Elevator Pitches and Classy Chinese Restaurants

Sri Lanka Summer 2012 Blog

Written by: Emily Zhang

June 30, 2012

Wow, yet another week here! On one hand, it feels like time flies by so fast--we've been here for nearly two weeks now. On the other hand, when we take in to account how much we've taught and how far the students have progressed, it feels like we have been here for months. 

Since my last post, students have finalized their ideas for their startups. Today is the elevator pitch contest, where students have 30 seconds to pitch their ideas to the representatives of the largest mobile operators in Sri Lanka. This contest will be held tournament style, with the winner earning Rs.7000 and runner-up earning Rs. 3000. It's going to be like March Madness, compressed into five exhilarating hours. 

Technically, we have exhausted Django and started programming Android. Yesterday, students made their first Android application. They grow up so fast! 

Last night, Amber, Wesley, and I decided that we were sick of spicy Sri Lankan food. In particular we wanted Chinese food. We had noticed a sign a few hundred meters down Galle Road advertising Shanghai Hotel and Restaurant. We walked there only to realize the small print: '800 m -->'. We walked the 800 meters down a road with no lights, to find another sign point us another few hundred meters down yet another dark road. We stopped in front of a very classy, very suave restaurant, our clothing clashingly incongruous with the atmosphere: here we were dressed for and expecting take-out, but what stood in front of us was a restaurant meant for large business banquets. Regardless of our slovenly attire (with parfum de sweating while walking down a dusty road), we went in. The food, although understandably inauthentic (no bok choi in sight!) was a very much needed change. It was heaven on earth for Wesley and me (veggies galore!), and some kind of happy place for Amber too (mango milkshakes galore!). We called Ali, who was heading back from a meeting in Colombo when we left, to come join us, but he said he was feeling sick, so we brought him home some delicious veggie soup (Wesley and I strongly believe that you can never have too many vegetables).

That brings us to today. In approximately four hours, the pitching will begin. Five hours after that, we will be on a bus to Galle, on our way to a much needed beach weekend. 

Peace out, cub scouts.