Wow, wow, wow!
I've had such an epic week. In fact, "epic" doesn't go far enough to describe how amazing an experience this last week, and overall, the past couple of months have been for me.
See, back in October last year, I went with the Holocaust Education Trust (HET), on a one day trip to Poland. I attended the trip with one of my History teachers, and another student from my school, David.
Before the trip we had a briefing seminar, where I heard Ziggi (a Holocaust survivor) speak. It was at that point, where I think I realised what I had gotten myself in for. Tragic, heart-breaking, disgusting, and painful, do not go far enough to describe the atrocity of his experiences.
Then, came the trip. I can't describe it; I still can't bring myself to actually think about the day, as I end up in a fit of tears. It has to be one of the single most emotional days of my life. Walking around Auschwitz I, and Auschwitz-Birkenau (Auschwitz II), brought such an immense, and important part of history to life. Standing on the tracks, where millions of prisoners were transported into the camps, only to die. Standing in their bunkers, where they lived in conditions unimaginable to our lives that we live. Walking around a gas chamber, being in the same room where thousands died. It's horrific.
Then came a follow-up Seminar. This was to be the last part of the trip; all of the students are told to go and spread what they've learnt through the "Lessons from Auschwitz" project.
Then a couple of weeks ago, just as David and I were preparing our assemblies for our follow-up work, HET get in contact. We've been invited up to London to do a speech. This'll be with Mayor Boris Johnson. (This'll be happening Tuesday 26th January).
As you might imagine, I was pretty ecstatic. Boris! I love the man!
Then, last week I got another phonecall from HET. Could David and I do a presentation up in London again? Sure, I say!
So we get upto London, and we end up doing a presentation to about two hundred people. There are Lords present, as well as the press, a handful of MPs and about a dozen Holocaust Survivors (not to mention, my very emotional History teacher).
Following our little presentation, one of the workers from HET informs us that on Friday (22nd), we might be asked to do something else. Details had to be finalised, but it could happen!
Thursday 21st. I'm walking to my History lesson, and the history teacher who attended Auschwitz with David and I, comes up to me jumping around - "You're going to Downing Street!" We all got over excited, I think I might have even mini-screamed with excitement.
So Friday, off I go to Downing Street. I go through Number 10, walk around inside, go up the stair-case of portraits, wait, and finally meet Mr. Brown himself!
He shakes my hand. We all introduce each other, and the Holocaust survivors speak. Then he speaks to me! We had photos taken, and he gave me a signed book!
I also got to meet Sarah Brown. She was very nice, and I had a long chat with her about school and university. I had a few photos taken with her too!
I then got to go on a mini-tour of Downing Street. I even got to sit on the Prime Minister's Cabinet seat!
Following that, Lord Janner - who co-founded HET - took us all out to lunch at Parliament! Dare I say it, the best meal I've ever had!
We finished the day with a tour around the Houses of Parliament by Janner's assistant. I went into Lords and Commons!
So yeah, I've had a pretty damn amazing week! Plus, I still have Boris to look forward to on Tuesday! (Oh, and I've had an exam aswell, and I still have another one to go).
You can see me on the front page of Downing Street's website - www.number10.gov.uk/
- Not the best photo of me ever, but even so!
I'm actually still excited, I can't bring myself to revise for my last exam, which is on Monday!
I'll post some pictures when I get the ones through from the HET photographer. Also, I think (if I can) I'll bring myself to look through the Auschwitz photos I took on the day.
I hope everyone else has had a good week too!