I had a great experience during MAD’s recruitment drive with the proverbial ‘walk-in’ scenario (with no prior intimation or registration, etc, etc), so I was naturally looking forward to the Icebreakers event that they had scheduled at a place called the Rainbow School. Not having worked with kids in a teaching/mentoring position, I really didn’t know what to expect and I went to the school half-wondering if I had got myself into something that I couldn’t handle. As cliched as it might sound, the rest of the day was history. Hats off to all the kids, they really lived up to their school’s name and ensured that I had an absolute blast that afternoon!
That weekend being Diwali, every kid was in a peppy mood, and as soon as I (and every other new volunteer) stepped into the school campus, we were greeted by a mass of kids shouting out ‘Happy Diwali, happy diwali!’. And on they went leaving us to smile in amusement and get to know each other. A mention here about Meghna, Leticia, Anusha, Raj and Pragyna (all MADsters) who did a fabulous job throughout the afternoon in getting the kids to gel with us and ready to burn all that hyper-activity away with some whacky, fun-filled events.
First up, we formed impromptu teams with about 4-5 kids and 2 volunteers in each ready to battle it out in the above-mentioned activites. When Meghna came over and said we had to come up with a team name and a team ‘battle cry’, all I could do was give a stupid grin and think ‘yeah, what else?’. But I take back those words now; my team came up with the name ‘BUDS’ and a fantastic slogan which went ‘BUDS are the best!’ What made it fantastic was that the kids in my team were so enthusiastic in hollering it out all the time that kids from other teams joined in as well! Truly fun, and totally insane!! But, hey, it did the job and the A-Team was formed..
We were back to primary school-days with the lemon race (one of the kids actually tried to walk back with an empty spoon in the mouth and the lemon in her hand.. hah, rich!), followed by balloon-bursting and dancing events (both with 3 people involved during the activity). I’d like to elaboraaaaaate on the balloon event, simply because WE WON! It was a funny idea to have 3 people walk about 100 metres with balloons being balanced only at the hips and no support from any limb. There was amazing synchronization between the participants in all the teams as they walked gingerly across the ground (RULE No. 1: You can’t burst the balloons! Hey, no fun!), but like they say, the best team won. Do I get credits on this, Glo???
We finished up with a general chat with the kids about the day and how each looked forward to the next meeting. Without sounding too melodramatic or philosophical, it was nice to see these ‘lesser-privileged’ (certainly less privileged than we were) kids happy in the absence of most of the materialistic things that drive our world today.
All in all, had a gala time bursting balloons and egging on my team. I can’t wait for more…
Woken up (as I always was!!) and totally MAD,