and discussing global issues which concern each and every one of us.
But as much as the conference was fun, it was equally challenging as well. The day started at six in the morning and ended only at ten thirty in the night. Add to it the burden of being dressed in those uncomfortable hardcore professional suits and formal shoes and the highly packed schedule that we had to follow, it was demanding, modestly put. But just the thrill of representing your country in global summits, peace and security simulations and negotiating with other countries like a real diplomat proved to be an awesome experience.
Apart from taking part in all these events, we were also taken to some important VIP places like the Department of State where we got to meet the chief of staff of Condoleezza Rice herself... and the United Nations headquarters where i also got to see Ban Ki Moon face to face. :)
Apart from these, there were a host of other reasons as well which made me want to stay there forever and not think about home for fifteen days (much to my parents' displeasure)
1. We were staying in the Sheraton Hotel in Washington D.C. which was fantastic!
2. Sharing rooms with people from 2 different countries and telling them all about India, including some beautiful hindi words ;)
3. Being dressed as and being treated with the dignity of thorough professionals.
4. Visiting all sorts of museums and memorials in DC.
5. Seeing in person the big white residential facility in the capital which houses the most hated person in the world and spitting on its gates.
6. Getting a hawk eye's perspective of the Big Apple from the top of the Empire State Building.
7. Shopping at TIMES SQUARE, CHINA TOWN and ROCKEFELLER PLAZA.
8. ATTENDING AN ACTUAL BROADWAY SHOW.... FOR REAL !!!
The musical that we saw... it was hilarious! The best comedy that I have ever seen till date.
9. Getting to meet distinguished personalities like the Secretary of the IMF, chief of staff to the Secretary of State, Human Rights people from the UN, Ban Ki Moon himself, etc.
10. Last but not the least, the farewell dinner dance cruise on the Hudson river and the amazing view of manhattan at night from the deck!!!
I actually could have added much more to that list, but i think this pretty much gives the gist. Oh yeah, and also seeing the disgust on the faces of the Dutch after they lost to Russia in the quarters of the Euro 2008 and the absolute delight of the Germans after making it to the final... they do take their soccer rather seriously. Its a pity that the conference ended before the final. I would have loved to see their disappointed faces after getting their asses kicked by Spain. Viva la Espana !!!!
Naah... i love them anyways.
Smart Alec said: "What did Joachim Loew say in the press conference after being denied the Euro 2008 cup by the Spanish? Fernando Torres is such a S-pain in the ass!"