We had a big day today. This morning the India learners went off to their internships: three at a microfinance organization, two at a contract research outsourcing firm and two at an information technology firm. The final student, Anne, is engaging with a few organizations in the dance, fitness and education industries, which is an area of interest for her.
The Partners Worldwide India head and I visited the contract research outsourcing (CRO) firm this afternoon to learn more about the organization and understand what the two students will be working on. The firm does clinical trials of new pharmaceuticals being developed either in India or the USA and Europe. So their clients are pharmaceutical companies who need new drugs tested on humans before they get regulatory approval to sell the drugs. The firm gets contracts to do that then offers the drugs to people in India for free, of course in a controlled hospital setting. This company has its own 100-bed hospital but also works with 20 other hospitals around India to do these trials. The firm is owned by three physicians whom we met with. One of them is a Christian, but all of them see this business as a great way to serve Indians with health care in a sustainable way. I have learned so much about this in the past few weeks, and I am sure the two interns have and will learn a lot. We will visit the other two companies on Wednesday.
Anne participated in a fitness event at a fitness club owned by a Christian business person. He had a Bollywood fitness expert in from Mumbai who works with many movie stars in India on fitness and dancing. This person led a class for the fitness centers staff to learn about her fitness techniques. After the class there was a little ceremony, which Anne and Mrs Van Drunen were recognized in and received a bouquet for participating. The TV media was there and Anne was interviewed. Anne also met with the owner of an after-school school which seeks to help elementary and middle school students develop new ways of using their brains. We heard the Christian owners story about why and how she started this business.
At dinner we celebrated Bret’s 20 birthday which was today!!
Below the interns are going off to their internships this morning. They were saying it reminded them of the first day of kindergarten all nervous with their backpacks!
We picked up a nice cake for Bret and had it for desert after a rousing singing of “Happy Birthday” in the Pizza Hut. The whole restaurant took note and we learned that Bret blushes. Happy birthday Bret! One to remember.