Wow. I’m back. I am most definitely in a different world. We arrived this morning to shining sun and the smells of wonderful cuisine emanating from the outdoor cafes by the train station. Never before has Lausanne felt so European to me. This is how I remember my time in bella Firenze.
Several of us seized the opportunity to head to Plage de Bellerive, the lake beach across the street from IMD, for swimming and beach volleyball. School must be out for the summer because there were myriad white teens around lying out in the sun and gabbing on cell phones—I can’t think of a starker contrast with where I was two days ago.
I’m so glad to be back. My shower is hot and has great water pressure. My tap water is clean. My toilet paper has aloe in it. I feel so safe and comfortable. But I’m not sure I can ever feel as comfortable as I did before our trip to Kenya. I have known that there are great challenges facing us as a society; increasing my ability to help address those challenges was a major reason I chose to attend IMD. Now I have seen some of those challenges first-hand and assigned faces to them, something I don’t think I will ever forget.
I don’t expect this to change my lifestyle dramatically. I will still work out, still eat a lot, still enjoy fine wines and arts. But whenever I search for meaning in what I do or wonder if I can really make a difference, I will forever have in my memory faces that tell me I have no choice but to give it all I’ve got.