To paint a picture of the sights seen on that day, you’d need all the colors you can think of. Nothing in my life can be compared to the blur of blinding lights and shouts of pride mixed in with the flags of all nations. The buzz of people’s voices could be heard from one side of the grand arena to the other like an army. An army. A sea of scarves, hats and costumes, and stories.
Stories by this point mean a whole new thing to me. A story could be a country. A person. An object. A flag. They all have a past and a future. This camp highlights that. Like glow in the dark. You see colors brighter, more clearly. You hear 40 languages a day as you walk past a main path.
But at the opening ceremony, this was all happening at once. I was a flag carrier, we had to walk in lines organized to our country’s roll call. I walked down to the back of the arena with Daniella, from Mexico, who was a newfound companion of mine at the line. We talked long conversations, as the rehearsal took us ages.
I finally received my Egyptian flag and we all treaded down from behind the arena on two sides towards the stage. ‘Circle of Life’ was playing. It seems they couldn’t find a better way to make it more dramatic and emotional.
I finished our flag waving. We then stood still in form till the end, flags waving above our heads. We had a fine provided lunch backstage till we were guided back with a leader to our contingent in the audience. I sat welcomed by cheers and hugs, clumsily not remembering what for.
The show was a lovely mix of a breathtaking message by our scouting saviour Bear Grylls, a drone show of lights and images that gave me Spider-Man vibes, a professional music from professional bands, including some professional blender clicking. It was amazing overall, and I really hope the other shows will be just as brilliant. ‘Till then, I’ll just keep anticipating more.