Now for Some Hard Work
As mentioned, there are over 300 stalls apart from the bigger stands such as the BBC, the Welsh TV channel; S4C, and many others.

The stalls house a multitude of different organisations and sales outlets. There is information on just about every aspect of community life in Wales. From colleges, universities, utilities, local government, politics and NGOs to farming, food and entertainment etc. etc.

I took the opportunity introduce myself to the Plaid Cymru people and sgned their Language Bill petition.

I'm interested in being able to get S4C's new digital broadcasts in Australia, but was told that only Europe will be covered and content will be broadcast on the internet only at special times such as for the Eisteddfod.

I went to the Welsh bookstall Awen Meirion to meet with Glyn who knows members of the Melbourne Welsh community.

My friend and I spoke to members of the Welsh Education Board. My friend is an English teacher in Hertfordshire and his school, along with many other English schools, uses the Welsh English Language Course. It is much more relevant and meaningful to students I was told.

To prove that I wasn't there just for fun I went the hard yards to get some information for my Godson who is interested in a career in physiotherapy.

I didn't shirk it and was soon deep in discussion with two third-year students; Helen and Emma about courses (plus more Welsh language practice of course) - I think you can see by the picture top left how hard a chore it was (not)!
Mae Pedr yn trafod sgwrs gyda Helen a Emma am y pabell Therapi Galwedigaethol yng Nghymru

Peter discussing courses with Helen and Emma at the Occupational Therapy in Wales tent
Eventually we had to leave the Eisteddfod and head back to Porthmadoc where I was staying.

My fondest memory was being immersed in the Welsh langage, for it really is the language of the Eisteddfod.

To wander around and hear the language everywhere and to see books, flyers, signs everywhere in Welsh was for me a great buzz and a boost for my enthusiasm. Needless to say I bought numerous books and CDs.
Having said all that, my friend and I found there was no problems in speaking English. Welsh speakers these days are totally bilingual, of course, but more importantly, they were just so eager to help and to share what they had with us.

I went away inspired and proud to be a Cymro.

Peter Bonnell 05/08/05