Montag, 19. April 2010

DAY 38 to 42

As the title indicates this week was a little monotonous.
On Monday Johanna and I spent most of the day in the MC-house reviewing and adjusting the agenda of the upcoming training day on Saturday.The funny thing was that we arrived at 6.30am so Nyala, the MCP, had to get up to let us in and instead of talking to him I asked for a bed to sleep once more. After this refreshing nap Paul, Johanna and I discussed the plan for Saturday and changed it completely. The reason or the dramatic change was a lack of skilled trainers for each portfolio so we decided that the VPs themselves should give the training (an alumnus should still be there to help) which was supposed to be more like a kick-off team meeting. Once we were done writing a generic agenda and several mails to the team leaders and the alumni to announce the change, I downloaded language software from (the free version) which is pretty cool and I used the opportunity to watch the one hour Naruto special.
The next day we were back in university but we didn’t have a key to the office so we chilled the whole morning till noon walking around the beautiful campus, playing footbag and reading stuff. Once we had the key our meeting with Precious and Thoko started. We discussed the changes for Saturday and I was pretty impressed by the material that Thoko had created during the holidays and we mixed it with the one from Johanna, Paul and me. This was also the first time that I heard about problems of the training day because Mbali couldn’t be there so her team won’t get trained and Precious will be arriving at about 11am and the day was supposed to start at 9am. In the evening we took Johanna to the airport which means from now on things will probably get more boring again. Really sitting alone in a basement watching movies and waiting for other people to do their work can be annoying sometimes. To avoid that, on Wednesday I started to spend more time outside hanging out with some AIESECers and their friends and it is really way more fun. Now I write all the important mails in the morning and cope with my assignments so I can enjoy the sun and only have to go back to the office once we have a meeting.
Today I found out that some people are pretty pissed with the allocation of the team members, which Johanna and I proposed and the reason was that one guy only had 2 (actually 3 since Tuesday) members in his team and that team leaders were appointed without asking them ….AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH those bloody friggin assholes, bastards, fuckheads which never showed up to a single of maybe 6 meetings where these things were discussed and now complaining about work that other people did for them! Okay this is over exaggerated (you know my very bad temper) and I can understand that you get pissed once someone doesn’t consider your opinion esp. when it comes to such important decisions affecting the whole EB. But when somebody says:
‘You know Baloo, even a CEO consults with his managers before they appoint new managers.’ I freaked out a little (inside my head) because usually the managers (the leaders which means the people being most responsible) are showing up to the meetings with the CEO.
These guys don’t even read their mails in a whole week if they don’t feel like it, they never answer them and the same goes for SMS´s so how are we supposed to work properly? Face to face appointments! Yes this works and I just found out too late meaning it’s also my fault and I’m very sorry for that. At least Manti, Bix and Mitchell showed up regularly (almost), went through their material and started to prepare their sessions and Thoko did a great job as well and I think this is also a great success. But now a new problem occurred Thibose has to leave at 12am on Saturday and Man can’t come at all…WTF! I was happy to hear that Thibose will still prepare something and try to make the best out of it. What the best means is what I found on Thursday when I asked him whether he already contacted his members: ‘I didn’t have airtime.’
Let’s take a look into Baloos head during that moment…’ Didn’t have airtime, didn’t have AIRTIME , DIDN’T HAVE AIRTIME!!!!!!! Fuck! AHAHHAA%$%£$$£”%^$$ that can’t be a problem for a fucking, bloody team leader ! PUNK!’ ‘How will you manage a project if you don’t have airtime?’ ‘How will u manage you’re life if you don’t have airtime?’ ‘Have you ever heard of facebook or mail or asking Baloo to send messages for you?’ ‘Have you ever heard of the AIESEC slogan of: think outside the box!’ ‘How small is you’re bloody box?’
Fortunately I learned to handle my temper a little and didn’t go on a rampage killing all the people around me. It’s just that I hate the feeling that I’m more attached to AIESEC UJ than people who are actually part of it. So we started to think about a possible delay for the whole training day or how we can change it into something that won’t piss off all the alumni we already invited, but we didn’t come to a conclusion today. Before I went to bed I spent some time nerding the net and guess what I found out how you can build your own vaporizer for free…this saved my day.
On Friday I spent loads of money trying to reach Manti who I was unable to contact since yesterday but no luck. I watched Crank 2 which I love because it’s pure trash and Fearless with Jet Li which is a pretty damn cool martial arts movie you should definitely not miss if you like this genre.
I met up with Thoko and Precious (now she also can’t come tomorrow) and we came to a conclusion regarding the training day. We’ll have a meeting with team leaders (those who can come) and alumni only to exchange experiences and figure out the future relationship between alumni and AIESEC UJ. After that Mitchell, Thibose and Man joined and we discussed how we can overcome the friggin problems holding UJ back and guess what? These guys are not as lazy and incapable as I almost thought!
They’re just damn busy with their studies, suffered under loads of misunderstandings and didn’t use my help when I craved for it because to them it was not clear what my job in UJ is. As you can see this involves loads of mistakes from me too so I have to work a lot on my own skills and qualities. We set a meeting for next week where all 8 members of the EB will be around and we’ll talk about:
-mistakes in the past (when did u get pissed?)
-decision making
-way forward
By the way these are topics which should’ve been discussed during the team building this evening which had to be delayed because of a lack of attendance. But still I’m very happy that we’re finally on the same page and progressing.
Furthermore, I met some new guys and girls on the campus (guys: Avery, David, Mojo, Jami girls: fuck I forgot) and played a hell lot of footbag with David. That’s actually how it started, he approached me to give him some information about it and I just invited him to join in and after that he introduced me to his friends. Really this is one of the greatest things in SA: people are soooo open and friendly can’t be compared to Germany, not at all. So if you problems getting friends just come here^^
Mojo was pretty interested in footbag as well and got excited and loud (not in a bad way) about it and his friend teased him which was so funny because every time they raised their voices David started to play a song on his guitar (yes people play guitar on the campus) creating movie background music and singing stuff going like this:
‘Look in my eyes
and tell me that you love me
no one said it will be easy
our way to paradise’
Over and over again I laughed my boner off, ahem I mean ass.
So now I’ve got some more people to hang out with next week when I’m stuck in the basement.^^
In the evening we fetched Johanna’s mum from the airport and when I was about to sleep in the car (because I was very tired) Thoko sent me an SMS asking whether I could prepare the new agenda for tomorrow. I was not super excited about it but this girl worked so damn hard to make tomorrow happen so I couldn’t say no. So I took a short nap and figured out a cool program for tomorrow. Before I went to bed I watched loads of loads of Boondocks and tried to reach Manti again because she doesn’t know that the team training was cancelled but no luck again. Ahh almost forgot this, on our way to the air port we’ve been driving through Hillbrow and this is really like a Mexican ghetto from the movies: Smacked windows, waste on the street (waste industry is striking), hijacked buildings, loads of crime and a tense atmosphere in the air which you can feel even in the car. I was excited and maybe I’ll check this place out if I find a local who knows the area. Furthermore we passed a huge building the Berea tower where people had to live like in a bee hive and it was hijacked as well. So the police took it by force after a while because loads of foreigners (Africans) used to live there and like in any other place some people considered these foreigners as a threat to their living standard so it became quite common to kill them by throwing ‘em down from the top floors (it's like a pipe so hole on the inside)…CRAZY SHIT!

Sonntag, 18. April 2010

DAY 37

Time to footbag, so I needed to fix my back-up footbag (my good one got lost in the ghetto^^) meaning stuffing it with about 60 sunflower seeds (yes one by one) and sewing it. But before that we saw Johanna’s brother on television giving an interview about Yoga with another woman and I bet this Kundalini bitch (I swear just for the purpose of swearing, I don’t mean it) hates Charles because he answered the question ‘What do you think should be done to help people with Yoga?’ with something like ‘It should be way more available which means there should be very cheap or even free courses especially in the townships where people who really need it don’t have access.’ And she gives private lessons which probably are damn expensive … FUCK YOU WITCH.
Today we wanted to have a braai with some friends of Johanna, and knowing African time Charles set the beginning to 12am meaning people showed up around 2-3pm.
Okay only one of Johanna’s friends was able to make it but another guy came along and he’s from Malawi so I asked him ‘Do you know the gold from Malawi?’ and he replied ‘The mineral?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then yes.’ -> I am happy : -) And he plays damn good footbag…damn experienced soccer players! (they need a tenth of the time that I needed to learn tricks)
The rest of the day consisted pretty much of playing footbag in groups between 2 and 5 people, eating and the neighbours kids laughing and crying.
So summing it up, I enjoyed it a lot. The only thing pissing me off is work starting again tomorrow which means getting up before 6am and I’m not sure whether my body can do that or not.
NIghty, night.

DAY 36

Getting up at 7am gave us the opportunity to dress up and iron some clothes for the launch of the African Bahai Business Forum.
Even though I’m not a suit person I love to wear one, I dunno why but it feels nice annnnd I was able to knot my tie all alone, yuhu!
So Charles, Pinky, Johanna, Kathrine and I left at 8am to prepare the venue and to be sure that there’ll be a time buffer in case we need one.
The venue was really awesome and also all the rest was perfectly organised (I knew that it’s possible, why do they manage to organise their people and I don’t? ahh), there was coffee, tea, snacks, sandwiches, literature, a professional camera guy, projector, PowerPoints and awesome Speakers. One of the speakers moderating the whole event was Johanna’s brother Charles and it was really cool to see him doing an excellent job while being funny at the first time speaking in front of maybe about 40 people including students, AIESECERs and mostly people from the corporate world (AIESEC is partner of the European Bahai Business Forum and my impression is that the EBBF will be my thing once my time in AIESEC is over) . Francoise a woman from France working as a manager for the Red Cross for over 5 years gave the first short speech which was about her experience in leading departments and how literature from the EBBF helped her to restructure various branches of the Red Cross. She underlined the effectiveness of the proposed ideas of responsible leadership, by the fact that during an introduction of a new system her hospital was the only one working properly in the whole of Africa.
After her inspiring talk Dr Iraj Abedian gave a kind of lecture about ethnics in business, branding and globalisation which was the main part of the program and was really damn interesting but not as interesting as the discussion afterwards which involved some very crucial questions like: How can you resist to corrupt yourself when everybody else is corrupt and cheating? or How can you measure values?
In fact the next talk of the ABBF organised for the 19th of April copes with this very question and there’ll be a talk by Dr Samandari about useful indicators to measure values. I love this shit!
And I loved the rest of the ABBF launch including a break where you could eat damn good sandwiches and chat with all the various people, a general Q and A session and the official launch with introduction of the executive board of the ABBF and presentation of the plan of action and the forums values/identity.
Back home Johanna and I took a nap and I started to write some blog posts (Saturday of last week!).
I can’t remember anything cool happening in the evening so we probably had dinner, watched a movie (I think pineapple express), I read something about meditation and sleep.

DAY 35

Today started as lazy as the past but at noon Charles returned from work to give as a ride to the Apartheid museum. But pshhhh! that’s a surprise^^ For R40 entrance fee you’ll get a historic overview why exploitive white people suck and I’ve gotta admit that I sometimes felt a little embarrassed for what these fuckers did to Africans, even though I was not involved in that shit. It started off with Johanna getting an entrance card saying ‘Non-white’ and me one saying ‘White’ just to be separated in the entrance hallways one for whites and one for the non-whites including the same information but giving you a slight first impression of what’s going to await you. After we rejoined, wonderful and romantic cave drawings of the natives of SA, the San awaited us. (irony) These showed the first contact with people from Europe, in fact showing people getting slaughtered by big men with rifles. Unfortunately the idea of spiritual power beating bullets didn’t work out (San never invented war machinery) and most of them died because of murder or not being allowed to access land they used for ages. You’ve gotta know that the San are nomadic people not owning any land because according to their philosophy the land owns the people giving them everything they need to live. The idea of owning a part of the earth is completely ridiculous to them and I’m tempted to agree. Unfortunately western culture doesn’t, and so the San faced fences and fierce violence for attempts to access common ground. Yes, that’s how we get in touch with other cultures, take a look at Afghanistan, Iraq or any other place currently being invaded and you’ll realize that things didn’t change much. The story goes on with Dutch and British people coming (other countries, too but these were the most) and overthrowing all the other chiefdoms taking 92% of the land from the Africans and digging for gold. Gold is also the reason why JoBurg was set up and I think you can imagine the disgusting working conditions the miners had to face (most of them were black but also Indians, Chinese and white people). Because the white government didn’t want blacks to settle in their towns they invented a rule that a black employee had to return to his rural home at least every 18 month, and I can tell you in the beginning there wasn’t even a train, so have fun if you’re from Zimbabwe.
The cool thing is that loads of pictures are added to the information boards and if available even video footage including early propaganda movies for the Dutch people having a very funny scene: A settler wants to bye land for his people from an African chief who is surrounded by his tribe and he asks him twice ‘Did you completely understand the contract?’ the chief nods and signs with a big single X. Now it’s time to dance around the nice settlers, which was a trap to kill all of the settlers. Evil savages, huh?
There were two assholes who tried to implement the whole idea of segregating people so black and coloured people were not allowed to the same facilities as whites anymore, this included a complete different school system to grow stupid slaves who were smart enough to do forms of labour between lowest and low.
When this system failed they started the real Apartheid which made everything worse. This means every person was put into a specific group like black, white, coloured, Chinese, Indian or other and people of the same group were put into the same area which means they moved over 1 million people from their homes into townships because they were too close to white people.
There were over 300 laws dividing everything: Who is allowed to reproduce with whom, who has to go to which school, who is allowed to work in which particular area…
For sure there were people opposing this stuff even white people but the Apartheid government didn’t waste much time talking, declared every political threat as terrorism and terrorists have to be fought, don’t they? (doesn’t that sound familiar) A big part was about the different parties and organisations fighting for equality like the ANC or the international Congress or just black women fighting for their right to brew the traditional beer.
Most of the resistance was peaceful especially the stuff the ANC did in the beginning because Ghandi was in SA and fought for the rights of Indians using peaceful strategies and they wanted to adapt these because they new that they can’t match the firepower and knowledge of warfare.
This changed when the Apartheid government became more and more brutal especially against demonstrations which were completely peaceful ending in massacres, one ending in school kids being shot. We saw the first TV interview of Nelson Mandela (he was hidden in the underground at that time) where he was addressing that particular issue. Why should you be peaceful and reasonable when your people get imprisoned, beaten up, even slaughtered and every attempt for a peaceful solution includes you being a second rate human being.
We couldn’t finish the last third of the museum which was about the 80s and early 90s when it became really ugly and violent because the museum was closing and reading every single information board took more time than I estimated. Still it was a very valuable and interesting experience which you mustn’t miss when you’re in SA. It helped me understand even more why racism is still an issue in this country after 16 years of living relatively peaceful.
I know it’s stupid but Johanna and I didn’t eat for the whole day so we really shovelled the food down our throats once we were back home. Before we went to bed I asked Charles what we’ll have to wear at the launch of the African Bahai Business Forum tomorrow and he said a suit would be nice. Man I was prepared to go there with my usual clothes if I hadn´t have asked, so Johanna and I checked our official clothes and I shaved my attempts of growing a beard. Once I looked like a person who is ready to bargain land for marbles we went to bed^^

Donnerstag, 15. April 2010


...and the reason is not a day and night blow job session but an annoying cold.
So I thought: 'Damn what can I do?' and suddenly I remembered that vaporizing herbs can be very healthy.
Now the problem is that a good vaporizer costs about 400€ which I don't have but fortunately some smart people had a cool idea and invented a home-made-vapo.
The best thing is that it is bloody cheap and easy to build!

..why do bloody potheads have such a cool, useful and valuable idea? ^^

-clean the bulb before EACH use (esp. the first!!!)
-let the sides be a little,little,little bit wet (the herbs should never be drenched)
-put the herbs (very little) on the ground of the bulb
-close it
-hold it like the 2nd guy who built it in his last picture (it's also on page1)
-light it (the second straw must be open the whole time)
-make sure that the straws don't melt!
-make sure that there is no smoke at all! (that would mean it's too hot)
-enjoy and get healthy soon :-)

Sonntag, 11. April 2010

DAY 32/33/34

Back to real holidays Johanna and I finished Chuck season two and now don’t know which series to start because no one seems to have downloaded season three so far and doing it with 3g would cost 30€ per 2 episodes which is even above the legal price!!! So we watched two outstanding movies which I already knew (Johanna hates that because I become a serious movie-nazi making sure that no one talks at all otherwise I could miss a joke and I know when they are coming) called ‘stranger than fiction’ and ‘Grand Torino’. Furthermore I was interneting around a lot and spent loads of time on my assignments which I have to send in via mail. I can tell you this is a real pain in the arse because writing your solutions in way that someone by just reading ‘em can understand what you meant takes 10times more time than just writing down (with an ugly handwriting) some notes or even use the notes of someone else (my profession)^^
Charles recommended that I check out this site about rural finance and this one of the European Bahai Business Forum both having a vast amount of free material (ebbf only if you’re a member) about responsible leadership/entrepreneurship/businesses and finance.
Ah and after being here for a month Johanna and I cooked for the first time^^ (tasted very nice even though the small marrows suck)
That’s it see you on Thursday.

DAY 31

Ahh, getting up at 5.30 … in the MORNING! That’s not fair, I’ve got holidays.
The reason for this madness is our minimum 12 hour trip back so we had to leave early. And we were really evil bastards leaving without waking up Anzo the super-nephew and he loves us soooo much. But we just couldn’t bare doing it, just to make him cry ‘cause yesterday he said: ‘Uncle Charlie, don’t go!’
Fortunately Charles knows Ugandan goodbyes so after 5min he got in the car and started the engine. And Johanna told me a funny story of a friend of her mother who even started driving away so that her kids had to chase the car^^
On our way back we heard loads of news about the murder of Eugene Terre'Blanche
being an old hardcore racist who couldn’t stand the new SA and still treated his black employees like slaves. This means he didn’t pay ‘em (at least the murderers who have handed themselves to the police claim that), slapped ‘em (was even in prison for attempted murder) and was head of a racist party called AWB trying to establish a state for whites only. (there is already a very small whites only town) While we were passing through old school farmland it became obvious why such stuff going against the constitution is still possible. This is a remote, vast and empty countryside where the white farmers own all the land so they can basically do whatever they want because there is no alternative place to work for their employees. (during Segregation only 8% of the land was given to black people) Furthermore most of the black farm workers have no education at all or had only basic lessons in Afrikaans and reading the Bible leaving massive urbanisation into townships as the sole opportunity. There are even cases in the Western Cape where farmers pay their labourers with booze which is just disgusting. Obviously loads of this stuff is against the law but the government can’t do much in those areas and even if someone would complain (many people don’t know their rights) in a town it probably wouldn’t change a thing because the town is run by farmers being in charge of everything. This is no joke, when Charles (he’ s a consultant) wanted to meet a client, his employer made him drive around one of those towns because the insurance wouldn’t pay if something would happen to him inside. On the other hand side over 3000 farmers got killed since Apartheid ended, some of the killings being hate crime but most of ‘em because employees got abused badly as described above. Still there’re loads of farmers being good employers even speaking Xhosa and their kids mix with the farmers, the stuff above is just the worst of the worst which is still happening. And now another thing adds to the already tense situation, this stupid motherfucker Julius Malema (the leader of the ANC youth league) started singing the ‘kill the Boer’ song in public and he has loads of influence on young people. Now take into consideration that the murderers of Terre'Blanche were 27 and 15 years old and you can imagine what the hardcore racists from the AWB think. Unfortunately loads of black people are still thinking in old patterns (who could blame ‘em after almost 50 years of Apartheid and over 300 years of abuse by the white man) and they see racism everywhere. Some who didn’t benefit from reconciliation (which is the majority of the black population) are still angry that over 80% of the rich in this country are white and these are people being easy to influence and longing for revenge. That’s why it is so sad that a member of the ANC sings those old songs spreading hatred. The ANC used to fight for a multiracial South Africa where everybody no matter where he came from is treated equal. Now it seems that the charismatic leaders of the past like Nelson Mandela are replaced by opportunistic, nationalist populists who instead of doing serious politics to bring prosperity for a long period of time, spend their time playing football in the townships showing that they’re close to the people, present easy scapegoats while being bribed and can’t even read the speeches that other people wrote for them. (just look for some speeches of the president Jacob Zuma) The sad thing is that this happens all over the globe. People are fed with puppets like Angela Merkel always saying ‘This can’t be solved alone.’ or ‘Considering this question all of us have to work together.’ but barely taking the position of the people who voted for her.
I just hope that this will not lead to serious riots and that people will not fuck the achievements of the past 16 years.
We arrived after 12.5 hours, had a tea and went to bed.

Freitag, 9. April 2010

DAY 30

Today was another perfectly lazy day, I got up close to lunch and had homemade fries with egg tasting just awesome. After that I went on a trip with Johanna’s sister’s (Naomi) husband (Gus) his Jamaican friend Barry to visit another friend Peter with a hard drive stuffed with movies. Yeah in SA file sharing is still very old school because of the lack of good bandwidth (you pay 30€ for a 1gb bundle accessed via 3G!!!) so people bring their hard drives almost every time they visit a friend and exchange stuff. I like this culture because it brings people together^^
Peter is a fisherman and so we paid a visit to the local fish farm while the files were being copied. Man, Peter’s spot is really damn nice even so it was a rainy day. Fortunately we brought some tea keeping us relaxed and warm while enjoying the beautiful nature.
Back home it was my turn to copy movies and share my stuff so I sat down two hard drives attached at the same time copying like a mad devil and really copying under Vista takes hours. The bitch installing Vista on a 1gb RAM machine gotta be shot anyway!!!
While I was busy doing that some people from the party yesterday came around to see Naomi’s new baby Kajua (pronounced Kudzwa) which was a 3.98kg nuke when he dropped out of that small woman.
This evening we had another braai but this time adults and babies only with a traditional separation meaning woman and kids inside and the men outside. I AM A MAN!!! At least that’s my interpretation of being outside^^ Actually in Xhosa culture you’re not a man until you went into the bush. This means going into a forest, getting circumcised, eating your raw foreskin and living there alone for 3 to 5 month with other boys becoming men. But actually this cultural thing became kind of a business, and so people having no clue on how to teach values and much worse having no clue how to circumcise properly become the mentors of the boys just for the money. So at the braai people made loads of jokes about it saying ‘Christian you know, you’ve gotta go into the bush to become a man and the bush is just across the street and actually we could have a bush in this yard.’ ‘Yeah and we could say we’ve got a Jamaican (Barry) who can cut it straight!’ It was damn funny. In addition, Andreas a guy from Germany was around and we talked about his work in SA and Zambia. He tries to build up a care system for disabled people because in loads of parts in Africa disabled people are not included into society at all, are left alone and die and that’s not over-exaggerated. The worst thing is that the government in SA doesn’t support his NGO at all because they think it’s their business even if they do nothing. (e.g. once they went to a school and started building a ramp for wheel chairs for the school and the government took it down again without building a new one) That’s why Andreas and his one colleague are fundraising in Germany for the past 20 years! to help disabled people in Africa. Ain’t that sick?! Their organisation is called ‘Utho Ngathi Disability Project’ and they are looking for African and German volunteers willing to help them so I came up with the idea to help to set up an AIESEC internship (educational or development) to help ‘em with German students. I hope it’ll work out.
A more funny story was told by Johanna’s dad who explained how people scream the first time they fly to Uganda because the flight goes across lake Victoria when it approaches the air port and people can’t see the landing area when suddenly the pilot says ‘Please get into a straight position and fasten your seat belt. We are landing now!’ I’d really love to see whether this is still happening^^
Because there was just meat (which the word braai includes) at the party, Johanna and Christine (a friend of Johanna) left and got me a vegetarian burger from Steers and really it tasted awesome and it really looked like the picture and not like McD where you sometimes get an oily bun with a slice of meat inside called burger. I’m sorry that I’ve sinned but junk food tastes so awesome!!!
The evening was pretty damn nice, funny but also exhausting, I dunno why but when we left at 10pm it felt like 1am and Johanna and her brother approved that.
So back home we had a tea and went straight to bed afterwards.

DAY 29

I love East London because you can get up at any time you want. My decision was to lift my body at around 11am and it felt great!
After a nice breakfast which was almost a lunch Charles came along and we headed once more to Mdantsane to meet Pinky’s (Charle’s wife) family having a function today. A function is a ritual meeting where something big is celebrated and usually traditional beer is served and loads of neighbours drop by. And that’s exactly what we encountered, about 30 people most of them including a few youngsters, some middle aged men and women and elders (most of them women). It was loads of fun to talk to them even if one old (over 60), pretty drunk woman groped me in the crotch and butt!!! The crowd was laughing and chased her away, man this was scary but also funny^^ There were just a few women who didn’t look me in my face when I was shaking their hands and didn’t seem happy at all to meet me. I think that happened because I’m a white (compared to ‘em) rich guy who just came around to ‘see’ them in their township like maybe animals in a zoo, which was definitely not the case but I don’t blame them for thinking like that either. In these townships people don’t have much hopes for a nice future because unemployment rates are so friggin high (or it’s minor jobs) and the same goes for crime rate, amount of teen pregnancy, HIV infection rate and number of people being addicted to drugs (mostly alcohol). It’s pretty hard not to be desperate in such a place and happy occasions like this function bring people together and are some of the few happy things here. And yes, I tried one small sip of the brew which was quite an experience because it tasted like real beer with a touch of corn. Only Pinky’s grandma knows how to do this stuff and it takes 3 days and loads of energy to produce it. Furthermore she doesn’t even like to brew it because the whole neighbourhood will sometimes get boozed and lie around or even worse start having fights. But she’s still doing it because of the tradition and her exclusive knowledge which is somehow a little sad because she’s a very nice, damn old woman. Anyway, today seemed to be a good day and everyone was happy and engaged in conversations. Charles, Pinky’s sister, her brother, 5 of the kids and I drove to the shopping mall to get some food and yes that means 9 people in an Opel made for a max of 5 persons. I enjoyed my time playing with kids and looking for a new footbag because I lost mine at the party : -( Back at the function we were playing with a rugby ball and I talked to Pinky’s mum while I had a praying mantis in my hair. (first time that I saw such a cool animal in real life)
We left in the late afternoon and I was pretty damn tired and craving for food.
So I went to bed early and wanted to sleep but Johanna woke me up telling me that there is a party this evening where all her Ugandan friends will be so she wanted to go there. ‘Okay then go there.’ Was my response but no the typical girl-boy dilemma started: ‘I’m not gonna go without you!’ ‘Why? You haven’t seen those people for years and I’ll be around for the rest of the holidays.’ ‘But I can’t leave you behind all alone.’ ‘I’m not alone, Charles, Viwe, Gus, Noami and your mum will be around.’
‘Still.’ So I had to go there to make her happy because I really wanted her to meet her old friends but I also really wanted to fucking sleep. When we left I felt like a piece of shit and I even looked like one: pale, huge shadows under my eyes and yawning all the time. But fortunately there is a legal drug called Red Bull and that stuff really worked and got me back on my feet and washed the slowness of my mind away. (do you get this feeling when you can’t think at proper speed?) In the end I enjoyed the party talking to loads of pretty damn cool people, most of them being students and I learned about another African tradition…Ugandan goodbyes. Let me just say that one girl said goodbye 5 hours! before she left^^
Back home the effects of the red Bull were worn off long time ago and I was back at my old stage – DEAD!

Samstag, 3. April 2010

DAY 27 and 28

As I said yesterday, today we had to allocate the new members and by the way only 4 out of about 50 mentioned the team that they wanna join which wasn’t their fault, but it will definitely not make the decision easier. But before we started to fight this a’am mess, we drank one of those extra nice coffees and got into shit chatting with a girl who joined our table. The outcome was something like, the mind is damn powerful (e.g. placebo effect) and our beliefs determine the reality we live in. Our
example was a mad person, if I (the mad person) was growing up in a rural Christian area I might think I am possessed by a demon and I might strongly believe that the prayer of my priest can ban the demon and it might even work because I believe in this stuff. If I’m mad and hear voices and I’ve been growing up in Germany (being an atheist) this won’t work for me because I believe this is a sickness and there is a doctor who can cure it. But in the end the doctor or psychologist is like a priest because I trust him and believe that he/she knows what she’s doing, even so I understand shit about psychology or medicine and will probably never know whether he/she is right or wrong. Only difference in some cases might just be how we name and deal with certain things and you might call me a superstitious idiot but somehow I believe in that stuff that you’re healthy and can even get healthy if you’re mind is in tune.
Bla, bla, bla time for application forms… aye some people really seem to be stupid and I’d never let ‘em join my team but we had to consider everyone and assign them.
For instance one question was ‘What are your three worst weaknesses?’ and enough people wrote stuff like: ‘I work too hard.’, ‘I’m a perfectionist.’, ‘patient’, ‘friendly’…
And some didn’t even manage to count till three.
One guy stopped his explanation of his dreams in the middle of a sentence and some wrote as an answer to ‘How did you hear about AIESEC?’ – ‘Other’
Nyasha paid us a visit (I forgot we got the student card and the key for the office) which was a very nice distraction and even helped us to allocate the Newies.
AHHH and in this mall you can get a double box of chips with two sauces (sweet chilli and cheese) for R15!!! And they taste awesome and are sooo many, only problem – too much oil and salt for two human beings. (at least if you’re trying to stay thin)
On our way to the office a Christian poster crossed my sight:
4320 minutes of praise
3 days of loving Christ none stop with thousands of people
SMS ‘idot’ to %$$£$”

I hate these bastards so much! Instead of hanging out and singing stupid songs with other fanatics, they should go for 3 day in the ghettos and provide free food to the poor or let a homeless person stay for 3 days in their home or run a think tank on how to improve the situation of the poorest of the poorest or do any other thing that Christ would have done. (if he ever existed and was as cool as the life-manual says)
Back home we had a nice dinner and prepared our bags for the trip to East London.
We (Johanna, Maika, Eva, Charles and I) left at 8pm and I fell asleep immediately which is my profession.
It annoyed Johanna a little that I slept in an instant but in return she and her brother could sleep during our first long break lasting from 1 to 3am. In the meantime Eva and I played footbag and tried to lose as much weight as we could at two in the morning^^
The next sleeping break lasted from 6 to 8am and this time the whole crew joined in, since then I stayed awake and enjoyed the beautiful countryside.
Really there is almost nothing except pretty high hills, farm land, this small redneck-typical-western-movie fucked up windmills and grass but still it looks cool.
We passed Berlin and Stutterheim (named by German settlers) and arrived at 11:30am (1000km) which means I’ve been in this car for 13:30 hours.
Johanna’s sister Naome + husband and his work colleague, her mother, her brother Tony and the super-nephew Anzo were waiting for us and gave us a wonderful welcome. Another super star was around, too… Mister T in a vintage collection of Wrestling! Damn lame and funny but even better was a match where two 2m guys, one as an evil Russian and one as a stupid redneck and both accompanied by two midgets fought a hilarious match. (one midget being Japanese had the creative name Little-Tokyo)
After a small snack we went completely overstuffed with people (4 in the back and 3 in the front of the car) to Mdantsane a township where Maika’s family lives.
They live in a pretty small house with, I don’t know maybe 10 people and the atmosphere was really great.
I played rugby with the kids (between 2 and 9 years old), saw how SA home brewed beer is done (grandma taught me) and made the kids very happy when I gave ‘em Johanna’s camera and showed ‘em how to take pictures.
The youngest kid is one year old and she had beautiful huge black eyes, I hope I can get a picture of these tomorrow.
We left after approx. 1 hour and I hope we’ll come back tomorrow to try the SA beer. Yes you heard right, I’m probably going to taste one sip just to check it out, this is a very rare occasion and I hope it’ll be worth it.
Back at Noame’s place I continued to sweat playing with Anzo and my footbag until I had a very interesting conversation with a friend of Naome’s husband about Leadership and its’ connection to Christianity. It’s hard for me to accept that so many people here think that believing in a man in the clouds will make the world a better place and for them it’s hard to understand that a guy called Christian ain’t a Christian and that the fundamental proofs of god (e.g. beauty of the world) are not enough to convince me.
After a damn stuffing dinner I took a shower and did what I should have done the past 4 days (including today) writing the stuff that happened down.
Right now I’m watching the last knight and it’s quite okay.

DAY 26

Today I realized that I had to sign in into plenty of exercises at university in Germany (and I was to late for all but one and this one is on a date which I tried to avoid) and get me course material so I was writing loads of mails and downloaded various slides, books and other material. This work which took my over 2 hours in total was fucked badly by those bloody lame machines that they call PCs in the computer pool. While I was copying the files to flash, the computer just froze and after that didn’t react properly throwing various exceptions.
So I went down into the student’s office (where the facebook junkies live) and was lucky enough to get a machine. Here I started to download all the stuff again but now the next strange thing happened after downloading about 8 files with a speed of about 600kbyte/s the speed dropped to 6kbyte/s. I changed the PC and now I had good speed again until 8 files were downloaded. So I changed again! 3 PCs later I had my stuff and we went of for an early lunch because we were supposed to have an EBM at 1pm. Unfortunately the locks to the offices got changed so we had to go outside and even worse except Manti the new VP ICX (being assigned yesterday)no one showed up for the meeting which was quite important because we wanted to allocate the new members to their teams. Now it seems that I’m going to do that tomorrow with Johanna, even if that is usually the job of thee whole EB.
Anyway, we tried to get our key back and a student card for Johanna so she can enter the university more easily but both things didn’t work out today. (in fact Johanna and Thoko got kicked out of the office) The only very good message is that Thoko and I had a talk with Mitchell (one of the Newies) and he is willing to lead the FINance team soooooo we’ve got a VP FIN!!!!!!
And now we also have a complete EB which definitely needs an amazing team building.
In the late afternoon it started to rain like hell and I mean an evil version of hell. Most of the students tried to hide in the mall but we couldn’t stay there forever because we were about to be picked up.
The next hideout was under the roof of the library where about 50 students gathered and ran in small groups to the common pick up area.
I just thought, man I need a huge umbrella and then I could charge R5 (0.5€) per student to get ‘em to their drivers. I would’ve gotten rich and I think it’s that kind of
exploitive entrepreneurship that Africa lacks^^
Completely wet we arrived at home and I started to follow up with my blog posts only interrupted by dinner and time to sleep. (I’m again 3 days behind)

DAY 25

This week holidays started which means that the traffic on our way is pretty smooth resulting in an arrival at about 7am.
Fortunately no one attempted to stop Johanna this morning and we could enter the university immediately.
As mentioned yesterday we prepared an action plan and one part of it is organising a training day which as you might expect needs trainers and agendas for the different portfolios.
So today’s work was mostly about creating agendas for ICX, OGX and TM (incoming exchange, outgoing x, talent management) which was only interrupted by a visit of Manti and Nyasha and a pizza break.
Furthermore we started watching Chuck season 2 and it is as good as the first one so far.
In the evening we had kind of a ‘double date’ (I hoped I’d never say that before I’ll turn 24 or 25) with Johanna’s brother and his wife. We ate dinner at one of the few Middle Eastern restaurants and enjoyed Iranian bread with I’ve-never-tasted-something-like-this cream having a flavour like something burned but in a good very tasty way and an awesome Arabian salad unfortunately containing huge slices of spiced onions (I mean really, really huge) causing my stomach to go crazy later during the evening. The whole time we had super cool talks including funny experiences with homosexuals and stoned women in Islamic countries. Shortly before we were about to leave and wanted to pay the bill we talked about my vegetarianism and said stuff like ‘…only eating grass...’, ‘I love grass pizza!’…
and the waiter got it a little wrong because he suggested us to buy a Hubbly Bubbly (Shisha) and said ‘It’s no problem to remove the cover and some of the tobacco then you can easily add some grass and put it back. No one will smell it and you can enjoy it the whole evening!’
I love Africa^^
Really he didn’t stop talking about it and so we asked whether it is possible to get grass in this restaurant, too but you’ll have to bring your own. I think if we would have wanted to, he would have given us some because he really seemed to like it a lot. (and who doesn’t? : -)
Back home we enjoyed the soccer game Munich vs. Manchester and I used my in depth knowledge about soccer which I gained by watching it occasionally to comment on the game.
Nighty, night.

DAY 24

5am, fuck you Mick! I’ve become invincible to his lame efforts to beat me with his horrible screams. I am the master of sleep!
Arriving at 6:40 we were not so happy when the security Nazi being black didn’t let Johanna enter till 8am. (security man – ass hole! ass man – security hole!)
So we watched Chuck in the visitors lounge and waited till 8.
We relied on the super tasty coffee (white + 3 sugar) to get our brains running and worked on a general overview of what needs to be done in UJ being put in an action plan afterwards.
Knowing which mails have to be written we went for the students office (only place with PCs which can enter facebook) and those fucking fb-junkies used all the machines. One girl was even worse, she sat down started yahoo, laid back and slept.
Anyway I typed my mails offline and copied ‘em to a flash so I could send mine immediately after Johanna got us a PC.
Today we tried burgers for lunch, yes there is a vegetarian burger tasting okay but consisting of 80% oil because it is fried.
At 1pm we were supposed to have an EBM but only Mbali, Precious and Thoko showed up… I feel like saying ‘Africa’ but I think it’s just these particular people in the EB and their far from perfect communication. We finalized a date for the training day and the team building for the EB and then my favourite not-at-all-looking-like-a-Hobbit Manti-chan came along and guess what? Johanna and me could convince her to go for VP ICX (incoming exchange)!!! That’ll make things a ten gazillion times easier because handling both exchange areas alone would have been almost impossible for a Bix that’s why Johanna and I considered a split as necessary.
I love talking with Manti because it always gets a little dirty and always supra funny, yes I used SUPRA. Just check out this recipe which I never heard of before.
I call it…
-microwave popcorn
-2.5 grams of tea

1)cut a very small hole into the popcorn package at the top
2)shake the package
3)stuff the tea inside
4)seal the hole by folding the top
5)put it with the manipulated side pointing downwards into the micro wave
6)enjoy : -)

One chuck later it was time to leave already and really today we did and achieved a lot.
Dinner and time for bed, oh and we watched the last episodes of Chuck season one … about 4 hours, I think that shows that I like it.

DAY 23

DAY 23

I wanted to get up late but I promised those kids in Cosmo City to show up 2 weeks ago and to play footbag with them.
So we woke up at 10am and went to the Bahai church to meet with the driver but unfortunately he was on a trip to Israel so I had to let the kids down again.
The good thing was that we met a Bahai studying software engineering and it was a relief to talk about computer science and other nerdy stuff.
When Johanna couldn’t stand the talking anymore and was about to leave I joined her and decided that today will be a very useless day so I continued it by watching Wrestling and I love that shit. Pathetic grown ups, giving pathetic speeches worse than any dialogue written by a 3rd grade school kid, doing pathetic fake fights … what could be more trashy and entertaining if you’re serious about fucking your brain?
In the late afternoon I took a nap being followed by dinner and eventually by me writing entries of two of the past three days.
I think that’s it.

DAY 22

Big day today and I’ve got the beard of a 14 years old boy…oh boy I just hope the audience will be far away enough. By the way it’s 6 in the morning and we wanted to leave at 7 but Nadia had to prepare her slides and download an inspiring video where kids share their vision of modern teaching including web 2.0 techniques
so we left at 8.15 and were driven by a friend of hers instead of using one of the famous taxis. When we arrived in UJ we were 15 minutes late but fortunately we’re in Africa which means we were very early and only 4 other people came before us.
The Alumnus Aubrey joined shortly after our arrival and I took him to the student centre to get some breakfast for him and a coffee for me which I really needed. When we returned it was time to begin and I announced the agenda finishing with the announcement of the first talk by Nadia. It was much better than her session in Botswana: well structured, no unnecessary breaks or awkward moments (you know when the audience should say something but no one knows what to say and there is this uncomfortable silence), not too long, loads of examples and including the audience into some active work -> PRETTY DAMN GOOD
In my next bigger presentation I’ll definitely try to involve the audience as well.
After her session we showed the Newies our roll call and it was very funny and interesting to see how different people react to dancing and doing something active in other countries. I mean in Germany almost no one would involve the Newies into dancing because some of ‘em might think: ‘What a bunch of weird freaks!’ but in Africa they really enjoyed it, laughed about my dancing incapability and tried to learn the moves. I actually prefer that, even if I hated AIESEC dances a lot and I think in Germany I’ll still do ^^
Being refreshed and able to cope with input again I started my session and it worked out pretty cool which means people listened, laughed and gave me positive feedback when I asked ‘em how to improve my style… I should speak louder!
I was followed by a talk of Thoko explaining which opportunities in UJ exist and introducing the various teams. The people and I liked it.
The program was finished by Aubrey and the first thing he did was making everyone of us get up, face a specific wall, touch the shoulders of the person in front of us and give him or her a nice short massage. AHHH, relaxing!!! Back on our seats he talked about various funny and inspiring AIESEC stories like one when he was elected to lead the exchange team and once the holidays were over their office was demolished (the university didn’t tell anyone), all PCs and folders were gone, the president went to study abroad and the person knowing the second most left to be with her boyfriend in Germany. Yes, yes it’s our fault again^^ Really Germans are pretty hot in Africa because … yeah actually I need to find out why but loads of Johanna’s friends want a whitey. Anyway Aubrey took the position of LCP and got AIESEC UCT back on its feet and even more: most growing LC in SA of that year, best Project in SA in that year and I think they even had most exchanges in that friggin year.
I hope this emphasises the point that each of us can make a huge difference if we work together towards a shared goal.
And I love his style, he said he had basically no clue about his job but he asked people ‘Why did you join AIESEC?’ and then tried to give and open opportunities for the people to do the very thing they were most interested in and this is also my theory, people perform best when they do stuff they love. People empowerment rocks!!!
It makes me think of Gung Ho management which I really love and recommend you to try it out if you lead a team. I know the audio book can be found online for illegal download but you gotta look it up yourself dudes^^
Or just buy the bloody book it’s just 7€ (R70)!
Now that the official agenda was over we started to braai and had a real great time talking and laughing together. Once most of the people were gone Aubrey gave me a ride and took me to North Gate a huge shopping mall. I know the way home from there so I told him to drop me off…that was stupid. I completely underestimated the distance to the Bahai centre and when I arrived I had bristles under both of my feet.
I was damn tired and wanted just to finish the diary entries of the past two days and go to bed but when I was about to get started Johanna came and called me for an emergency. The neighbour’s sister forgot to close a tap and the whole flat was under water so we (Maika, Eva, Johanna, neighbour’s sister and I) drove there to help her getting rid of the water.
I slept on the way to the flat which is located quite a distance from central JoBurg in a more relaxed area.
She lives on the 2nd floor and when we arrived water was running down the stairway and I’m not talking about just a little stream but quite a small river. Two rooms with laminate were 5cm under water and 3 others at least completely drenched. It took us about 3 hours and hell more than 20 full buckets (after 20 I stopped counting) to get it dry again and I tell you it was damn tiresome because when the water was too low to use a bucket to get it out, we had to throw a huge towel on the floor get it drenched and wring it out above a small baby bath tube until the room was dry.
I really pity that girl because the laminate floor is completely messed up and the water got through the ceiling messing up the neighbours rooms as well.
Only good part…free pizza once we were finished^^
We came home late, tired and went straight to bed.