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Touchdown and Warmth @ Boise

Our GSE travel to RID 5400 has completed one hell of a week. Couldn’t have asked for more really. Great hosts, unbelievable camaraderie & new friendships, lotsa travelling, insightful vocational visits [espl. IT cos and universities/schools for me], a good dose of good dining and endearing fun activities. On the whole a fine blend of purposefulness and partying.

And where did it start all. @ Boise, on the 18th of April as we touched down via an Alaska / Horizon Air flight. The walk from the Aircraft to the Terminus sparked with that of Bhubaneshwar and, in a sense, set the tone of what to expect. As we stepped into the terminus we had the fully attired policewoman Shelli [Michelle] of the RID 5400’s GSE team to RID 3260 [i.e Orissa, Chattisgarh and parts of MP], greeting us in the security arena. A relief to have a familiar face in the uniform!!

As we trooped in to the lounge / public arena, there was a rousing welcome in store. The coronation with the cowboy hats sparked off the felicitations and clicks at the airport. All our hosts [Todd, Kiel & Gloria, Stan, Lindasue for day 1] and the DG Terry, the GSE co-ordinator Anna, Linda [the team leader of the visiting team to RID 3260] and other key cogs of the Rotary GSE programme were around. The list was warm and long, apologies for missing some names. [For more go to]

From there, we moved to have lunch and a drink. Terry quizzed the 5400 Rotarians about India tidbits and we were quizzed, amidst friendly bantering, on a variety of issues ranging from cricket and caste system.

The four days in Boise, passed off in the jiffy thanks to the long list of activities. Looking back we achieved a good deal. Visiting the Capitol of Idaho [equivalent of Indian States’ Legislative Assembly/Councils] and the Secretary of state, visiting the university and select professors, exchanging notes with IT entrepreneurs [Dave and Derek of Tsuvo] and School District IT head [Devan – who is awesomely passionately about his job, and is probably the most involved and effective IT head of an education set-up], visiting the museum and ofcourse taking lots of pictures.

The session with ‘Score’ [a small business facilitator] where I participated in the mentoring of a local start-up idea was both fun and useul. The meeting with Small Business Development Council demonstrated how government institutions can help small businesses to get vibrant; most importantly it demonstrated that facilitations of small businesses have a significant positive impact on economic growth and government cash flows.Thanks to Denise and Kevin, the vocational day was quite amazing.

Noteworthy were the 3 Rotary meetings I attended. Each one of them was different in its chemistry and camaraderie. The wonderful talk, during the Boise Downtown Rotary meeting, on the direction of Healthcare reforms in USA was extremely insightful and certainly gave ideas on the direction on how the Indian system can be moulded. It was a bonus that our presentations were appreciated by all. The dance routine of Dipti to the tune of Vande Mataram being the icing of the cake.

The welcome party at the Lojek’s [Don and Cec] was most enjoyable. We got to know and chatted with many local Rotarians. The bantering, the food and the drinks were a treat. It was nice of Linda and Melanie [members of RID 5400 team to RID 3260] to have driven down 250 miles to be part of the party. Also was good to meet Devan [whom I met later at his office]. [For more go to -]

My diary insert about Boise will be incomplete without mention of the Fischers. Todd, Karry [two collegemates, who are married for 20+ years now] and their daughter Hanna. I hit awesomely well. Todd, who was a very key member of Hewlett Packard’s R&D team for years, runs a company that specializes in embedded Linux.

He has a development center in Costa Rica. In addition to that he does almost everything else on earth – rides bicycle rides [160 miles at a stretch at times!!], doubles up as a mechanic in his a full fledged bike workshop that equips him in his long rides, brews beer, makes grape juice from vines of his courtyard, reads books, does yoga and above all spends time at helping out Karry [for household work] and Hanna [with homework]. I also went with him to Yoga sessions and played an unfinished game of chees – in short a great guy in all respects. Karry is the glue who makes all that possible – his better!! half.

Overall the first stop at Boise was as warm and fascinating the drive to McCall with Kiel and Gloria was; where we loved the photo opps with river and snow. Special thanks to Terry, Anna and Dave for making this GSE Boise visit not just a reality but a memorable one.

Nampa, Idaho
April 26, 2011


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