THE END: Final CAS Reflection

All things come to an end some time or another and so is my IBDP CAS journey as I get ready to give the May 2022 exams and graduate from the Overseas School Of Colombo. The 7 learning outcomes in CAS have helped me reflect on my activities and the learning outcome is visible in not one but several activities.

Learning outcome 1 – Identify your own strengths and develop areas for personal growth.

During the CAS program, I picked up several activities that I had strengths in but still could develop in. One of these was Yoga, I have been doing yoga since a very young age as it was a part of school extracurricular in India. Therefore after coming to Sri Lanka I joined advanced classes conducted in the Indian cultural centre that pushed me to learn more and become more flexible.

Joining OSC also gave me a chance to develop my interest in arts and design through yearbook. Over the last 2-3 years I was responsible for designing several pages but I also learnt several new techniques in InDesign from my supervisors.

Learning outcome 2 – Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.

COVID-19 was a big barrier in the last couple of years but it challenged us to be creative to find new activities. For COMUN the challenge was organising more than 150 people online from more than 10 different schools. Before Covid, it was much easier as we didn’t have to worry about breakout rooms or zoom links or internet issues. This challenge forced us to be efficient and think out of the box any time new issues were raised online.

However, it was not just challenging with Covid but also challenging me to do things I am not comfortable with like jumping and abseiling from heights. The Kithulgala senior trip allowed me to trust myself and develop new skills during abseiling and canyoning despite my fear of heights.

Learning outcome 3 – Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.

Over the last 2 years, I have initiated and planned several creative, physical and service activities. For creativity, this included planning the UN DAY and the COMUN 2022 conference.  For physical activities, I initiated and planned several hiking trips with my family. For service, I have planned several activities for Hope For Kids like diaper drives, food drives and creating videos for the children suffering from cancer.

Learning outcome 4 – Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences.

I am very dedicated to any activity I start therefore from the beginning of 9th grade all the activities I have started I have continued. Every year I try adding a new activity to that list while continuing my previous activities. I have been doing Hope For Kids for 4 years where I was the service leader for 2 years, I participated in COMUN for 3 years the first two years as a delegate and finished my journey off as the head of operations and Yearbook which I have continued since grade 9.

Learning outcome 5 – Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.

Teamwork and collaboration are one of the most important skills I have acquired through my activities. From activities like COMUN to Hope For Kids, I have realised nothing is a one-person show. It is only when the whole team works together that our projects were able to be successful.

Learning outcomes 6 and 7 – Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance and recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions.

Both of these learning outcomes have been addressed through service and COMUN. During service, we needed to keep in mind the effects of things on the children therefore we bought non-toxic stationery since they have a weak immune system.  We also tried raising awareness on the important issue of cancer in children through videos, infographics and our Instagram page. During COMUN we had to select the theme that was of most global significance and therefore we chose multilateralism which is very important between countries to keep the peace in the world.

Thus with all these activities, only my CAS journey comes to an end, however, I will be continuing most of these activities in some form or another as I head off to university next year.

COMUN 2022 Comes To An End

9 months of hard work, efforts and planning ultimately boiled down to 3 days of a successful conference and rigorous debate (LO3). This Journey as the Head Of Operations for COMUN 2022 holds a dear place in my heart as it was challenging on several days but working with 32 amazing people in the secretariat and executive committee that were all focused on the common goal which helped boost the morale in the group (LO2, LO4, LO5).

The first day of the conference came with rollercoasters of its own, starting with the opening ceremony to the actual debate. The opening ceremony that was being live-streamed to over 150 delegates and faculty advisors did not work because of internet issues however with the help of the tech team we resolved that issue and finished the opening ceremony on time (LO2 and LO5). When we started the first session all the chairs faced one common concern. These were issues delegates were facing to join the committee on zoom due to power cuts throughout Sri Lanka. To address this issue we made sure in all committees that those delegates were given a fair chance so that they were able to join the debate even after missing some parts of it (LO7). Luckily after that, the first day went off really smoothly, everything ran according to our agenda and we remained on schedule to start the second day as well (LO1).








On the second day, we started our debate from where we left off on day 1.  We focused on getting things ready for the next day like the arrangement of tables, the videos of the chief guests who were joining us online, certificates and medals (LO1 and LO3). The second day did not have too many challenges as we collaboratively worked towards having working zoom links, a smooth debate and moreover no chaos between committees (LO5).

Day 3, the last and final day. It was the last time working with these fabulous people but it could not have been more memorable. Crisis was very successful and after that, we had to get awards decided between committees and then write people’s names on the certificates. This required high levels of communication between different people in the Secretariat and the Administration and this really helped me develop my skills as I was challenged to be efficient even during the most chaotic times to get ready for the closing ceremony (LO1, LO2, LO3).  After 3 years of being a part of COMUN as a delegate, a member of IPC and being a part of the secretariat this is my last year as I graduate in May 2022 (LO4). We addressed a lot of important issues around the world thus putting emphasis on multilateral relations between countries (LO6).



New Beginning For Service With US Peace Corps

After three and a half years in Hope For Kids, which was a service where we raised awareness and collected resources for children suffering from cancer, I decided to join a new service. I decided to take this big decision as I wanted to challenge myself into a newer role as a service leader for a different service (LO2). However, while I join US Peace Corps as a service leader it does not stop me from participating and helping the Hope For Kids service group. I decided along with the service supervisor of Hope For Kids that I can lend a hand whenever needed and whenever I can come outside of the allotted service time on Thursday, and I was more than happy to do that (LO4).

As we start the new service group called US Peace Corps some of our first steps were to make preparations (LO3 and LO5) before we actually interact with the children over zoom. US Peace Corps is a service group where we are going to encourage a cultural exchange of ideas and at the same time give children from rural areas of Sri Lanka a chance to practice their English through conversations with us. It is important to understand that we are not “teaching” English but rather modelling conversations that can help them use English in their daily discussions (LO7). The first time the OSC members met we made a list of simple questions about their hobbies, home, etc. (LO3) that would allow us to know more about them and at the same time also give them a chance to know more about us. In the next couple of sessions, we actually met the children. We met students from 3 different schools with 3 different cultural backgrounds. With over 40 students in total, we break off into breakout rooms so that it is easier to have conversations and make connections.

Screenshot from our first meeting

One Leap To Reach The World’s End

Can you imagine reaching the world’s end on a spherical planet with no end? However, I had an experience like none other at the Horton Plains in Sri Lanka. The Horton Plains a 9 km loop with changing sceneries at every bend of trek displayed the variety in the highlands itself. As we began the trail we witnessed a breathtaking sunrise after which we headed to our first stop which was the World’s End. On the way, we went over various rocky hills and then headed through a canopy created by the forest that also protected us from the sun as the day progressed. After about 4 km we reached the World’s End to witness the views of the several mountains all around. Going to the edge of the cliff with nothing visible below except clouds would make you wonder if there was any land below. There was just sky with clouds floating and nothing else between the world’s end spot and the next mountain ahead of us. The World’s End was a place I had been waiting to visit and being a couple of hours away in the Nuwara Eliya town we decided we could not go back without doing Horton Plains (LO3 and LO4). Before we went to Horton Plains I had read about the strong effort being made in the park to avoid plastics on the trail, therefore I ensured that we only carried a reusable water bottle and we had no single-use plastic on us (LO7).

World’s End

As we progressed on the trail after World’s End we were headed towards the Baker’s Fall. It was a comparatively shorter trail to the waterfall but as we headed further the shade reduced and it became hotter and harder to walk through the highland. After the waterfall, the trail was completely open therefore it was challenging (LO2) but we stopped at some small water bodies around that cooled us off. As we came towards the end there were steep climbs I  the end but after reaching back to the start it felt like a fulfilling trip as I not only got to witness a variety of sceneries but also the transformation in the weather from a misty and cloudy morning to a sunny and clear day.

Horton Plains Route Taken

Senior Trip To Kithulgala

My last class trip or THE senior trip was full of excitement, uncertainty and nervousness. Our trips during DP were cancelled several times. What was meant to be our orientation trip for IBDP turned out to be a farewell trip after one and a half years. Due to COVID we were online for a long time therefore this trip in DP2 really gave us a chance not only to destress after the mock exams but also to spend an extended time with everyone in the grade.

This trip really allowed me to challenge myself as I did activities out of my comfort zone (LO1). We did abseil, canoeing and canyoning. During canyoning, teamwork was most vital as at different stages people helped pull each other up or guided them to slide down (LO5). I am scared of heights but everyone really encouraged me and I was able to make the big jumps during canyoning (LO1 and LO2).

Abseiling again involved lower myself from a height and during the first pitch I was a bit nervous but after completing that I was confident and then did the second pitch without any fear (LO1 and LO2). The canoeing was fun as partners were given activities to complete that involved trusting and communicating with ur partner. My partner was Zoe and we both were continuously communicating so all our activities were completed by us without any problems (LO5).

During Canyoning

An Escape Into Nature: Monkey Mountain

As the title suggests the mountain definitely did not have any monkeys in the whole forest route from the beginning to the end. The only thing that was to be found on the mountain was steep slopes and zillions of ants that climbed up on us every time we took a two-second break.

My first hike after a long break because of being in India and getting covid was super exhilarating but at the same time a bit nerve-racking since it had been a while that I was out in nature (LO2 and LO5). To take it easy we made the decision to only start off by going to the halfway point where we still got the amazing views of the Gal Oya nature reserve. It was a challenge but it was really important to start off at some point.

After 3 days of rain that morning after reaching Gal Oya, we were glad to see the sunlight. Everyone was relieved as one thing that always comes with rains in Sri Lanka are leeches and leech bites. The morning of the hike remained the same each of us had our own bags with water bottles but more importantly the siddhalepa spray that would protect us from any unwanted leeches on us even though we were quite optimistic to not find any (LO3). Joining me was my mum and her friends and another traveller who was visiting Sri Lanka for the 3rd time (LO4).

As we took a break from our city lives and were in the middle of nature we really thought it was important to be a part of the whole experience. We did that by staying in an eco-lodge far away from any dwelling or village you could possibly find and no phone network which I am not sure to call the worst part of the best part. In the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure how excited I would be with no phone and more importantly no music. However, by the end of the trip, I realized how the phone was so unnecessary. Instead of the phone playing our music we decided to sing ourselves the few Bollywood songs we did know at that time. (LO1)

Other than that Gal Oya had a variety of other activities in nature like the wildlife safaris and nature walks within the property that enabled us to explore the biodiversity of Sri Lanka.

Halfway point on Monkey Mountain
Picture from the boat safari

UN Day Is Back Online!

For my CAS project, I collaborated with Sanya another DP2 student (LO4) in order to bring about the spirit of Unity while we remain online. UN Day pre-pandemic was celebrated by flag parades, lunch being filled with delightful food from different countries and cultures and fun activities that encouraged people to come together but also learn about important things going on worldwide (LO6). This day was being celebrated after 3 years and we wanted to make sure that even though we were doing it online we captured the true essence of this day and event (LO2). Our first goal was to pick a theme for this year’s UN day. The UN has 17 sustainable development goals and we picked goal 16 which is Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (LO6). This goal was picked because with the pandemic and also the political situations in different countries we thought it’s important to put emphasis on peace, justice and institutions (LO3 and LO7). Our second goal was to decide different activities that can be done when we are online so that we can get people united. Usually, on UN Day we have a variety of dishes from different countries and nationalities from parents in the community that displays the amazing cultures present on our campus. We wanted to replicate that feeling of joy when people get to experience flavours from all around the world. To do that we created a padlet where everyone could share recipes and pictures of unique flavours from their culture (LO3). These recipes were not limited to only a recipe from their nation but also any culture they are influenced by. A picture of a part of the Padlet after UN day is attached below.

Screenshot Of The Padlet With Recipes

At the same time, we also reached out to the DP1 theatre group to create a performance targeting our theme of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (LO3 and LO4). Along with that, there was also a video created by the tech team to show how this also relates to the agenda of many of the committee’s we have for the Colombo Model United Nations this year. In order to recreate the flag parade, we asked students to put their national flags in the background during their classes. We got a lot of support from teachers as well as students and I managed to capture this in one of my classes during the day as seen in the photo below (LO5).

UN Day Spirit


Starting COMUN Executive Committee Meetings

While we had started with the secretariat meeting for COMUN 2022 in the beginning, soon after that followed the interview process for selecting the executive committee for COMUN (LO5 Showing perseverance and commitment). This year the committees that have been selected are GA3, GA4, ECOSOC, CCPCJ, FSC, AU and IPC. Chairs for each of these committees were selected using interviews. Other non-chair positions also had to be interviewed which included heads of community service and deputy head of operations and administration. Our meetings have been going on for a couple of weeks now and overall we have had a lot of progress since each committee has picked their topics and are now working on study guides. In my new role as head of operations, I have been working alongside the administration department (LO4 Working collaboratively with others) to figure out the logistics for the conference itself. This information includes finding out the amount of funds we have, allocating money according to our budgets and encouraging the exco to get sponsorships for the conference. Since we are back on campus after a long time online our further plans will include how and where we will conduct our conference.

Getting Back To Walks After Covid

When I got covid I was unable to do a lot of work or exercise but after the 2 weeks, I realized the importance of getting back in some way. While I have been advised to take it slow for a couple of months, a slow walk is perfectly ok and I have been taking advantage of that (L01). From my time in India to now in Sri Lanka I have continued my 30 – 60 min walks. These walks have really helped me both mentally and physically because after being cooped up in a room for 14 days you start considering the importance of the nature you find around you (LO5).


Walks in Mumbai

The last couple of days in Sri Lanka have been really beautiful because of the sudden short downpours of rain now and again that leave a really cool breeze in the environment. We also got a couple of wellness blocks to get outdoors or get involved in some activity instead of sitting in front of the screen. During those blocks while for some of them I went out onto the walking path around my house for the others I started doing a bit of yoga. Since I had not been doing yoga for over a month I started of with some simple stretching and breathing asanas that were not only a good way to get a little active but also at the same time become mindful (LO1).

Rainy Day In Colombo


COMUN Secretariat 2022

After the learning experiences, I have had in the two years I have participated in COMUN (Colombo Model United Nations) I plan on pursuing my interests in MUN further. For the coming year, I am going to be part of the secretariat in the position of Head Of Operations. Taking into account all my experiences and knowledge I am going to be helping with the operations for the MUN conference next year alongside the other secretariat members including Sanya as the secretary-general.

We have had two Sec meetings till now and we have made a lot of decisions for the conference including the theme of this year’s conference which is going to be “Reimagining Multilateralism; reducing uncertainty” which is a really important theme due to all the uncertainty in the world due to the covid-19 pandemic as well as the significance of the unity between all nations in order to deal with the virus quickly and efficiently. We also decided the committees we want to keep for next year which is an important part of the conference as they need to appropriate for the theme and the relevance to the situation that is persisting around the world apart for problems relating to the pandemic.

First Meeting for Comun 2022 (PC:Sanya)