So I realized that I have been here at Sangam for 3 months and I haven't really talked about what I do and what happens during events. So since I only have 1 event left before I'm finished, I'll tell you all about it.
A few days before an event, we start to prepare. The one job that I have been doing every event is preparing the event books. This means that I'm best friends with the copy machine. I talk to her (the copy machine) and she works for me most of the time. Which is good considering that it is monsoon and the humidity is always high and the copier doesn't like sticky, wet paper. When people start arriving, which is usually 1 or 2 days before the event starts, we greet people. That means if they are arriving by the train station, bus station, or airport, we go and pick them up and take them back to Sangam by rickshaw. Other groups choose to fly into Mumbai and then hire a bus to drive them here, which makes my job a whole lot easier because I don't have to leave to greet them. When participants arrive, we show them around the Centre so they are immediately comfortable in their home away from home.
During the event we have basic sessions that we do no matter what the theme of the event. These include: Walk around the Neighborhood, Sangam Tour, Event Orientation, Coming Together (where the local staff comes and introduces themselves to the participants), Getting to Know You (icebreakers for participants), Welcome Ceremony, Laxmi Road or MG Road Tour (shopping!!!), International Evening, Yoga, Bollywood Dancing, a Bollywood Movie, Indian Afternoon, Maharastrian Dinner, and Closing Ceremony. Then there are more sessions that focus on the event theme. For example, the event that is going on right now is called "Action in the Community." It focuses on volunteering and working with different Community Partners. We have been going to 4 different Community Partners and doing everything from painting wall murals, to playing games, to making teaching aides. We are doing what they have requested that they would like done. It has been really fun but it has been really long and tiring. As a Programme Assistant, I help lead or assist with different sessions. Most of the sessions we all have to help with, especially if we have 50 participants, and others we do because they are our favorite things. I really like leading Bollywood dance and the Bollywood movie. When you are in charge of the Bollywood film, that means that you get to pick which film you want the group to see. It's pretty much the best job ever.
At the end of the event, we are in charge of seeing participants off. We take them to the train station, bus station, airport, or see them off by car. It is always a busy 7, 10, or 12 days but they are always fun and exciting.
To check out more information about the other staff here at Sangam or what a typical day is like here at Sangam, check out the links below.
Hope that everyone is having a great start to the school year.
ps: I'm going to see the Taj Mahal next week! I can't wait!