Day 7: Around the World in a Day

Today was our last full day at Sangam. I’m going to be very sad to leave when the time comes. The people have been wonderful and Sangam itself is beautiful (and warm).

Our morning consisted of two challenges they set for us. The first one they called the leadership challenge. They split us up in groups of three and gave us a rickshaw bag with address cards of different places to visit. I travelled around with Agnes (from Mauritius) and Diela (from Madagascar) so we mostly spoke in French. All of the groups had different locations but we saw a military cemetery, a palace where Ghandi was imprisoned and a temple that they called a cave. We had questions to answer about each destination as we wandered around them.

Our third challenge involved lunch. 50% of the Indian population feeds themselves on 30 rupees or less per day (about 65 cents). The challenge they gave us was to buy a single meal for that amount of money each. My team was quite successful. We worried a little about street food but didn’t let it stop us. For 10 rupees we each had a mashed potato and spices concoction spread between two pieces of wonderbread and deep fried. Then for another 20 rupees total we split a flatbread with cumin in it. We rounded our meal off nicely with a tiny container of ice cream each for another 10 rupees/person. Marie-Eve (in another team) was a little less successful (but perhaps played it safer) and had 2 bananas and two oranges.

My team was super speedy and we made it back to Samgam in time for a dip in the pool before our next session. During it we built the beginning of action plans and “problem trees” to take back home with us to “be the change” since that is what this week’s event has been called.

The rest of the afternoon was devoted to what they called Indian Afternoon where we got to put on the cultural clothes we bought and try out all things Indian. I got some mehindi (henna) done on my wrist, colored in a Mandala, decorated my dinner spot with Rangoli (colourful sand that you make patterns on the ground with) and debated playing badminton.

Our supper was a traditional feast. We are sitting on the ground from large leaf plates with our hands. There was rice, dahl, chapattis, cracker-like things, potato, and other things I don’t even know how to describe.

We finished off the evening with International night and a campfire. Everyone had brought something to share from their country so we watched many types of dance (and participated in a couple), listening to Hindi singing, tried traditional food from Madagascar, saw lots of pictures and learned a new Australian songs that I’m looking forward to teaching girls back home. We brought chocolate mint cookies from home. They went over very will with everyone but the Indian girls who took one bite and then tried to hide the rest. I guess mint isn’t a typical Indian flavour.

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