Diolch am bwtcamp a diolch am popeth!
I Believe that I am have not been alone in wondering why SSiW works really well whilst other language learning methods work less well. After bwtcamp I think i have the answer. SSiW doesn't just teach people to speak Welsh, it also teaches about cymuned / community.
As human beings having a community to live and learn in really helps a lot and SSiW delivers this in spades. Firstly there is this forum, where we can share stories, ideas and there is always a host of friendly voices to help answer our questions about Welsh. The forum also guides us to places and events where we can use our Welsh. And then there is bwtcamp, living an entire week in an enclosed community, where we experience a deep immersion into the Welsh language with a merry band of fellow travellers. Thus we learn more about Welsh and the huge importance of community.
Often non-Welsh speakers wonder why people go to trouble of learning this language when we could use English, Welsh isn't needed to get by. Yet Welsh speakers, when gathered together speak mainly in Welsh and it is not until you have lived a week in Welsh that you truly get why this is.
Bwtcamp not only allowed me to experience what living in another language was like and that I was not merely able to survive and thrive in Welsh, it opened up a whole new world both inside myself and in my social self. A community of language that is supportive. Wherever I went in Caernarfon or encounter a group of Welsh speakers elsewhere they are almost always welcoming and happy to speak Welsh with me, because i am becoming a part of the community. I'm a member of many communities, defined by my interests such as: biology, music, football, religion, politics. Yet language communities transcend these specific communities.
I loved bwtcamp because it was living in an enclosed small community, just like when I lived with small groups of people, cut off from the internet and the wider world in jungles. Both intense field scientific research communities and language immersion have very much in common, yet language users are more diverse than us crazy people who like being wet and muddy, bitten by mozzies and worse all day and coem back to camp having to cook everything over an open fire, just to live all day in that amazing world. Just as bwtcamp was wonderful to live in another language for a whole week. I am little jealous of the folk in Caernarfon of being able to predominantly live in the medium of Welsh, it's a different world and one that i really like and just get now why people do it.
I'm still not quite there, my brain was so so tired, people had to explain things to me several times before I understood them. However I if i were to live in a Welsh speaking community i would soon find living in Welsh less tiring. So the big thing was simply learning what it is like to live in a Welsh speaking community and that was able to do it and found that i liked it.
Sorry for being gushy and sentimental, but bwtcamp is/was that amazing. So, just a huge diolch yn fawr iawn/ thank you kindly to Aran & Catrin, my fellow bwtcampwrs and just everyone in the SSiW community and indeed the wider Welsh speaking community.