Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My New Sister

We are so lucky this week to have Priya Gokhale staying with us. She is an architect from India, who is in the states on a Rotary business exchange program. In her mid 30's Priya is very accomplished.

Even though Priya is the age of my youngest child, I feel like I have the sister this week that I've never had.

Here are some tidbits of what I've found out from Priya:

Priya's generation of women are both traditional and modern. They have careers and they also value family and home. Priya chose her field, because while she loved art, she knew that she could not make money being an artist. She also considered engineering, but wanted a job with more people contact. With architecture she could work from her home in a creative medium and she would also have contact with her clients. Priya shared that the next generation of Indian women are not so traditional, that they will sometimes let business take priority over family.

Priya also is the editor of a glossy, four color architectural design magazine that is published every other month. She interviews architects in order to feature them and their projects in the publication. What I found really interesting was that it is published in English. She said that in India, business is conducted in English.

Last night at dinner, Priya shared that women do not serve in restaurants in India. While they do staff hospital emergency rooms, for some reason they have not made an entry in the food service industry. She is not sure why and also is sure that it will change in the next several years. Priya said that what has changed in India is that they now value all work, that no work is beneath another type of work. She thinks that in the states we are ahead in that area.

Her view of the United States before she came, has of course come from movies. She said that is was a positive picture, but it is different in so many ways than the movies. Not a surprise!

Yesterday, I asked David Munger, co-owner of Munger and Munger, to meet with us at the Perrysburg library. David is the architect who worked on the successful expansion of this library about 7 or 8 years ago and he is also the president of the library board. As president he also serves on the foundation board, of which I am a member. David gave us the tour of the library and the explanation of the expansion along with other tidbits about the building. Priya loved this experience, and I've got to tell you that I did too. I really didn't know David that well or had I viewed the library in such a detailed way. It all goes back to making personal introductions. People ask why I take the time to do those and I share that I always learn and develop my relationship with both people that much more.

When was the last time you learned something new about someone you thought you knew really well?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Debby, this is your sister from India. I saw all the wonderful photographs that you have sent me, and I could not resist reading the blog again. Thanks for considering me your sister- it is such an honour for me. Bye - see ya...Priya