Best snapshot of 2013

The question is:
How do I find the best Chiperoni snapshot of 2013?

My most productive month on Flickr in 2013 was May. Least productive – at least in terms of uploads – was August.

Here’s a quick review of my year on Flickr:

January 2013

February 2013

März 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

BTW, you’re seeing a new kind of image embed that Flickr is rolling out now.

ET phone home

I like this blog post on the Crossroads website: Home for Christmas.

ET phone home.

ich bin ein star

Growing up in Malawi, I probably don’t share the same level of contemplative Christmas (“besinnliche Weihnachten”) memories that my fellow German compatriots may have experienced. It’s difficult to emulate some Christmas traditions when it’s over 30 degrees warm.

merry christmas

My mom remembers how I had to learn a lot of english carols in my first year of primary school, many of which she had never heard of. Like Good King Wenceslas. Or God rest ye merry gentlemen. Or Away in a manger. I faintly remember walking to St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Blantyre for carol service rehearsals.

merry christmas

Christmas was a very special celebration for my grandfather. My mom told me about a lot about the Christmas parties he organized for his family despite being very poor.

And many years later, I remember my first Christmas at German uni where everybody in class said they’re travelling home to be with their family. Even the tough-looking punk with dyed red hair and rings in his nose was travelling home to celebrate Christmas with his mom. I was truly fascinated.

last minute

I am thankful for this Christian holiday. And I like some of the traditions associated with Christmas. I just dislike and still rebel against the commercialization.

shop window

I’m planning to attend the Christmas Eve service at Crossroads Basel. If you want to join me, here are the details.

Christmas card...

A fave for

This is a blog post to say thank you to

On Monday morning, I noticed that I had forgotten my bicycle lock at home. Since I don’t have a lockable place to store my bike near work, I hurried to the closest bicycle shop planning to buy a substitute. When I noticed I’d forgotten my purse in the same place where I’d left my bicycle lock.

Great way to start the week.

I usually attach my bicycle lock to my bike rack.

The owner of Wenger 2 Rad was kind enough to lend me a bicycle lock for a day. Without charge. Which is great, ‘cos I already own at least 3 bicycle locks and don’t really need a fourth one to forget.

Thank you Wenger 2 Rad. I appreciate the help.

Papaya is a super food

Via “50 foods you should be eating”, papaya is highly recommended:

34. Papaya
If you’re feeling the onset of a cold, reach for this tropical fruit instead of an orange next time. One papaya has more than three times the daily recommended intake of vitamin C and is also stocked with flavonoids, vitamin B, potassium, magnesium and fiber. All in all, it’s good for the cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of colon cancer.

See also the anamed website

My wish list

Inspired by various gift lists that are showing up in my timeline, I thought I need to write my own wish list.

On my wish list:

New takkies.
new takkies
I’ve started running again on a regular basis. And I noticed I need to replace my Asics with a fresh pair. Bought my current pair in 2010.

“Es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, nur schlechte Kleidung”
I need to buy some clothes for winter.

I’m very happy with my current line-up of gadgets. Favourite gadgets in use in 2013 are a good old 13″ MacBook, an iPad and a Lumix camera.

Android smartphone.
I don’t need a smartphone. But looking at current reviews, I’d probably get a Nexus 4 or an LG G2. I’d like to learn more about Android. My multi-operating system strategy is a good excuse, don’t you think?

Apple TV.
I remember a meeting with an online marketer who strongly recommended getting an Apple TV, when it first came out. Maybe he’s right. Or maybe Google Chromecast is a cheaper alternative?

But these are all material wishes. Not essential.

Happiness, health, peace, love, joy, wisdom, kindness, goodness, knowledge are worth much more. And much more difficult to gain.


One wish of mine is to improve my writing skills. There is more fun in creating.

riding a bicycle

Banana Bread – December 2013 version

Four, very overripe bananas in my kitchen… means it’s time for banana bread.

I found this recipe while searching for the keyphrase “coconut banana bread” and decided to give it a try:


4 bananas, (2 1/2 cups mashed or 575 grams)(they can be yellow bananas)

4 eggs

1/2 cup almond butter (140 grams)(or coconut, sunflower seed, macadamia nut, etc butter)

4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, melted (can substitute coconut oil)

1/2 cup coconut flour (75 grams)(or almond flour, macadamia nut meal, etc)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free or homemade)

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of sea salt

via Paleo Banana Bread at Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.

Throw everything together, mix and bake at 180 C.

I used tahina instead of almond butter.

Banana Bread ”“ December 2013 version

Underperforming students at Chanco

This is sad news:
It’s so tough to get to Chanco in the first place and then this. Their relatives will be devastated. I’m sure lots of aunts and uncles paid towards their secondary school and exam fees.

I know very few students that make it to uni level in Malawi. Most lack the points required to go on to tertiary education.

If you pass MSCE but don’t have enough points in Maths and English, your only hope is to try again. All career options require a good MSCE in Maths and English. And there are only a limited number of training positions. Competition is high. Most school leavers end up repeating the exam 2 or 3 times.

IMHO, the educational system requires more vocational training options. Like in Germany or Switzerland. Like Tevet but on a larger scale.

But this is not easy to implement. I don’t know enough about the Malawi education system. I’m an outsider. I’m sure Malawi blogger Steve Sharra can provide more insight.

There are few options for middle-of-the-road school leavers with a MSCE pass.

Reminds me of a quote by John C. Maxwell to treat all your students well. Cos your C-level students will one day return and fund the expansion of your school.

Also confirmed by this Business Insider article.