Friday 18 December 2009
We all slowly tumbled out of bed this morning feeling the effects of last night! Our bombshell of a room slowly improved as we began to pack up. We said our goodbyes and Shaun and I headed to the Laundromat Cafe to do some much needed laundry.
It became an all day ordeal when we got there – the place was mainly cafe with four washing machines and two dryers. I think it was much more expensive to do the laundry here than it would have been down the street but the vibe was great and we had lunch and hot chocolates while waiting. It's quite a creative business venture and if the youth hostels in Canberra didn't have laundries attached to them, I'd be tempted to set up a Laundromat Cafe back home!
We lugged our luggage back to the bus stop. While we waited for the bus, a scary guy started talking to us. I never know how to handle it when people who are intimidating start harassing you. On the one hand, they clearly want you to engage and we couldn't really walk away, but at the same time, once we started engaging, he got right up into our faces and told us that climate change was up to God, Allah or whoever we believe in and we were wasting our time in Copenhagen. This really has been two weeks of a plethora of opinions on how to (or not) take action on climate change!
We got on our bus and finally got to our hotel where we dumped our stuff and went to have dinner with Phoebe, Bella, Meg, Jasmin, her boyfriend Mark, Simon and Marcus. A week previous, we had trekked halfway around Kongens Nortov to try to find "Cantina Workshop" only for it to be completely packed when we got there. We had been meaning to go back since but hadn't gotten around to it. The meal was pretty great – very authentic Asian fusion.
Phoebe, Shaun, Jasmine and I were reflecting on life changing experiences and whether this had been one. I agreed with Phoebe when she said it was too early to tell and she would have to reflect in 6 months on it. We spoke about how some life changing experiences come from the most unexpected places like random, part time jobs or meeting a particular person. But without a doubt, I have learnt so much over the past 10 days.
In her thank you speech on behalf of all of us to Janette, Laura said she learnt more in this 10 day course than all her other 20 courses at university combined. I'd have to somewhat echo this sentiment. I have never met so many young people from so many different countries. But not only were they from so many different countries, they were from such diverse backgrounds within their own countries.
I've learnt more about forests and LULUCF and REDD than I ever thought I would know. I've learnt about CDM and some of the challenges faced by low lying islands. I've learnt that I never want to be an Australian negotiator. I've learnt that there are many ways you can go out into the world and do good. I've learnt that we can each make a little difference, even if it is just dressing up as an elf and singing Christmas carols. I've learnt about the power of a mass movement like the youth movement. I've learnt I have so much to learn. I've learnt about the complexities of climate change and how much more I have got to learn!