Mega Part 1
- My Third - AIESEC International Congress 2007
- The Gateway to
Asia(Or Europe?) - Vacation in Turkey
- Current Update
My Third: The AIESEC International Congress 2007
How does one meet 700 people from over 100 countries in the span of 10 days, and leave with befriending most of them? For everyone in AIESEC, the answer is no surprise: International Congress!
While few in AIESEC have the pleasure of attending one of these, I’ve been extremely lucky to attend my third consecutive IC this year. That’s a lot to say when you’ve only been in AIESEC for 3 years!
So here goes…
The Journey There…
After getting selected to facilitate at IC (which has to be the coolest job in the world!), I was surprised to have gotten my Turkish visa in a pretty seamless fashion in just over 5 hours. For those that have read my previous posts, you know how big a deal that is! Anyway, so I boarded a plane to
Faci Premeeting Begins…
So the first thing that you cannot miss as you walk into the university campus is the dogs. Not just one of two – Hundredsss for them! They’re everywhere! And they bark and they run and they attack you if you have anything edible on you.. And that’s assuming that you’re not THE edible thing in context! :P Over the next two weeks, though, kinda like I got over my allergy with peanuts by consuming large quantities of peanut butter, I think I got over the fear of dogs! Oh well, there’s a positive in everything eh! Now the funny bit is some random striker on the CC decided to get a little bit creative and name dogs after Global Partners! Now if that wasn’t smart enough, this guy used the last living brain cell in his mind to actually proceed to tell the Global Partners present at conference about his great bit of creativity!
Quotable Quote (CC Genius): ‘Hi Mr XYZ (representative of InBev)! You see that grey one… He’s InBev.. ‘cos he likes to Partyyy!’.
Enough on the dogs, the venue was absolutely gorgeous – the hills, the forests (read: areas of recreation), the photographs of Attaturk everywhere, the grand plenary and the plenary forms after converting a basketball court that had only one exit (great for a fire drill!), the AI office, the cushions in the AI office, the tennis court we converted to a party place every night, the cafeteria, the breakfast, the glass staircases and of course the infamous same-sex dorms!
Ah, the same-sex dorms – parties would be nowhere as wild as they were if it weren’t for them! :)
Anyway, the premeeting was a great time to get to know and hang out with the Chair (fantastic guy!), the AI team (always loved these fellas!), the CC (now was the criterion for selecting the CC based on how fun the guys were and how great the ladies looked? Oh Wow!), the superwoman Jeanne, and the awesome, abso-f’in-lutely awesome bunch of individuals that made up the faci team! What-eh team, I tell ya! (Beware: If you’re hoping for any self-deprecating remarks at this stage, please seize to read on)
Now as great as the team was, the one thing we were lacking is a little bit of creativity to start off with! Case in point: Faci Dance. We tried and we tried (We almost ended up doing my MC dance from last year! :P), and then finally with a lil bit (ok.. a LOT of) criticism from Pedro (aka Peta, Chair) and some energy from Jeanne, (and after fighting about which leg should come in front when your right hand was ahead – man I will NEVER forget that discussion!), the greatest dance of ALL time was created. :)
Quotable Quote: (Peta): ‘Mann, we can’t do this dance people. Sorry. We need to come up with something else, man!... (Faci team goes WTF, mate!).. Mann, if we do this dance no one’s gonna do the AI dance, this is too cool!’.
Too Cool, indeed.
Oh yes the other fun parts of premeeting were working like mad to prepare sessions, and seeing a mock IC before anyone else. Too darn cool!
.. and then the delegates start to come! The CC was absolutely ecstatic as the delegates poured in. All their work was being put to test and they were loving it! Well, most of the time, at least! ;)
Anyway, this was a superb time for me since I finally got to meet up with so many many close old friends I’ve made in AIESEC. I missed AP loads! Also, felt like I had made a bit of a hurried decision walking out of AIESEC this quick, and of course loved seeing this conference from the other side. Most of all though, a key experience for me was to see the Pakistan Delegation! Man, these guys were on fire! It was a lil bit weird to separate myself from the everyday stuff with them (since everything I know from my IC experience is tied to my delegations from the last two years!). But it was also heartwarming to see the country having matured to the place it was. I am sure Joanna would second that! Speaking of which, by far the coolest thing was seeing Jo again! Yay!
The first night of premeeting I was so busy working that I missed one of the coolest parties of the conference. That day I made a promise I would keep, and sometimes keep a little too well – must attend every party!
Ready! Steady! Go!
The conference got off to a remarkable start with the chair wrapping up the proceedings of Opening Plen well in time, helped a little bit by the technical issues. But I am glad I got to be part of what was probably the first AIESEC conference ever to finish it’s opening plen on time! J This was followed by a chilled out Global Village and an opening ceremony where the facis/AI got some serious VIP treatment! S’weet!
Sessions ‘finally’ began and everything ran smooth – Creativity flowed in piles and heaps as potatoes were wrapped in aluminum foil were used to replace balls and the F-Man was born (aka. Feedback-man, faci man, and whatever else your imagination obliges you to think!). Also an experience that I had always dreamed of occurred at this point during the Cadbury Schweppes launch. No, it wasn’t the time I met all there cool managers (although that was fun too!), it was the legendary Goodies Shower! I finally got to carry a box and shower CS goodies onto a vicious plenary!
Quotable Quote (Ren Chang): This is the COOLEST thing ever!!! Yay!
To our pleasant surprise the conference remained on a high note and continued to build momentum, through an inspiring AI Handover, a mad DLD executed to perfection (Well done, CC and Emanuel), super inspiring Alumni Day where everyone felt the nostalgia for times they weren’t alive to see, and hope for times they’d like to live, seeing our first ever Alum, Junaid networking at Alumni Congress, the Global Alumni and Contribution awards, the madness that comes with running an LN day that has over 40 external guests running 30 something workshops simultaneously, an excellent Internal Audit report, followed by an even better hash run with the Internal Auditor!, ...
...getting the good table at Formal Dinner, UBS awards, the Experience Pakistan Brand, not having to go to legislation fairs for a change, high-fiving MCPs that had to attend Global Legislation, witnessing the historic moment that was the MyAIESEC.net educational release (and testing the system for hours before that!), running sessions for an insanely diverse audience and learning loads, and running a Finance session for non-finance people that ends up being attended by 40 MCPs (most of them doing a second MCP term!), writing ‘No!’ with a marker on all of Gabiza’s cigarettes, and so on.
The two experiences that of course stood out were: Parties, and Global Legislation – I will now spend a couple of lines describing each.
Now, the parties were crazy. Really, nothing else quite to describe them. For some, they were crazier than others (for more gossip, you will have to reach me directly! Sorry, this IS a public forum after all!). But anyway, the one experience that will (unfortunately) be eched in my memory for all time to come was the AP party! Now, for anyone that has ever been to one at an ILM requires no further description, but for the benefit of those that don’t know what it is, see, Asia Pacific, the conservative, Eastern culture, the love, the competitiveness, all of that, is portrayed through a cross-dress competition! This time, it was Miss IC 2007. Now, this is usually a huge culture shock to most people (read:
Now, Global Legislation. So if you were reading carefully (which goes to great credit to you given how long this post as become!), you will realize that I was fairly happy about not attending legislation. I mean, who is to blame me – the last one I attended, I had no voting rights and it lasted 11 hours. So there I am prepping up for an insane CEE party, and I get someone calling out for me – AI VPF needs a Secretary for Global Legislation.. They think you’re the man. ‘WOAHHHHH!!’ Sure, it’s a great honor and everything, but no way in hell. Eventually, as you might expect, I was talked into it and all the MCPs who I was heartily making fun of at dinnertime before legislation were obviously amused. So there I was, 9 hours of typing every word that was said (while trying to phase out music from the party outside), not having voting OR speaking rights, and.. well.. blah! Sigh… The MCPs were sweet enough to have their own party the next day and I got graciously invited. I did also make a Herculean attempt to facilitate sessions the morning after, but failed miserably.
But then before we knew it, it was all done and just as quickly as they had come, the delegates vanished! L But then CC and AI+Facis got a treat through a tour of the Bosphorous with free drinks the night after and some chilled out partying prevailed, before I began the next phase of my trip, that the next post will tackle: Summer 07 Vacation!
People missed: Tori, Kurt, Nadya
Coolest people met: Peta, Yasmine, Caio, Maryna, Matthias, Milica, Rina and of course Ren Chang!
Best connections remade: Of so many!! All mcps, AI, Gaspar, Tiffany, Reetika, Jeanne, Joanna Lee…
Unexpected cool connections: Emanuel (AI), Isabel (