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GAIL Conference - Last Conference Day

I think I write on behalf of our GAIL group that this day will be remembered forever - “what an amazing time!”. Our last official day at the GAIL 2016 convention. The first half of the day was hectic and eventful as we presented our group findings about our preferred renewable energy source. The deadline for presentation was 1:15 pm so everyone was frantically refining and finishing off their work prior to the deadline. Each group was in charge of creating an informational banner about their energy so that it would act as an advertisement to persuade the judges, before the interactive, group presentations. From 3D cut outs to glitter, the banners were bedecked with eye-catching ornaments. Every group had successfully managed to complete all of their required tasks with the judges coming by to inquire about each group's work.

Following that, we were all seated as we began to watch each other's presentations. It was amazing watching our peers present. In just a week, we had all become experts in our fields of renewable energy. When I think about it, if we were to have a model GAIL conference at Kristin with only Kristin kids, the lack of diversification of knowledge would have been present. Instead, GAIL had 7 nations, students bringing their own understandings based on their own country experience. Because of the cultural and ideological differences between each person in GAIL, there was a real element of global practicality and validity in each of our solutions to the energy crisis. When we think as an individual about issues of global concern, we don't fully include the perspectives of places that we haven't lived in. For example, a person from Scotland would believe that wind turbines are our main solution to the energy crisis because of how effective they are in Scotland. However, a person from South Africa would most likely value solar panels more because of how effective it is in their country. This is why the GAIL convention is important. It gives willing students a chance to understand global significance and perspective.

Everyone enjoyed the informative yet comical presentations everyone gave. The judges had decided that the presentation they favored the most was a group that goes by the name of "Hot Stuff" who gave a presentation on geothermal energy. Unfortunately, following the presentations, we had to say goodbye to the Prestige kids who were leaving early back to South Africa.

Later that evening, we had to put on our dancing shoes and take part in a Scottish traditional night. We had a traditional Scottish dinner which was then followed by a proper ceilidh (aka dancing!) It was an absolute jamboree. To see everyone, including the teachers, have so much fun dancing was what made the GAIL finale a memorable one. The Scottish really know how to have a great time. We all agreed that this was better than any other school ball or formal we've been to. There's a real sense of unity and trust in the different dances which is why we were all smiling until the finale which was Auld Lang Syne. The starting lyric of the song "should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?" Really hit homes for us, now that the conference has finished and we must part ways. It's a shame that this surreal week has come to an end but it's important to remember that this is not goodbye, it's just see you later. And I long for the moment when I can one day reunite with my fellow friends.

By Sohail Din