MUN aka Model United Nations must have been a familiar thing for many people from quite a long time but I got to know about its existence only in the last two years or so from friend N whose son started actively participating in these events. An opportunity about taking part in such events was never talked about in A’s class group until last May. Somewhere mid-May her class teacher posted a message asking students if anyone would like to take part in an MUN that would be hosted by Doon school. A asked if she could give a try at it and I promptly encouraged her as I wanted her to come out of that comfort zone and explore new stuff. We expressed our interest and then got to know that it would be offline event and she would have to travel there. Nevertheless, we went ahead with the decision and stayed excited.
Over the next couple of weeks, A started watching videos about MUN and felt stomach pangs and started doubting her decision. Her class teacher decided to change the registration from Doon school to Daly College of Indore as she felt it was even more better. Since we were completely new with this side of the world, the change didn’t mean any difference to us . A continued exploring the web for more information but it seemed like an endless ocean.
As the dates got nearer, we were informed about the committees and agenda and the expectations of the event. The big drama started to begin now. We approached my friend N’s son and got the pointers about how one should start looking at it and the resources one should be referring to. A got some more information from her school senior who had a good amount of experience in this. We started writing down bits and pieces of information that we collected. Since A was given the role of representing Egypt, we started familiarising ourselves with culture, trade, geography, economy and history of Egypt. We talked with one more cousin of V who gave us additional details and pointers. Until that moment, we had planned to send A with a non smart phone as she would be able to communicate with it. But this cousin suggested her to carry a smart device as she would need to do some research over those three days. We changed the initial plan of sending a non-smart mobile with her to that of sending MIL’s smart phone with her.
We did some formal wear and traditional wear shopping as required by the event. We were fast approaching the big day and the tension started brewing up at a great pace. A began calculating the minimum amount of contribution that would be expected of her at the event and began panicking as she was nowhere ready for it. Looking at the built up stress levels, I offered her to with draw from the event and that I would speak to her teacher, father and that she need not have to think about the registration fees and tickets that were booked already. She strongly refused the proposal and continued to work on gathering material. We had little debates about who would draft the speech with whose help and I stood on my ground that I would help only by reviewing whatever she has drafted. In the midst of managing school work, she came up with something with the little knowledge that she had and I reviewed with the minimal knowledge that I had. Once she had this piece of paper on her hand, she seemed to have relaxed a little. I reiterated multiple times that the ultimate purpose of participating in this event is only to gain knowledge and experience and exposure and nothing more. The mother in me had slight worries about how she would manage in an entirely new place with so many new people around her. But I convinced myself that there has to be a start for everything and the sooner it happens, the better.
On the last Thursday of last month, we dropped A at the airport and the experience began. A called us at every possible opportunity and updated us with every minute detail, the opening ceremony, the hostels and dorms, the food, the registration kit, the friendships that were developed over the next three days, the kiddos with multiple talents that she came across, the fictional crisis that gets introduced now and then, the long moderated and unmoderated sessions, the various perspectives and debates, the DJ , the closing ceremony and the outing they had on the last day after the event. A stated that she was so glad to be part of this MUN and that statement compensated for all the stress that we had undergone ! A came back home on Monday evening with loads of memories and a wonderful experience.
All’s well that ends well……
p.s. A kid from A’s school bagged couple of certificates and trophies and that’s a feather in cap for the school !!!