I have known Jennifer through emails and Facebook. We haven't even had a conversation yet. However, I sometimes marvel at the fact that how she balances or I should blends, this cultural cocktail beautifully. I think she achieved this balance in life (as her friend Dori was talking about her) because she accepts every person, culture and country as they are rather than to find similarities or differences, like most of us do at some point of life. I have recommended a number of her articles to my student friends from Asia and other non-English speaking countries.
I have been a mentor on a diversity campus and I worked as a Resident adviser and have seen students really losing heart over the initial culture shock and most of them feel it’s only them. Having a culture coach is a fine idea, somehow not very common in Connecticut (where I studied).
Jennifer, the first time I checked out your pictures, I felt she's more Indian than I am. After all, being Indian is not just being born there, it's how much of the culture and color we have in our life. It's very difficult to accept things as they are as I said about the balance you maintain. I should say this, living my whole life in Gujarat, I never was ready to settle in Kerala. Why? Because I just couldn't deal with the pace of life. I love Kerala, I love a vacation there, but that’s it. And, I see how without a smug you adapting to that life (one can say Kochi is a super metro and things, but life sure is world apart than Rochester). But having known you have worked as social worker in Chennai slums, you will do just great in life wherever you are. Because I haven't met Jennifer ever face to face, I imagine her like this... soft voice, warm smile, semi blonde hair.. lots of colors (a yellow salwar on a white woman with flowers in her hair... I would surely say colorful), patience, peaceful, humble, grounded and specs ( with all the reading and writing you do).
I actually regret having not being able to meet you once.