Hallo good people,
Time flies more than we can imagine. It still feels like I arrived yesterday in Germany but yet my year is about to end. It is hard to believe that in few weeks I will be coming back to South Africa.
A lot has happened throughout the time that I have stayed here in Germany. I have faced challenges and learnt how to overcome them. I learnt new things, made friends, gained new skills and experiences. It can take forever to explain all this, but I am very grateful that I got this opportunity. After all, I am happy that I will always have great memories about this for the rest of my life. I believe that this was not my last time coming to Germany.
There are a lot of things that I will miss about Germany. The good transport system that you can get any time of the day, long summer days, friends and I will definitely miss being independent. Living alone for the whole year made me become more matured and helped me to face realities of being a young adult. Someone once said ”Life Begins At The End Of Your Comport Zone”. It took me to move away from my comport zone to seriously start thinking about my future goals and what I truly want for myself.
They say “Every Good Thing Has To Come To An End”. Now I believe coming to Germany was one of the memorable things that could have happened, and now it is about to end. In few weeks’ time this will all feel like a dream, though one of the saddest ones I will have to dream about. The time shared and friends I have made will be one of the best experiences I had. As I will be going back home, keeping in touch with friends will be on top of my list.
I believe that in the end of each journey is a new beginning for new opportunities and new experiences.
See you soon good people…
I don’t know why but I feel like this year is a start of better things in my life. I feel like I can do more and better things with my life.
I had a different experience in the month of January. I know I was busy complaining about the cold German weather but the month of January was even worse than ever before; it was freezing cold. I was really excited to see the snow. I was even playing in it and taking photos, but that didn’t last for more than two day. After two day I was annoyed and freezing cold.
I was wearing onion layers (many layers of clothes) but still I could feel the cold. I actually think I was feeling the cold in my bones. There was a time when myself and my mentor spent two hours outside of a place like home affairs early in the morning and I was freezing to death. I couldn’t feel toes and my body was numb. I’ve never seen a black person turning red, but that day I turned red. I thought that was my last day on earth. I almost cried, but just when I was feeling like crying the doors were opened, we got in that place and I was sitting on top of the radiator. After all this experience I am now enjoying 7 degrees like summer. I am glad that January is over and the weather is getting better.
Caroline and Henrike came to visit me. I was so happy to see them again after a long time. I took them for little tour around Bremen and we went to have dinner together it was really nice to spend time with them.
I am still working at the office, learning new things each and everyday, on the 29th of January I was in Nienburg, a rural place. I’ve never seen a rural place like that in Germany ever before. There was no phone signal and there is no transport system. It is a quite place. I don’t think I will survive for more than two days in a place like that. I went there with my manager. We were facilitating the intercultural exchange workshop for Borda (another organisation under weltwärts).
I will be coming home soon, in three months time and I can’t wait, but I’m also having fun here Germany on my last few month. Till next time...
Hallo everyone. Hope you all had wonderful Christmas and a good start this year (2016). My festive season was amazing this side. It was all about fun, I got great gifts for my birthday and amazing birthday party. 2015 was truly a wonderful year for me I experienced quite a lot of things.
Germany Christmas time is amazing. They truly have the vibe for it, they have Christmas markets where you can get a whole lot of Christmas things, I tried my first non-alcoholic Glühweine (hot cooked Christmas wine). As econtur staff we went for ice-skating, it was my first and last time. I was scared to death and I am glad I didn’t break my legs but it was a bit fun.
I spend my Christmas in the north German island of Sylt. It is really close to Denmark. It is known as an island for rich people. My mentor Birgit is from there so I spent my Christmas with her family. That place is amazing. It was windy and cold, but refreshing. The beautiful thing is, it really small we did a tour all around the island in two days. We went for indoor swimming and soon I felt like a princess in that island. I wish to stay there forever. We came back to Bremen for New Years Eve and it was fun but I was kind of sick. We were listening to Ukhozi FM and I went to bed after 2:00.
That all about my last month of 2015, I am now looking forward to 2016.
Change is not an easy thing. Being away from home, from my loved ones, away from my umbilical cord was not easy at first, but has brought up a good change in me. I have learned independence; I have learned to deal with challenges and to grow. Sitting here in this moment I am looking back on where I have been in life, on how I used to do things, on how I use to handle challenges, how I use to become easily irritated and how I use to run to my parents whenever I thought I am having hard times in life. Time flies, I can´t believe I am halfway through my stay in Germany, but can still remember my first day. I can remember having a hard time to adapt to the system, language and the city of Bremen.
This month I have good and sad stories to share with you all, I have spent some time with some teenagers from Durban, they came here to participate in the pass book competition. We did a city tour with them. I went to Berlin in a German-African-youth-initiative workshop. I was so privileged to be part of it. I got to meet interesting people from other parts of Africa as well as Germany. The workshop was based on making future plans for Germanan and African partnership.
At one moment I felt bad to hear other Africans saying that they don´t consider South Africa as one of the African countries because South Africa is more privileged and South Africans have pride. I had to defend my county, but you can think how hard it was for me because this argument reached to the xenophobic attacks and I was the only South African there.
I enjoyed my stay in Berlin sleeping in a 5 star hotel, but on my last day I lost my phone, I was picked pocketed. I couldn´t believe it, but that did not stop me from getting to know about the Berlin wall history and to get to see the parliament and some memorial sights. I am so grateful to have Birgit as my mentor; she is the one who took me for sightseeing in Berlin.
One member of the incomers from Durban went back to South Africa on the 30th of November. I was jealous of her, I wished that I was the one who is coming back home. It was not easy to say goodbey. I thought about lots of things. The cold German weather and it is getting worse from day to day. I thought about my Birthday on the 7th of December and I will be turning 21. I don´t even know what to do on my birthday here since the weather has become terrible in this time of the year here in Germany. People here don´t care so much about the 21st birthday. To them it the same as all other birthdays. But the Christmas vibe has already started. Many houses and shops are already decorated for Christmas and the city at night looks really beautiful, even though it is cold. But I am looking forward to experiencing the German Festive Season.
I know every one is curious to know about what I have been up to this month. Well, everything is going quite, but as they always say there is no place like home. You can have all the fun in the world, but there is always that space in my heart that misses home, my family, friends and my boyfriend, or how can I forget WhizzKids Family.
But yet I am still learning and having fun this side. The weather is starting to get really cold in this country. I have already started wearing layers of clothes. I don’t even care about looking good anymore, but it’s funny because it not even winter, yet. I am so not looking forward to German winter, but anyway my skin is beautiful now, that’s what I like.
Want to know what I did this month? I participated in the seminar of the outgoing volunteers for two weeks. It was really nice to spend some time with them. I learned a lot from them, even though sometimes they spoke deep Deutsch that I couldn’t understand. That is still a challenge to me, it is not easy to learn this language. I can understand what they say but talking is not easy. I find myself saying “Ich sprech nicht Deutch” (I don’t speak German) or “Keine Ahnung” (I don’t know). I use these lines to avoid speaking German. It’s not because I don’t want to, but because it is hard for me to talk to some people.
Then I worked at the office, assisting my manager in some event planning. I have learned a lot from her in two weeks. She is an inspiration to me. It is nice to work with someone who appreciates your effort. I have been working a lot with excel and translating some documents from German to English (without Google it wasn’t easy), sitting in meetings taking notes, sharing ideas I have on event planning - that felt so good. Thanks to WhizzKids United’s Game Changers Programme because I learned all these ideas from it.
There was trade fair open day in the city center and I participated by playing the quizzes. I went to all the stations and won a lot of chocolate. Fair trade staff cost a lot hey, but I had all those costly chocolate for free on that day and I also won a voucher to buy anything I want in a fair trade shop just for guessing how many beans of coffee were there in a container.
Now, I am planning to go on holiday but you will here tell you more about that next month next month.
The first of week of this month (August) I was helping in a holiday program called WUUP,it teaches kids of 7 to 13 years of age about the environment and nature. They also play some fun educational games. I enjoyed myself there and I also learned new games from the kids.
On the second week I was helping in another holiday program (kinder wilderness) where kids are being taught to do sculptures using stones,wire and wood. This was part of learning for me as well ,I made a hippo and fish using a special stone. I sculptured a woman with wire. I also learned to polish a stone and to make a necklace out of it. The third week We had a seminar as the incoming volunteers to talk about our stay in Bremen so far, our personal, profetional and gerneral experiences, intercultural exchange and our expectations. I also learned to draft a proper business proposal in this seminar.
We went to Klimahaus (Climate house) with my Bremen family on Friday in Bremerhaven. It was my second time going their but I was still amazed by the different stations of different countries and shocked to see how climate change destroy the enviroment. And we went to Oldenburg to have a lunch at Sylvia and Fritz house (our bosses). They prepared lot of mouth watering food it was really great.
Even though I am having so much fun in this country, but I always find myself missing home, especially in this month of August. I wouldn´t say I am homesick, because to me it is not a sickness; it is simply about missing a place that is filled with loved ones.
This month I have had lot of fun here in Germany. I would first like to tell you about my participation in the Bremen Global Championship, which was at the Sportgarten. There were different schools participating in differnt stations and in our station we were playing South African indigenous games (Umlabalaba and three teen) with the Kids. It was amazing, the kids loved our games.
There were a few hot days in Bremen and we went to swim in a lake (a man made beach). It was nice, I really enjoyed those two sunny days in Bremen. Then there was a huge Bremen ferstival (Bremenale). I must say Bremen rocks. I have never seen an event with so many people in my whole entire life. It was amazing and the perfomance I liked most was the regay music perfomance by a Mexican group.
We were invited by Sylvia to Oldenburg for concert of Nomfusi, a South African Afrofussion singer, which was great. On that day it was raining hard, but because we were dancing and having fun we did not pay attention to the rain. Only after the concert was over I realised that I was soaked in water and I felt cold, but I could not do anything about it, because Bremen was far away from where we were. Sylvia took us to a restaurant where we had a nice coffee with a smile and that smile in the coffee made me forget that I was cold and my house is far from where Oldenburg is.
Then we went to visit different Organizations to see their work and to also try and get placements in the summer holidays programms that they have. Lucky enough we can partcipate for a week in each Organization and I have started my first week in Marßel - a youth sport club - this last week of July. It was amazing. I liked working with kids even though sometimes I struggled to understand them, but kids make sure that you get to understand what they want and that helped me to learn few new words from them. And I got lot of chocolate as a gift on my last day, and flowers and a drum.
Now I am living in a student Wohnhaus (residence), in a place called Fahr. I moved on thursday and I love my new room. It is nice and bright.
That all for now, I will give you guys more information at end of next month. Love you all.
June was basically the language course month. I spent four weeks in a language course which was a great experience and an opportunity to meet people from other countries like Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Lebanon, Libya, India, Mexico, South Korea etc. This gave me a chance to get to know other countries by having a chat with those guys. It was amazing. We were like a big family from different countries, because we all got along with each other so well. It was not easy at all to say goodbye on the last day of the language course (25 June).
About the German language itself - I can now have a conversation, but I don´t want to lie; sometimes I know what to say but it´s hard to put it in the right words. Especially when someone only wants to speak deutsch. I then just freeze and go: Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch (I speak a little German). But I try to get better.
On the morning of the 25th we did presentations about the organisations that we have been working with back home to some German school kids and their teachers. I really enjoy talking about WhizzKids United. There was one teacher who asked me if it is possible that we could do our presentations in schools and the kids liked the fact that there are organisations that work closely with communities. I think that it was a great thing to do and I noticed that German kids don´t know that some countries are not developed as Germany.
We had a nice trip to Kletterwald Kraxelmaxel in Oldenburg. It was a great experience. I always thought that I am afraid of height, but I think I was fooling myself. It was simply because I have never got a chance to test myself before. I am saying this because when I got there, I got too excited. I kept trying and trying different levels and it was an amazing experience. I would like to get a chance to do it again I wouldn´t let it pass me by.
We also went to see the beautiful Sportgarten. It is a unique place for people to come and play. It has a skating court, basketball field, two soccer fields and beach volleyball. It is awesome place. I liked it from the first sight. It is a wonderful place. I know skating is not a popular thing in S.A, but here you can find a 6 year old skating and you can see that kids enjoy this. What I liked the most is that parents are also part of it. Some come and play with their kids and even if they are not playing, they can just stay around. It is not like they are being forced to do it, because they can just drop their kids and fetch them later, and some come on their own, but most parents are involved and they are responsible for their kids.
Ich mag Deutschland und Ich find Deutschland sehr schön. (I like Germany and I find Germany very beautiful)
I was too excited but as soon as I was being told that I have to take this journey all by myself I began to be worried, but knowing that there is a first time for everything I made it to Germany all by myself. But when I arrived at the immigration I had to answer some few questions because my visa photo and passport photo looked differently and I was also looking different because of my hairstyle. I spent about 20 minutes answering questions; that’s how I was welcomed in Germany.
I had faced some challenges in the first few days: flu, extremely cold weather and late sunsets, but that didn’t stop me from going out and seeing Bremen’s beautiful old buildings and taking pictures next to the famous Bremen Stadt musicians from the fictional story, trying some different German dishes, or going around Bremen seeing a whole lot of different things.
We even went to the town hall to be welcomed officially in Bremen and took a tour inside the town hall. We took part in an econtur seminar. It was a great experience for me, doing a presentation about myself and WhizzKids at the Borda offices.
There is one thing that worries me a lot. People here don’t know anything about Pietermaritzburg and people from Durban are making fun of me. So please people, talk about our city everywhere you go, because now it is all about Durban and I don’t like that, so that is why I stand up for PMB. I don’t want to lie. Sometimes I feel a bit ashamed because of the fact that I only have finished high school while people I’m with here they have tertiary education. So sometimes I don’t have much to say about my educational background but I believe that this won’t be a barrier to me. I will do what I came here to do and I want to make sure that I perform my work in a way that they don’t even notice any difference.
I am enjoying my stay so far even though I live in a rich people, boring area where I hardly see people. But so far so good.
My internship started on the 1st of September 2014 and ended in the 30 of September 2014, I did my internship at WhizzKids United doing a marketing research, I worked with Stefan Kunze who is a country director.
In the beginning of my internship I was given a task to research and develop my understanding of a brand and branding recognition, I also did interviews to increase my knowledge about branding an d I researched about WhizzKids united competitors, I learned more about WhizzKids United branding. Then I was told to research the methods of surveyingbecause my next task was to conduct a survey,- so out of all the methods I chose to do a multiple choice questionnaire, because I saw that it will save time and people would be able to answer it in a short period of time. At first it was a bit hard for me to think of the questions and answers for my questionnaire. And I came up with a plan for my survey on where I will do it, when, how much time I will spend in each place and a budget. I had to do 100 questionnaires per day though most of the time I didn’t rich to that number but I did well because I always did more than 50 each day and some time more than 100.
My first day of surveying was a disaster I was disappointed in all places that I went to first at a CEO’s office they didn’t give me the authority to do my survey inside the hospital instead some woman gave an attitude after waiting for an hour she just asked that “U are still here can’t you see that we are busy” after that I decided to just live. Then I went to the mall I went through the same problem again some woman in the management office told me that my questions are lame she have done a marketing for many years she don’t think it appropriate to do that survey with other NGOs logo’s without letting those NGOs know about that survey they called one of those NGOs because they are working with them and told about this survey. My day was wasted bout it simply because I didn’t make appointments and let them knows before time that I will come.
I learnt my lesson I decided to go back to WKU and call other places that I planned to do my survey in. Then Monday I went to do my survey in schools and it was very hot I sweated till I had salt in my face that is one of the days that I will never forget. Most of my day during my internship was all about disappointments, when I did my survey at the mall it was hard because people gave me attitude they did want to get involved especially women. Any way there was nothing fun about my internship it was all about work, work, and work and in some other days I felt like crying. But all in all I did well because I did 436 questionnaires out of 500, after that I did stressful work conducting a data in Microsoft Excel and creating in Microsoft power point for my presentation but I did my best because I did my presentation but it was funny because I was rushing to finish I was saying everything fast.
Then my last task was to type a report and email it to Stefan and on my last day I did a table of content for my report now you can imagine how long was it lastly I did a cover page and that was the end of it.