On October 26th, my summer season 2016 in Crete finally ends. With mixed feelings, I say good-bye to my colleagues and especially “calmly” to the animals of the “Gouves Animal Shelter”. A small donation on my part over € 50.- is to contribute something, that my dog buddies survive the winter well. As a “flight escort“, I finally take the return flight to Düsseldorf with two four-legged dogs from the “Shelter”. Safely landed, “Ella” & “Torron” are collected on time and are looking forward to finally get a real home. All the best, Ella, all the best, Torron!
My first holidays at home are characterised by visits of my beloved ones and by organisations with regard to my stay in Namibia. Not infrequently, I can happily combine both. Friends and Family diligently collected for my trip: children’s clothes, school supplies and used mobile phones can be picked up by many dear people to store it in my two huge suitcases.
And even though I try to avoid taking cash, I had to violate the self-imposed “rule” several times this time. Birgit from “Gouves Animal Shelter”, my aunt Rosa as well as my first elementary school teacher in Germany, Mrs. Knost (whom I largely owe my integration in Germany and which I discovered by chance this summer) give me money. They all ask me to pass it on to the project in Namibia. Kaokoland e.V.” benefits from € 170.-.
Even my grandmother does not ease up and also gives me € 50.- to get something meaningful for the kiddies. Therefore, five colourful, giant world map posters prepared for children are folded and find their way into my suitcase, “sponsored by 96-year-old grandma Dora.
I also remember a debt amount that you could actually see as almost barred. For the good cause, I do not forget the money, I gladly take the amount and transfer the debts of € 80.- to “Mohau e.V.” for use in Fobeni Village. (Do you remember? Fobeni is the place of my work in winter 2015.)
And then there is the special gift from my friend Markus (who already visited me in Crete). On the occasion of his birthday, I spend an incredibly great evening with him and other friends in Meppen. And even though it is HIS birthday, he gives ME and my project an incredibly generous gift. He gives me the cash, which he receives from several friends glued to various alcohol bottles for his birthday, for my project. So, I can divide the total € 160, and transfer € 80 to the Reiner Meutsch Foundation FLY & HELP and to “Kaokoland e.V.” in Namibia. Another great event on Markus’ birthday party is that I met Sabrina. She has already learned about my project from Markus and reports on a documentary that I would certainly like. On another occasion, Sabrina and I watch this film together and I really likes it so much that Sabrina gives me the DVD! It could also be a good film recommendation for you: “I am” by Tom Shadyac. Have fun looking, thinking and acting positively!
Since I learned from the responsible persons of “Kaokoland e. V.” that mobile phones are always highly sought souvenirs, I also have some mobile phones collected. Condor allows me in advance to transport several mobile phones in the hand luggage. 15 mobile phones (including 3 smartphones) are on my way with me to southwestern Africa. Katja & Andreas, Matze & Esther, Zav & Sam, as well as Osch, Christian Strothmann and Adi provide their gifts for great joy!
I get a very great souvenir from Susanne Berg. Susanne is a good friend of my colleague Simone and works in a pharmacy. Susanne learns about my project from Simone and gives me a package of different materials. What pleases children more than the fact of being allowed to “hurt” themselves much more frequently? Well then, off to upset the lion! 😉
My grandfather Christian gets a high-quality backpack, which first does a good service as a hand luggage bag for me and then, to serve a student as the best suitable schoolbag.
My two sisters, Katja and Olga, as well as my friend Ines, gather quite a lot of clothing for the students in Kaokoland together with their children. In the end, I get so many clothes that I cannot squeeze everything into my two suitcases. However, there are still other organisations that can do something meaningful with clothing donations, so in my absence, my parents, my siblings and Nina, my godwife (or whatever you call the godmother of my godchildren…) take measures so that these things find a good use.
Another great donation is made by Caro or by her Mum or her Mum’s colleagues. I supervised Caro as a tour guide in Ibiza more than four years ago. We have remained in contact since although we have not seen each other again. But now, we finally had a really good cause: Caro’s Mum Steffi is a teacher in a school for handicapped children and asks her colleagues to collect some school material for me. Something to write, to paint, to craft, to play… Thus, I am allowed to pick up school supplies of various kinds at Caro’s place and am glad to finally have a valid reason to make the long way to Saxony Anhalt and again, to spend some time with a particularly loving person. By the way, Caro transfers another € 50.- to the Reiner Meutsch Foundation FLY & HELP.
I establish some interesting contacts, which could possibly be useful to me for my project “Help ‘n’ Travel”, from 09.11. until 13.11. in Berlin. As in the last two years, I am allowed to help with the programme presentation of my employer “DER Touristik”. The event, which is officially designated as the “Campus Summer Opening 2017”, is a great success for all participating parties. I am mostly happy about old acquaintances, who I see again, about very interesting personalities I get to know and about the great talks I can have with all these people. And because such events can never be too boring, Kaya Yanar ensures with his performance that no one takes themselves too seriously! On the occasion, I realise: I want a child from Kaya…
On 13.11., this event also comes to an end and I go back home to change my suitcases. The next day, it’s time to go to Windhoek!
A huge thank you to all colleagues for these wonderful days in Berlin and an even more giant thank you goes to all supporters! You are amazing!