This morning we had another set of specialist lectures, where everyone split up to attend certain lectures that particularly interested them. I attending a lecture by a recent PhD grad that did her work on the access to energy in developing countries. Her work focused on renewable solar energy, setting up infrastructure in certain homes in remote villages as well as teaching and providing training.
Following the lecture I along with about 150 other participants were split up into three big groups before taking the underground to Buckingham Palace! The Union Jack was raised above the palace, which meant that the Queen was not residing there. I was told she is currently on a three week holiday in Scotland. This actually turned out to be a good thing, because it meant that the State Rooms were open to tours while she was away. We then spent the next hour or so walking through the incredibly ornate rooms where visitors were received and brought before the Queen. These involved multiple drawing rooms, a throne room, an Massive ballroom (with ceilings 14 meters high), and hallways with great art and sculpture collections!
One of the greatest highlights of LIYSF I don’t think I’ve said too much about is the opportunity to make some amazing friendships. I’ve met so many incredible people from all over the world, and have friends from so many diverse backgrounds and cultures. I’ve probably met less than half of the participants (there are well over 400) yet I have had countless conversations discussing the differences and similarities of each area of the world.
This evening I walked down to South Kensington with Roy, Rain, and Sheng from China and an English participant named Zach to find some pizza. After deciding that pizza was overpriced in London, we stopped for crepes and had fun learning some Mandarin sentences. Afterwards we played cards in the common room until the leaders kicked us out. Good times!