I didn’t know much about Oman prior to participating in SWY and wasn’t exactly sure what GA even was. However, I figured if I didn’t know that much about SWY and it turned out amazingly, why wouldn’t this also be a great experience?
My instincts were correct! It was the best trip of my life thus far. Just like SWY 34, people were open to chat, make friends, and learn about each other’s homes. It was also exciting to connect with different batches from SWY 1 to SWY 34 with people from even more countries.
My favourite experience was at Omani night when we had two SWYers, one from Japan and one from Sweden, celebrating birthdays. As they were holding their cake, birthday songs were sung in English, Japanese, Swedish, and Arabic, but continued in about a dozen more languages! SWYers would find their friends who spoke the same language and start singing another birthday song. These spontaneous actions were a beautiful demonstration of the power of SWY – bringing people together to learn, celebrate, and appreciate different cultures!
For my fellow members of SWY 34, this GA was particularly special to us. While we just participated in SWY this year, we only had 2 weeks together in person in Japan as our program was hybrid. Participating in GA 14 allowed us to strengthen the bonds within our batch. We even got to go on a boat ride, which was the first time we were on the water as SWY 34!
Looking forward to the next GA!