08 Nov Round Square International Conference 2019
Grade 11 student Joshua Gobalsamy and Round Square staff representative Mrs Sonia Claassen attended the Round Square International Conference at The Emerald Heights International School in Indore, India at the beginning of October.
Mrs Claassen and Joshua write:
A land of contrast in so many ways and so absolutely true to our whole experience and two weeks in India. From the far north to the south, the exquisite foods, vibrant people and cultures, and the diverse scenery all contribute to this incredible country.
On 26 September, Mrs Sonia Claassen, the Round Square Representative for Dainfern College, and Grade 11 student Joshua Gobalsamy left on an Emirates flight destined for an unfamiliar country and the Round Square International Conference for 2019.
We flew directly to Leh in the Ladakh region of Northern India. Leh is situated at the base of the Himalayas where we experienced what is like living with low oxygen due to the high altitude. A huge military base camp surrounded by vast arid lands, hills and windy roads were incredible to see.
We were joined here by two other Round Square Schools: St Stithians College Johannesburg and Stiftung Landheim School in Germany. We shared four wonderful days together and were fortunate to drive up the world’s second highest mountain pass at just over 17,500 feet where the scenery was spectacular – feeling the snow fall down around us was surreal! We then travelled down to Pangong Lake which stretches 150km across India and China. This lake boosts the most beautiful colours and we were lucky to have wonderful weather while we were there. The central market and shopping area was a highlight and everyone we encountered was kind and helpful.
After a few days of peace and tranquility we flew down to Indore where we were welcomed by The Emerald Heights International School to begin the Round Square International Conference for 2019. The conference saw 174 Round Square schools come together with just over 1400 delegates in total. The theme of the conference was ‘Sarvodaya’: The World we wish to see. The keynote speakers were world class leaders who have spoken at Google, the United Nations and the British parliament respectively, their speeches were truly insightful and thought-provoking.
Each Baraza groups discussed the responsibilities they have to work collectively to address crises that impact our current and future world. The hospitality at the conference was truly amazing with incredible themed dinners and carnival entertainment every night was incredible. The students had wonderful opportunities to meet friends from across the world in each of the days planned activities. We also contributed to the Service pillar of Round Square by reaching out to local organisations where we painted, make artworks and worked with both young and old within the Indore community. The delegation also had a wonderful sightseeing day out to local temples and forts dating back thousands of years.
Mrs Sonia Claassen & Joshua Gobalsamy