A glimpse

Some things I’ve heard or said here:

“We’re leaving in 15 minutes. 15 minutes European time, not African time, that means we’re leaving in 11 minutes!”

We never left the house at all that evening.

“I’ve never seen someone eat toast with chopsticks, but it’s actually happening right now!”

The wonders of sharing a house with about 20 other interns from China.

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Travel Stories: Thailand presentation!

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[Thailand 2004]

This is a friendly reminder that tomorrow (Thursday May 9th) I’ll hold a presentation on how to travel safely and smoothly through Thailand.
Please join us if you’re interested! More info here (you have to give prior notice).

Also, the presentation will be held in German. I thought maybe I should mention that ;)

The presentation will not substitute a travel guide but is more about giving background information about the country, mentality, religion. It tells our own travel stories, things we did that you probably shouldn’t do (like crash a funeral), stories to make you learn from our mistakes, stories about how to have fun but still be conscious about a different country and culture.

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[Thailand 2010]

 

World: Togo – Activities

Since I was only in Togo for a short two weeks, and since we spent most of the days teaching, we didn’t have much time for other activities.

On our first day in the village, which was also a Sunday, we went from church to church to introduce ourselves to the people. There were a lot of churches. However, we were always welcomed very warmly; church in Africa is drastically different from what I’ve known church to be elsewhere. Women dress in their finest, most colourful clothes. They sing and dance and it’s a totally different atmosphere.

We also managed to spend an evening/night in the capital city, Lomé, and one weekend in Kpalimé.

We caught a community bus to Lomé where we went for dinner at “Al Donald’s” –a pretend McDonald’s. We then went to a Reggae bar and met up with some friends. We danced and laughed and had a lot of fun. At around 3am we caught a cab back to the village–but the cab driver got lost in the African bush. A trip that could take around 30-40 minutes took us two hours. We did manage to get back safely though ;)

The morning after – or should I rather say afternoonwe made our way to Kpalimé to the waterfall. On our first night we went to a bar where we spent another night dancing and drinking – we met another group of volunteers and… believe me when I say that those Togolese guys have some serious dance moves going on. I kid you not, they’re incredible and passionate dancers.

The next morning we got on taxi-motos and went to the waterfall. This taxi-moto thing… well let’s just say it’s probably not for everyone. Let me tell you that I feared for my life the entire time.

The waterfalls were gorgeous, secluded with clear, ice cold water.

Other than that, we regularly danced around the fire to the beat of traditional Togolese drums, and met up with the group of volunteers we met in Kpalimé. As it turned out they stayed only a short walk away from us ;)

However, most days we were just crazy exhausted and more than happy to go to bed at 9pm.

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[Above: our group of volunteers with the kids.| Below: community taxi to Lomé.]

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[Above and below: Al Donald’s!]

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[Above: rainy street in Lomé at 3am.| Below: dancing and drinks in Kpalimé.]

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[Above and below:the waterfall.]

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[Above: waterfall fun.| Below: Moise, Laura and I on a taxi-moto.]

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[Above: Sunday at church. | Below: an evening together with the other group of volunteers.]

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[More Togo-travel posts: The People | Life in the village | Reflection | All Around | More photos here.]

Has it really been one year already?

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Exactly one year ago I sat on Sargon for the first time. After about two years in which I was at the stables frequently but never in the saddle I was given the opportunity to ride and care for this pretty, yet mischievous arabian gelding. I was told that he isn’t that easy to handle and spooks easily but I think the two of us get along quite well.

In the year together we’ve had a lot of great experiences. We’ve trained for a little fun tournament at the stables, we’ve learned together and accomplished a lot. However, we’ve also had some great rides through the forest – on late summer evenings or on sunny winter mornings, through meters of fluffy snow. We’ve had our ups and downs, sure (like that one time when he tripped and we both fell together), but I’m just so glad and happy to have been given this opportunity.

Now that we’ve finally left this long winter behind us we can start to train again, days are longer and filled with more possibilities – we know each other better and I couldn’t be more excited.

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[Above and below: we’ve had lots of snow and it provided us with our very own winter wonderland.]

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[Above: we’ve had our fair share of ups…. | Below: … and downs.]

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[Above: we had fun in the woods during summer… | Below: … and enjoyed colourful leaves in autumn.]

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(I apologise for the different sizes, colourings and qualities of these pictures. I never take my Canon with me when I’m ON a horse so these were mostly taken with my phone.)