Thursday, December 8, 2011

Re-Entry: An Ending and Beginning

I recently returned home. It feels so good to be reunited with my family after three months apart. I missed them so much since they left India. I was greeted at the Omaha airport with my girls holding hand-made signs that said “Welcome Home Dada!!!” and showing a map of India, a plane flying over an ocean toward North America with a drawing of two girls and beautiful woman awaiting that plane. Sure enough, my daughters came running down the corridor and bowled me over with hugs and kisses followed by a nice one from my wife.

Coming back has been wonderful… and difficult. Like any experience of significant adventures and inevitable life-changes, it is hard to come back to a place where few people know about, and fewer still truly understand, what you have been through. Thankfully, my family was with me for the first two months of that adventure, so they (mostly) get it.

We had a great vacation to Los Angeles to visit my wife’s family for Thanksgiving. That was a warm respite – highlights being visiting LEGOLand with the kids and their cousins, Thanksgiving dinner with everyone gathered, and especially spending time with Aviva’s 95-year old grandmother who is still going strong – before the snowy winter weather set in here in Nebraska. All these blessings remind me that there is so much to give thanks for this year!

Sharing India Insights
I am keynote speaker at events such as the World Affairs Council 40th Anniversary Dinner, B’nai B’rith Breadbreakers, and the Fremont Area Community Foundation’s Annual Dinner ( I welcome more of those opportunities in the coming months. Sharing my photos and stories is always fun. And the goals of the Fulbright program are not only to represent the USA when scholars, practitioners and artists go abroad, but also to bring the learnings from those other countries back home to the USA.

Some of the ways I have packaged those insights include:
  • ·         Understanding Water Conflicts and How to Resolve Them
  • ·         Community Foundations Worldwide
  • ·         Gandhi’s Trusteeship and The Omaha Way
  • ·         What We Can Learn from India’s Social Entrepreneurs
  • ·         Judaism in a Democratic India
  • ·         Does India’s Rise Mean America’s Fall?

I look forward to sharing my India insights in many other forums and formats as appropriate to the audiences’ interest. And I hope to leverage some of those presentations in order to open up doors for consulting and teaching gigs.

The Last Week in India
My last week in India was a crescendo of activity. I hung out with fellow Fulbrighters, attended a concert of the Sufi Gospel Project, went to tea with my landlord and landlady, and said goodbye to my colleagues at Sampradaan Indian Centre for Philanthropy. I guest lectured on “Conflict Management” to MBA students at Raffles University and on “Sustainable Development and Philanthropy” to Masters of Sustainable Development students at TERI University.

I also had the pleasure of hosting my great friend Krish Raval. I met Krish in Caux, Switzerland in 1996 when I was a Caux Scholar ( Krish now serves on the board of Initiatives of Change with me. He is of Indian origin, born in Ethiopia and raised in the U.K. He founded an organization called Faith in Leadership and is an international expert and executive coach on leadership issues.

Krish and I co-presented a workshop at Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), one of the leading graduate universities of management in India. With little preparation, we skillfully wove together leadership, conflict resolution and philanthropy themes in our presentation. We hope to return to India to teach and consult in the future. Besides the wonderful synchronicity that Krish and I had when guest lecturing, it was just wonderful to have an “old” friend with me as I ended my amazing adventure in India.

Next Steps
I am excited about how this next chapter is evolving. In it, my hope is to find a mix of activities that play to my strengths: consulting, teaching, research and writing.

After a vacation to visit my family in Portland, I will begin teaching a new course at University of Nebraska at Omaha called, “The International Politics of Donors, Development and Disputes.” This picks up on the three themes of my Fulbright – donors or philanthropy; development, especially social entrepreneurs or grass-roots community change efforts as opposed to top-down projects such as the World Bank or USAID funds; and, disputes, in particular water conflicts – and will be a great way to process so much of what’s been on my mind.

In addition to the organizational strategy consulting that I have done for the past 20 years with businesses, nonprofits and government, I am also launching a new consulting firm focused on congregational conflict resolution. This will be a partnership with Rabbi Jonathan Gross. We are excited about this venture. Do you know of any churches, synagogues, mosques or faith-based organizations and federations that could use coaching, workshops, trainings or mediation services?  

Thank you for following my blog. Whether you have read one or all of the entries posted here, you have shared my journey. I appreciate you being a fellow traveler!

I would like to hear of your adventures. Please email or call 402-561-0236.

Peace to you and all you come into contact with on your continuing journeys….



    Sun Aug 03 9:00 AM → RSVP 6 going 0 comments

    $11.00 per person

    gosthani fresh water River,T nagar Palem oppsotise Avanthi college
    OPPosite to Avanthi college,Near Tagarapuvalasa, Visakhapatnam (map)


    Banana Boat­imb....Ride ONLY 500 INR PER PERSON Children 12 and under 400 INR Zoom across the waters for 45 minutes of the Gosthani... Learn more...
    scuba diving in india,scuba diving in Andhrapradesh and telangana,scuba diving,PADI COURSES in visakhapatnam and hyderabad,para sail in visakhapatnam and hyderabad, Banana boat, adventure sports,

    Hosted by: balaram (Organizer)

    “This is a group for anyone interested in Scuba diving,Diving trips,speed boat rides,game fishing,shooting,skydive trips,paragliding,para sail,hiking, rock climbing, camping, kayaking, bouldering,etc. All skill levels are welcome.Started this group to meet and give maximum experience of Adventures.Looking forward to exploring every outdoor Activity with everybody.”
    Balaram Naidu - 9703784560

  2. PARA SAIL--- MEETUP --- Visakhapatnam
    Saturday, December 13, 2014
    1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
    Sagar Nagar
    near Bay leaf, Visakhapatnam (edit map)

    Parasailing, where a person is towed behind a vehicle.while attached to a specially designed canopy wing that reminds one of a parachute, known as a parasail wing. The manned kite's moving anchor may be a car, truck.The harness attaches the pilot to the parasail, which is connected to the boat, or land vehicle, by the tow rope. The vehicle then drives off, carrying the parascender (or wing) and person into the air. If the boat is powerful enough, two or three people can parasail behind it at the same time. The parascender has little or no control over the parachute. The activity is primarily a fun ride, not to be confused with the sport of paragliding.
    Balaram Naidu

  3. India Tour Voyages Taj mahal – magic of white marble
    Taj mahal was made by mughal emperor Shah jahan memory of his loving wife Mumtaz mahal. It is very beautiful its called the jewel of muslim art in india and one of the universally admired master pieces of the world's heritage it is on the bank of river Yamuna at Agra in India. It is a large, white marble structure standing on a square shape and consists of a symmetrical building Construction of the Taj mahai was essentially completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years. The Taj Mahal is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which in 2015 would be approximately 52.8 billion rupees (US$827 million). The construction project employed some 20,000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by the court architect to the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.
    Overnight Taj Mahal Tour It is really wonders of the world.
    Contact Person :- Suman

  4. Hi,

    Welcome to India Tour Voyages!!!

    Same Day Agra Tour

    Agra is a historical city It is situated at the bank of river Yamuna. Yamuna is Holy River it is Stable by Sikandra Lodi. Agra is capital city of mugal emperor Akbar. Agra has many beautiful building like Sikandra, Red fort and symbol of love Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal made of white Marble. Please come in Agra we are grateful if we part our memorial journey we provide comfortable tour package.

    More packages:-
    Same Day Agra Tour by Train
    Delhi Agra Ranthambore Delhi Tour Package
    Golden Triangle Tours Package India
    Overnight Jaipur Tour by Car
    Taj Mahal Tour by Car