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