An offering of frailty

I listen. It’s what I do. Oh, I can certainly talk a lot but I am also a very good listener. In a part of the world where being quiet and simply listen seems to be more and more unknown that gift of mine is especially needed. And so I listen. I listen until my head hurts from this foreign language and my heart and soul bleed from the stories and emotions that people pour into me. It’s not just one story, or one person. It are many. I take a while to process them and then store them away in my heart. They are safe there and to share a burden is always good, right? So here I am in this country that honestly sometimes really scares me for all kinds of reasons and I listen to stories of abuse of all kinds, rape, PTSD, substance abuse, death, pain and suffering on massive scales. I hold hands and offer hugs. I dry tears and know that these people don’t need council, they don’t need words of compassion or understanding. All they need is someone who listens, someone who takes those stories into their heart and holds them dear. Listening makes you tired. Listening in a language that is not your first can be exhausting. But it is so needed here and I guess that is my gift to the people in this country. I listen.

Do these stories affect me?

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Blood and Water

What does the word ‘family’ mean? Well, obviously the word refers to people who are bound together by blood. You know that old saying? Blood is thicker than water. There you go. Family is your parents, siblings, relatives. Those are the people you can rely on, call in the middle of the night, ask for help whenever you need it. Family is the core of our society and rightly so.

But let me tell you something:

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USA – Week 2 / Woche 2

Jetzt bin ich schon zwei Wochen hier. Ist immernoch alles toll hier. Und immernoch affenwarm. Und ich meine Hochsommer-warm. Es wird wirklich Zeit, dass sich das ändert. Langsam wirds langweilig. Nun ja… Heute habe ich wieder einen Haufen Bilder für euch. Fangen wir mit den Nachbarn hier an. (Bilder anklicken zum Vergrößern.)

I’ve already been here for two weeks. It’s still great. And still hot. Really hot. Middle of the summer kind of hot. It’s about time that changes. It’s getting boring. Well… Today I have a bunch of pictures for you again. Let’s start with the neighbors around us here. (Click images to enlarge them.)

Da ist… / There is…

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“Now I belong.” – The European Refugee Crisis

In this article I want to give an overview over the current refugee crisis in Europe, its roots, its different facets and the way the EU and its different member states handle it. In order to fully examine the situation one would have to write a book and add a new chapter every week. Events are unfolding quickly at the moment. So this article cannot give more than a general idea of what is happening.
It is divided into several parts:
1. The EU (Information on the EU and some treaties)
2. The Islamic State (roots and current situation)
3. Refu-who? (Who are the refugees, where do they come from, which routes do they take?)
4. Breach of contracts (Why Schengen and Dublin are failing)
5. What do Europeans say?
6. Conclusion

But first, let me tell you about Sarah.

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USA – Week 1

One week ago I arrived in the United States. In my previous entry I told you all about the fun I had at the border but by now these horrors are luckily forgotten. One week. Honestly, it feels much longer. So much is happening already that it feels like I’ve been here for at least a month. I don’t think it makes much sense to tell you day by day how things are going. Let me rather tell you about the funny, weird and through and through American things that are happening here.

Already on my very first day I had to laugh. We went to a restaurant and guess what you can have for breakfast there?  (click on pictures to enlarge them)

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USA – Fun at the border / USA – Spass an der Grenze

(Fuer Deutsch bitte runterscrollen)

Well, well… so here we are. The United States of America. I already got the first impression at the airport in Germany when I was almost not allowed on the plane because the computer system didn’t show that I also had a returning flight. Well, I made it into the plane. When I tried to enter the country however things got really interesting. I was “chosen” for secondary screening. I believe that only happened because I am actually staying for almost three months and although that is perfectly legal the Americans seems to be a little paranoid when it comes to people who actually take their time to get to know the country. So how does secondary screening work?

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Refugees – The end of us

Flüchtlinge kommen am Münchner Hauptbahnhof an, 12.9.2015.
Ernsthaft, wie kann man sich diese Menschen anschauen und ihnen nicht helfen wollen? Wie können diese Menschen eine Last, eine Gefahr sein? Wie kann dieses kleine Mädchen das Ende des Abendlandes bringen?
Menschen sind Menschen egal wo sie herkommen, welche Hautfarbe sie haben oder welche Religion. Und jeder Mensch verdient in Frieden und Sicherheit zu leben.

Refugees arriving at Munich central station on Sept. 12th 2015.
Seriously… how can you look at these people and not feel the incredible urge to help them? How are these people a burden, a danger? How is this little girl the end of western civilization?
People are people no matter where they are from, no matter their colour or religion. And every single person deserves to live in peace and safety.