After a couple of jammed packed and emotional days, we have had a bit of a rest today. This morning we have been preparing for the Fun Day – more of that to come. Today has been very busy at Sangam – as well as the 66 people staying here at the moment (event participants, staff and volunteers), there was also about 40 volunteers from the local UPS office. They offered their time as part of their corporate social responsibility programme, in return for a donation to Sangam and mostly did odd jobs around the site. This included clearing vegetation, painting doors and walls, and helping out where necessary. It was great to see them doing their bit for the community, and also to see another part of Indian culture which contrasted with that which we had seen over the past couple of days.
Some of them also helped us to prepare for the Sangam Cup, which happened in the afternoon. But it wasn’t us who were taking part – it was 150 Scouts and Guides from the local area. In India, Scout and Guide groups are mixed and are often linked to a particular school. These Scouts were linked to a local English Medium School and look wonderful in their blue uniforms. Many of us mentioned how smart they looked and how well behaved they are – we would love to see that in groups in the UK!
To compete in the Cup, they had to play all sorts of games, such as making a shape with their bodies, doing a treasure hunt and playing some active games. All of them threw themselves into it with great enthusiasm and all left with smiles on their faces (not to mention a shiny new fountain pen from UPS!). It seems that we got as much out of it as they did though. Tonight we are free to do as we please. As I write, some people are out for dinner, while others are playing games downstairs. Another highlight was having pasta for dinner – no rice! Tomorrow we are free to explore more of Pune, its shops and yes, its restaurants…!