August 1989, and we were the “last legion” to be trained in one of East Germany’s paramilitary camps – one of the things that had become part and parcel of growing up in East Germany. Now we were there for a last time, though we didn’t know that yet.Continue reading
I was 17 in the summer of 1989, my last school holidays in-between grade eleven and twelve. Amidst irritating news about an increasing number of fellow East Germans who tried to flee across a newly opened Hungarian-Austrian border to western countries, a friend and I travelled the Isle of Rügen before we had to serve in a GST-Lager, a paramilitary camp, for a last time.Continue reading
30 years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Three weeks ago I was looking for a present for dad, and as a late thought I considered Gert Dietrich’s Cultural History of East Germany (Kulturgeschichte der DDR) a good idea, albeit an expensive one, perhaps a joint present for us all. So I went to Göttingen’s best academic bookshop, which happens to be located down the road from the publishing house where the book was made. I couldn’t find it on their shelves and asked for it. Their response: it’s “too exotic” for them to have it on stock. East German matters are “too exotic” some 60km from the old border, I get it. You wonder why I feel at home in Africa, kkkkkkkk! Have a happy anniversary next year, you re-united Germany!
… they weren’t many, except
What had come closest to it was the mortadella baguette, served at La Galette, the phantastic German bakery & restaurant in Kigali
Yay! We made it happen. At the end of October, Chimz arrived in Germany. We had two months ahead of us, with German classes to attend, music festivals to enjoy, with some trips to Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and the Alps. With Christmas markest and family get-togethers in Magdeburg and Munich.Continue reading
I have not been very happy with the galleries on WordPress. The combination of text and image, which I love, puts high-quality images at a disadvantage. I grant that I may haven’t found the right styles yet. Anyways, since I put a lot of work into editing my photos properly now that I’m back home and have all my equipment again, I decided to create galleries on 500px. I’m quite happy with the display, though not the functionality of their content management (notably the random order in which the images are uploaded). So if you want to see high quality images, go to my profile there.
Note: the Omo-Valley gallery contains semi-nudes that will only display for registered users who allow NSFW-content to be displayed.
Addis Ababa airport. As for a farewell, Africa has given me a treat of what the negative stereotypes about her hold in store: cancelled flights, bad service delivery, lack of water, and now quite some chaos at the airport. I feel obliged to add: obstacles like this amassed, that’s new to me here. My Africa year up to here, the last few days, has been mostly smooth, so much so that I can wholeheartedly dismiss the negative stereotypes as prejudices. That, however, doesn’t mean negatives don’t occur. They are just not as “typical” as the prejudices would have them. So here I go, through a row of obstacles on my way out.
My heart is heavy already as I will be leaving the southern hemisphere tomorrow. The last leg of my journey, Nairobi to Addis Ababa, from where I shall explore northern Ethiopia for a few days. And yes I’m proud – just over 6 weeks from Jo’burg to Mombasa by bus, matatu and train, then a flight to Nairobi.
Almost perfectly in synch, my parents and I thought they should come here on a visit, and although it came at rather short notice, we went ahead with the plan. Roughly four weeks later they were here, for ten days over Easter. Their first time in Africa. Their first meeting with Chimwemwe. I had planned to show them around and take them on a trip to Zambia to see the Victoria Falls and stay in a bush camp, to see wildlife on a game drive in Chobe National Park in Botswana, and to see Jo’burg and Soweto. And so we did! And they loved every bit of it! I let pictures speak 😉