Grace enjoyed meeting supporters at the Seattle fundraiser luncheon.
In the summer of 2013 I was visiting the Wings School for KAP’s annual site visit. Grace, the school’s founder and director, said, “I want to visit America. Do you think it is possible?” Two years later after multiple emails and trips to the U.S. embassy that possibility became a reality. This was a huge leap for Grace, who had never left India; her only impressions of America were from TV. Grace and her son James arrived in Seattle on February 28th and the adventure began. Linda and I scheduled a packed itinerary that started with the Seattle Spring Luncheon. It was mutual admiration – Grace gratefully meeting and thanking KAP supporters and KAP supporters being moved by Grace’s personal speech. Grace and James were able to spend time with KAP supporters Ravi Sanga and Kim Thunen, both of whom have visited Wings School several times. Their stay in Seattle ended with a trip to visit to Seattle Girls School, Pike Place Market, and shopping at Walmart.
On March 4th the duo arrive at their next stop – the San Francisco Bay Area. We had four action-packed days of meet and greet with new and familiar people in the California KAP community. The first stop was touring Bentley Lower and Upper School including a Q&A with the fourth grade class who sponsored a Wings student last year. Grace was very moved to see the picture of the sponsored student on the classroom wall. That evening we met KAP Treasurer, Mallika Kohli, and her dynamic group of friends for an Indo-Chinese dinner and lively conversation. Friday started with a luncheon presentation at the Metropolitan Club in San Francisco that included a special treat for Grace: reuniting with two former Wings School volunteers, Eve Wertsch and Shah Pedersoli. Eve gave them a tour of San Francisco after lunch including indulging James’ request to have an authentic American burger. Across the bay on Friday evening was a dessert party reception for Grace at my house. My friends, who had heard so much from me about Grace and the Wings School, were delighted to finally meet her. Saturday it was off to the South Bay for a tea party fundraiser at Madhumanti Palit’s home. The San Francisco leg of their adventure ended with more sightseeing with Mallika accompanying them for Mexican food and some last minute shopping.
Linda and I have very fond memories of Grace and James’ visit. They stayed in both of our homes, integrating into our family lives in a short time. Before they left I asked Grace what she would tell the girls at Wings School about her visit. She said, “Let me tell you, I will tell them about all the wonderful people I met and how clean America is.” I also want to thank all the people who helped make Grace’s trip such a great adventure for all of us. KAP is blessed to have such wonderful supporters.