Today was a day of celebration, farewells, many hugs, looking back, and looking forward. It was an immensely packed day from start to finish (as I write this it is currently past 3 am. There isn't much time to sleep at LIYSF!) There were many wonderful things that happened today. Breakfast is always a great start to the day, not just because the Imperial serves delicious buttery croissants every morning, but because we get to sit together in large groups and share our previous days' experiences with our breakfast table.
|Group selfies are a very regular occurrence at LIYSF! Here we are heading to a local super market to buy snacks (dark chocolate for me!) in between events. |
|We were all very excited to pick up our certificate of attendance and t-shirt from the British Council. If you want to get students excited, either feed them free food or give them free t-shirts! I also received a certificate for presenting my poster at the bazaar. Here we have Shahar and Hadas from Israel, Joseph from Guernsey, Michael from the USA, and Luiz from Brazil.|
|After collecting our certificates and lovely shirts, we stopped for group photos and reminisced on the happy, hilarious, and inspiring moments of LIYSF 2016. I am really going to miss these three wonderful people. Alexandra and Maciej (to my right and far left) have taught me about Polish politics, government, and education throughout the forum, and Sophie was my loyal jogging buddy and source for translations of New Zealand slang!|
|This is the wonderful Grace from New Zealand! When she found out that I was born in South Africa, she gave me her best South African accent by saying, "Irene Van Dyck is my favourite net ball player." So fun!|
|This is Arlene from China. There were about fifty people from China that came to LIYSF this year, and I'm so glad to have met many of them.|
|In the evening we had our final Closing Farewell party at the Old Chelsea Town Hall, with lots of dancing and many teary farewells. Those going on the CERN trip this coming week have a very early start, so there were many farewells in the evening. We were there until around midnight, until I realized that I still had to pack... Thankfully, when I finally managed to get much of my packing done before my eye lids closed and sleep took over. |
There have been countless memorable moments throughout these two weeks of LIYSF 2016, many of which I haven't had the time to mention in these short posts. Very soon, I will work through my notes and thoughts and write a final conclusion post. As for now, let me leave you with one of the biggest lessons I learned this forum: we have more in common with others than we think. We may be separated by oceans and mountains and borders, but we share so much more than we could ever imagine.