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A Tribute to Sara Bareilles

|Author: Gavin|


Whenever I am stressed or excited my brain starts playing me music. Sometimes it's classical pieces from when I played the violin. Sometimes it is the song that one of my friends keeps humming (shoutout to Eric for getting ‘Wake me up, before you go go’ stuck in my head for two days). But the song that is currently stuck in my head is ‘King of Anything’ . I have no idea if it is a random coincidence or if my subconscious is trying to tell me that I am an imposter.


My group has spent the last three days working with TUI and in that time we have learned everything that we can about their organization and what they do. I have to say, it’s more than a little daunting. They are well known throughout India and have developed a relationship with the local government to a degree that is staggering. They have transformed dozens if not hundreds of spaces in Bangalore. They have been able to skillfully navigate the turbulent waters of governance and politics in Bangalore while being able to maintain positive relationships with all of their stakeholders. It leads me to question what impact I was supposed to make.


Today after learning even more about their day to day activities, we learned something that TUI would love for us to do: get feedback on their project. Part of TUI's goal is to leave no trace. They come into a neglected space, clean it, make it beautiful and then leave. They will interact with those who are interested but they ultimately do not look for feedback or send mailers for volunteers. This means that they do not have the opportunity to gauge the impact of their projects.


Tomorrow we are going to several of the flyers they have restored and ask the pedestrians and security officers about the impact of TUI’s project. We are excited for the opportunity to learn more about the impact that TUI has on the local community and be able to contribute to TUI’s goals and mission statement. Our mentors in TUI are very excited to learn more about the impact that they have. They eagerly helped to guide the questions that we planned on asking to pedestrians and officers and added some of their own in order to learn as much as possible.


It is amazing to see that after years of working on TUI and after all the impact that they have had, you can still see the fire in their eyes. I start to feel myself being caught up in their exuberance and their drive to continue their mission. Interviewing people that use the area under the flyover may be a small first step but I am excited to take it.



My final parting thought is something that one of our mentors said today. Part of the GCIL agreement with the organizations is that the students that work with them will help them to achieve their goals and mission statements. I hope I can spend the next seven weeks living up to that promise.


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