Time Flys

Hello everyone!

Happy August everyone, I am officially have only one month left in India!  I can hardly believe it, time has flown by so fast.  But then again, if I look at how I was when I first arrived and how I am now, it’s hard to imagine that it’s only been two and a half months, I have learned so much about myself, India, Girl Scouting, and community action.

It’s crazy how fast a place and become familiar.  I was walking down to the local grocery store (Food Bazaar) the other night, and I saw one of the ladies who works in the kitchen at Sangam sitting on her doorstep.  I waved hello and said “Namaste” and continued on my way.  I felt so much like this was “my place”, and I know that you have to check your bag before you go into the grocery store, and I know which parts of the sidewalk to avoid because you’ll twist your ankle in the holes.

I think three months is a strange amount of time to be in one place.  It’s just enough so that you start to get used to being somewhere, and you can make really amazing friendships with people and then you have to leave.  I didn’t think about when I started here that I would learn just as much about Nigeria, the UK and Mexico as I have about India.  When I first got here and we all lived in the same dorm together we would stay up so late talking about the differences and similarities in our respective homes and it was fascinating.  I think everyone should have at least one international experience, even if it’s just with international people in their own country.  It makes you take your own culture and look at it from the outside, and maybe realize that just because you think or do something one way, doesn’t mean its the only way.  Maybe my way is different, not right or wrong, just different.

That’s why when I go home, I want to share my experience with as many people as I can, especially Girl Scouts.  By belonging to Girl Scouts of the USA, we also belong to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and they provide great opportunities, like this one I’m pursuing now, for international learning, and so many girls don’t know about it.

So, before this turns into a commercial, I will end.  Sorry I don’t have any pictures for you today, my connection is very slow and I would rather post this now than wait until tomorrow to upload them.  I will try very hard to have pictures in the next post.  As always, please leave me a comment, question, or share your own international experience!

In the spirit of Sangam,

Ana Cristina

Riding in Rickshaws

Hey everyone!

Sorry I’ve been gone for so long, I’ve been VERY busy here, my next post will be about events, but here are some pictures of rickshaws.

One of the first “Indian” experiences I and many of our participants have when they arrive is riding in a rickshaw.  A rickshaw is pretty much a motorized tricycle with a canopy over it.  The first time I rode in one I felt like I was on a roller coaster, holding on for dear life, hoping that as we darted between a car and a motorcycle we wouldn’t hit that cow up ahead.

The limit is three people per rickshaw (or so we tell participants 😉 but it can still be pretty tight.  Sometimes you can see what seems like 12 kids in a rickshaw going to or coming home from school.  Apparently there are laws for the number of children in a rickshaw at around 5 or 6, but since the parents split the costs of these rickshaws, they pack in as many as they can.

Well, goodnight everyone, our next event starts tomorrow but I’m really going to try to update more often.  If you are curious about anything specific that I’m doing here, let me know in comments!!

I hope you are all doing well,

Ana Cristina


Day off

Hello everyone!  Sorry you haven’t heard from me in a few days, a shaky connection combined with a super-packed schedule is keeping me from posting as often as I’d like.  This past week was training, and we did a LOT of things.  Next week is also packed, so I’ll just write an  overview of fun things we had done, and if there’s anything that sounds cool to you and you want to hear more about, just leave a comment and I’ll do a more in-depth post about it.

On Sunday the 15th, the day before training officially started, two of the other volunteers and I went to see Shanivar Wada, an old mansion, the ruins of which are now open to the public.  We paid 100 rupees to enter.  It was really pretty outside and inside.

During training, we went on a walk around the neighborhood surrounding Sangam.  The most interesting thing I noticed about it was the Mosque, church, and Ganesh temple (Hindu) all on the same block, sharing communal outdoor spaces.  Our guide told us they all get along very well and participate in each others celebrations.  I thought that was great and will make sure to include that when it’s my turn to give the tour to participants.

Well, that’s it for now, tomorrow I’ll post about riding in rickshaws and traffic.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer as much as I am, don’t forget to comment,

Ana C

36 Days and Counting

I leave for Sangam in 36 days.  Wow that seems so soon!  And I still have so much to do!  But I have done a lot already, including getting my visa, my tickets, my vaccines, and getting connected to Sangam.  You can connect too
on their website, Facebook, and/or Youtube.

Things that are still on my to-do list include making SWAPS, buy luggage, pack, buy my official GSUSA uniform, and reading more about WAGGGS and the goals of international Scouting/Guiding.

If I am not too busy with all of these preparations and more, I’ll try and post again before I leave.  Thanks for reading, and remember to comment and share my blog with anyone else you think may be interested in reading about my experience as a Sangam Volunteer.

Yours in Scouting,

Ana Cristina

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