The new Beginning

People lately told me that I experienced quite a lot in my life and that I should start writing it down. So besides writing my memoires at the age of 26 (I am still not the youngest one to do so – check out Justin Bieber(!)) I will also do occasional recaps on parts that come into my mind – and have usually taught me a lesson. So stay tuned and write me a mail if you think that there is something particular that I should write about or you have feedback.

Let’s see what this becomes :).

Life's Instructions
Life's Instructions

 

First update in a long time – but it is quite stressy out here :P

So finally I am getting the chance to write a little something on my blog again after quite some stressy time! A lot has happened …!

After a nice week with just the Team Leaders and the Vice Presidents, about 15 people with strategic planning, team building and envisioning, the teamsters finally came and brought the rumble to this site. We are 55 people from 27 countries and it is quite a nice mix. Some of these people are even a mix in themselves, like Brazilian/French, Peruanian/Swiss, Brazilian/Spanish … Sometimes the accent is really cute or might become a problem – ” do you want the keys” becomes “do you want a kiss”, I already played a gay couple together with an Indian guy (who also just happens to be my room mate, which even brought up more rumors afterwards… :P). We had a girl here who wants to do the expansion in Cambodia and looking for supporters … I contacted some more friends in Iran and Tunisia and they are now also starting expansions in Algeria and probably Saudi Arabia!
You can really feel the internationality of AIESEC in all it’s forms … different time management, living and food styles … but it is really amazing how the hotel is already used to different food requirements and so nobody is starving here. Also the reception guys are pretty good friends by now and help us out wherever they can.
We are stationed at the same hotel where we already had several of the last national conferences here in Brazil. This means that food and service is really nice and affordable for us, but the internet sucks a little.

We had a great team building weekend to Rio de Janeiro (I will still get you to see some pictures, but as I said the internet is quite slow here and as I am responsible for the speed I do not really want to make it slower for the others :P. The president for the congress in 2009 came in and said “I am Geralyn from Malaysia, CCP 2009. Where is the IS guy, I need internet?!). Since then the heat is on and we are working hard to deliver the best International Congress that AIESEC has ever seen!

But the beginning was a little hard for me, since as I also noticed during the Rio tour, which was organised by the LC in Ribeirão Preto, I was not completely over the time in Ribeirão yet and still had to process it, but sometimes the work just did not let me!
Still feeling a little bit lost in the world between two homes and a little stressed out … really reminds me of my final time in Africa sometimes, but at least now I have my feelings and am not a blank slate without any emotions as I was back then …
My boss in the Information Systems team also came about 4 days later than me and I already had to take some decisions, still feeling a little lost in between two worlds, which did not really help. But now I am getting up and running and getting to know the people better also. It is really an awesome team, giving massages every once in a while, but still having the weird feeling of an AIESEC conference that already lasts for 3 weeks and has not even reached it’s peak yet!
About 2 weeks in I had my birthday and it really was a blast! I was supposed to eat the birthday cake without my hands and ended up eating it from my entire face :P.
I even got some birthday presents. I also got a typical mate tea mug from the South of Brazil, for the so called chimarrão (spoken shimahão). So let us see what the rest of this experience is still bringing, since the people are already arriving next week and withing 21 days it is already all over but still quite a lot to do!

I will try to keep you posted.

Jamaica and Fruit overkill … :)

So now I am in São Paulo in the last days before we start to rock the preparation of the IC … and several great things already happened…
I finally got to see my teamster Meet from India and Soraya, the conference manager from Austria with african roots…
Friday night I also expected some african food, since a trainee from Kenia invited me to their little dinner that a friend had prepared for her. Since we were initially not invited we still brought some stuff for german pancakes, but what we found there was also already more than overwhelming! It was in fact not african, but Jamaican food, since her friend was from Jamaica and I can you – she can cook!
First rice with soysauce and chicken with some extra rafinesse and then afterwards still home made icecream with original Jamaican Coconut Rum! Even my pancakes later were with real Kingston original Jamaican Vanilla 😀 Then still my typical filling with cinnamon and sugar and the entire evening was just a feast :D. We still watched a Jamaican movie (“Shottas”) and had a great evening in international company:

Meet from India, just came fresh from the US, Soraya from Austria, me from Germany, then Immah and Ivy from Kenia, Jonathan from Panama with actually some Jamaican roots (!) and then last but way not least Chevanese from Jamaica. We still talked until 5 a.m. …

This morning (Saturday) I went with Mariana to the fair (includes the black market =D ) and bought a memory card for my camera – 2 Gigabyte for just 30 reais (10 Euros!). Several sunglasses for 5 reais (like 2 Euros) also found the interest of the girlst :).
dsc00059.jpg dsc00060.jpg

The fruit fair was a vivid color explosion and an overflowing exposé of a lot of fruits that I had not ever heard of before! Some known ones like Litschi I was proud to recognize, but I did not know that nature brought forth things like a natural mix of Mango and Strawberry … really delicious :).
dsc00054.jpgdsc00055.jpgdsc00057.jpgdsc00058.jpgdsc00059.jpg

> More pictures again here <

Let’s see what this rushing city still bears in mind for me until I go to the preparation on sunday night …

Goodbye … :'(

Now I finally had to say good bye to the City that I have been living in for about 9 months now. It was kind of hard. Although I have been saying good bye in some way for about 2 weeks now, with a good bye churrasco and then still on the planning weekend of the Local Committee, this one was more for real. At pinguims, the original beer bar of Ribeirão Preto, but with the people gathered there, also feeling a little like home.

dsc00031.jpgdsc00033.jpg

Several people came and left, but finally it just broke out and I let the tears flow. They deserved it. A new family (not only talking about Lukas, my “son” now – make me proud!) in several ways. Leaving them with something to miss (saudades) at least made it a little harder. Sayings like “you are like the sun. although we do not always see you, we know that you are always there” made it way harder. It was an experience of a different kind, with people sharing and trying to cheer me up for maybe 30 minutes. Very emotional and I will never forget it! Thank you Dû, Rafael, Rodolfo, Lukas and Ellen! This one really made a difference in my stay here!

dsc00043.jpg

Pics here …
Now going on to participate in the International Congress somehow has a weird flavour. I will see what I will get from it. Somehow I am still feeling split …

Farewell on rates with a big bang … and Iris … :P

Last weekend we had my goodbye party. Several people came, some left a little early, but we partied about 13 hours with Karaoke and all ;). My butt still hurts from jumping from the first floor into the apparently too shallow pool :P.

I also managed to make some majoran oven potatoes. Well, you have to cook them first and since the idea with the pressure pot did not quite work out there is now the slogan with edding on the wall: “Felix’ farewell – potatoe on the ceiling”. I wonder how long it will still take them to find the last potatoes behind the fridge and in similar places ;). So at least I went with a big bang :P.

The party was really nice and I will still try to get the pictures from the designated photographer.
I bought a new camera today, since the last one disappeared in our apartment (the one before that was stolen during the carnaval in Salvador) :(. IC without a camera just doesn’t do ;).

So this party makes it even a little harder to leave. Other things make it a little easier – like Iris!

Iris met us one day at the mall, when we just wanted to rest a little on the couches in the Mall (they have them in several places here, actually pretty neat!). We just sat down and suddenly some…thing talked to us.
About 50 years, dangling ear rings, hair styled back but already bold on top … and an ice cone in his / her hand. Right, it was actually a he!

He talked to my colleague – fortunately I did not really hear what he said! He introduced himself as Iris. Bride without a husband. Then corrected himself, saying that he actually has one … with blue eyes and blond hair – looking over to me. That was the moment for me to leave after he had already offered us to suck on his ice cone …
Some thing make it really easier to leave, but it still stays hard …

End of days …?

So now my internship here in Brazil is coming to an end. I still have some things ahead of me like the International AIESEC Congress, but now really the leaving from here is actually concerning me more. Over time, this place has become a home for me, where I live, dream, act, relax and had the time of my life!

Starting with an internship that I actually first looked for in India but soon came to realize that my dream was in South America. A TN manager in Colombia gave me several contacts in Brazil that I also made use of after my first matched internship in Brazil was cancelled just one week before I was supposed to come over here! Then I raised a little hell and found something within 1 1/2 weeks, here, in Ribeirão Preto, another home for me now.

I arrived directly to a regional conference (SDL SP-Paraná), having 250 new faces in front of me, all AIESECERs, already sharing their culture, passion and thoughts with me. So I also already got to share thoughts personally for 50 minutes with the President of AIESEC in Brazil back then and that one really got me started. I joined the following sessions about AIESEC in Brazil and eventually ended up as a driving force in the national Information Management Team, that was formed soon after those days. There I should also met some people again that I had met on my search for an internship – from exchange to IM, kind of staying by my side :).

So I formed my vision of Information Management (IM) and got a lot of feedback and ideas. From people in Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Tunisia, Singapore, Colombia and many more.
I could never have imagined that eventually I would pick up some people from AIESEC International from the airport, sharing beers and having some nice chats with them and even calling some of them my friends now! I neither imagined the President of AIESEC in Brazil, now Vice President in AIESEC International (AI) and the president of the international AIESEC Congress (www.ic2008.org.br) cooking for me :).
I grew in so many ways, saw parts of the country, beeing a facilitator in several places for AIESEC and meeting so many new nice, welcoming people with the typical brazilian hospitality, that is just a heart of gold and wide open! These 9 months really meant a lot to me.
I am now even dreaming on to apply for AIESEC International at the end of the year, I just still have to see how I can integrate it with my last year of the bachelor, with thesis and all – but if there is a will, there is a way :).
Part of my soul will stay in Brazil now, the big country that is just so open, so diverse, so rich, so giving and in so many ways better than I could even imagine before I came.

There have been a lot of people joining me on my personal and physical trip through this country. People that I will really miss when I am leaving now, people with passions in common …
People in the local committee and friends here in Ribeirão Preto, of which some have become like family, sharing thoughts, doubts, smiles, even family and holidays with me!
People on my trips around the country, which have shown me the beauty and specialness of their home places, all one by one, special persons!
People in Information Management, which became my new passion and I already got the chance to get a completely different perspective on during my time here , be creative and even create something with a big impact, now planning to even taking it further …
People on Sustainability that share a common ideal and passion and that I am looking forward with to give a little impact in the world, same as with IM :).
The wonderful family that I spent Christmas and New Years with, that I would really call family now …!

The wonderful people all around this country, be it in Ribeirão, Florianapolis, Salvador, Brasilia, São Paulo and even places I have never personally been to. Right now it is really difficult to put it all in words what I feel, even though I have already been through this several times … I guess the video is giving a brief impression of what a blast I had here, good times, bad times, but learnt a lot and looking forward to returning for sure!

The full version in high quality is available here, but about 1 Gb :

https://snowborn.de/internship/farewellvideo.avi

I am now kind of living a little in the past, nostalgia, wishing it wasn’t going to be over so soon. Then also looking forward to the International Congress coming up and then even forward to Germany after that, to which I am also looking forward to a little.

I am living in those mindfields, but somehow a little less in the present than I would actually want. I still have to figure out a good way for that soon … I know that life will go on and I have already even been through this several times, just now it is hitting me from another angle right now … Still, stay hungry, stay foolish … 🙂

If there is anybody up to talking with me about it – I am here, just knock :).

Once again it has been some time …

Nun ist mein letzter Post doch eindeutig wieder zu lange her!

Seit dem hatten wir eine weitere nationale Konferenz! :=)
Bei dieser habe ich dieses Mal nicht so viel vom Inhalt mitgenommen. Es gab allerdings die Möglichkeit für mich auf nationalem Niveau hier Informationsmanagement an den Mann bzw die Frau zu bringen – zumindest eine neue Erfahrung.
Jede Menge interessante Diskussionen und alte Freunde wieder sehen gab es auch wieder ;).
Der Chair war dieses Mal aus Neuseeland und einfach ein bisschen durchgeknallt, aber seht selbst :).


Fotos gibt es hier

Und so zieht die Zeit auch wieder ziemlich schnell vorbei. Noch schneller wiederum, da es nun schon meine letzten Wochen(!) hier in Ribeirão Preto sind. Mental irgendwie in einem Spagat zwischen der Traurigkeit, weil ich wieder eine Heimat verlassen muss, allerdings auch wiederum der Ausblick auf den internationalen Kongress, mit Leuten aus über 100 Ländern, mit denen ich teilweise schon virtuell Kontakt hatte, nun aber endlich mal persönlich zu Gesicht bekomme!

Zudem wurde ich nun auch noch für das nationale IT Support Team bei AIESEC angenommen, wo es auch los geht. Mein Studium in Deutschland muss ich auch schon wieder planen, da sich meine Pläne hier doch verändert haben und das nun Einfluß auf mein Studium hat.
Irgendwie lebe ich also nicht in der Gegenwart, sondern teilweise in der Vergangenheit, teilweise in der Zukunft und teilweise in der ferneren Zukunft. Irgendwie ein komisches Gefühl, was allerdings auch wieder dazu gehört, wie ich nun schon öfters erfahren habe.
Zudem geht ein sehr guter Freund von mir (Ben) nun auch entweder nach Ghana oder evtl. nach Malaysia, was sich noch rausstellt, für ein Jahr. Manchmal ist es echt nervig wenn andere Leute so sind wie ich, zumindest in dem Aspekt :P.

Um irgendwie mein Jahr / meine 9 Monate hier noch einmal passieren zu lassen, habe ich auch ein Video gemacht, was ich euch gerne anbieten möchte, damit ihr einen kleinen direkten Einblick in mein Jahr hier bekommt.

Es gibt eine Version mit niedriger Qualität hier:

https://snowborn.de/internship/farewellvideo.mpg (ca. 40 Mb)
und die große Version zum runterladen einmal hier:
https://snowborn.de/internship/farewellvideo.avi (951 Mb, aber besser 🙂 )

Am 10. Juli geht es nun nach São Paulo um dort noch einmal alte Freunde zu treffen bevor es am 14. in die Vollen geht und die Leute zur Vorbereitung des Kongress langsam eintrudeln. Wir werden ca. 60 Leute aus 27 Ländern, also eine interessante Mischung! 🙂

4 aus Deutschland sind auch mit dabei und sogar einer aus Hamburg :).

Lasst uns sehen was die Zukunft bringt …

You know you are …

Das hier habe ich gerade gefunden, und der Vergleich zeigt mir schon, dass ich ein bisschen besser als Brasilianer passe als zuvor, natürlich aber auch immer noch ein Deutscher bin :).
Testet euch doch auch mal :)…

—-
You know that you are brazilian when you …

You think American bathing suits are enormous.

You like Guarana better than Coke.

If someone tells you to be at a certain place at 1:00 pm, you don’t show up until 2:30 or 3:00 p.m.

You know who Xuxa and Pele are.

You still argue Pele is better than Maradona.

Your entire family goes to grandma’s house on Sundays for a big family get together….even when you guys see each other everyday.

You can name at least 30 novelas and 10000 actors/actresses.

You would rather die than see Argentina beat Brazil in soccer.

BBQ means steak, sausage, chicken wings, pork, rice, farofa, molho and beer.

You are the loudest person in the room.

You have a Brazilian flag hanging from your car’s rearview mirror.

You travel to Brazil and instead of taking a suitcase with all your stuff, you take presents for the entire family, the dog, the neighbor, not to mention the old/used clothes that you take just in case someone needs it.

You’re so proud that you’re Brazilian you tell everyone.

You leave your house spotless when you have people coming over.

You have a sweet ass (or you like women with them).

You understand & speak Spanish, but when you say a word in Portuguese no one understands you.

You can drop it like it’s hot.

Your jokes are always about Portuguese people.

You take soccer too seriously.

You cried when Brazil lost the world cup.

You go to a birthday party,and you can’t leave until you take that piece of cake home.

You know what Capoeira is.

You know a lot about Samba and Pagode.

You eat rice and beans at least 7 days a week.

Your breakfast consists of milk and coffee, bread with butter and a piece of cake.

Everyone thinks you’re everything but Brazilian.

You know who Os Trapalhoes, Turma da Monica, Zico, Caetano Veloso, Tom Jobim, Elis Regina, Ronaldinho, Jo Soares, Cazuza, Gilberto Gil, Silvio Santos, Roberto Carlos, Ayrton Senna, amd Carmem Miranda are.

You go to a bar and ask for salgadinhos with guarana.

You are so used to corruption that nothing surprises you anymore.

You know how to play dominoes and cards.

You have a sense of fashion.

You wear slippers..a lot!

You know how to play volleyball and handball.

You take pictures everywhere you go.

You know what it’s like to buy liquor without an ID.

You know how to party, and if the party isnt over after 5am…its not a party!

Any holiday…being it official or not, is an excuse to stay home from work and take a week vacation.

You know what feijoada and pave are.

Your favorite drink is Caipirinha.

You dress up to go to the supermarket.

You spend an entire day at the beach.

You are too friendly.

You like it hot and sweaty. Both in and outside of the bedroom.

You make friends everywhere you go.

Cachaca rocks your pants off.

You grew up dancing/singing to Xuxa.

Easter is incomplete without bacalhau.

You own havainas in every color imaginable.

You went to Disney World for your 15th birthday.

No meal is complete without rice, farofa and feijao.

You’ll fly Varig even if it’s a little more expensive because it’s Brazilian.

You like mayonnaise on your hot dogs and Americans think you’re crazy for it.

You love coracao de frango.

You own a pair of white pants.

You know what bossa nova and pagode is.

——-

Und hier nun gleich noch mal der dt. Teil, ich fühle mich (natürlich) als eine Mischung aus beidem :).:

——-

You know you’re German if…

You separate your trash into more than five different bins.
Your front door has a sign with your family name made from salt dough.
You carry a “4You” backpack.
You eat a cold dinner at 6pm.
You call your cell phone “handy” and a projector “beamer”.
You have no problems with nude beaches and saunas.
You have asked your Asian-American friend, “No, but where are you *really* from?”
You have gotten splinters from environmentally friendly toiled paper.
You call an afternoon stroll “Nordic Walking”.
You are shocked when you have to pay for dental care.
You own a pair of jeans in a color other than blue.
People start talking about Hitler and Hofbräuhaus when you tell them where you’re from.
Tenth grade was all about dancing lessons.
You work 40 hour weeks and have 6 weeks of vacation a year, but complain about hard times.
Your childhood diet consisted of Alete and Zwieback. Your college diet consisted of Miracoli and Döner.
You were educated about sex by Dr. Sommer.
You yell at people for jaywalking.
You grew up watching “Löwenzahn” and “Die Sendung mit der Maus”. And Baywatch.
You think college tuition is an outrage.
You routinely go 100mph on the highway and tailgate heavily.
On your last day of high school you made your teachers sing Karaoke and jump through hoops.
You wear brown leather shoes.
Your first audio tape was Benjamin Blümchen and Bibi Blocksberg.
You have ended an English sentence with “…, or?”.
You can tell at least one Manta joke.
You’re a college student in your 11th year.
Your first sexual experience was on Sat1, Saturday night at 11pm.
You spent hours in school learning to pronounce “th”.
You expect chocolate in your shoes on December 6th.

Back

In Tamale I wanted to take the STC (Intercity bus) to Accra, but it left too late, so that I
had to take Trotros (mercedes – bus taxis, that only leave whenever they are full). In Tamale I
first had to wait for 4 1/2 hours before the Trotro left at all. In Kumase I then switched Trotros
at 4 am! Changed again in Accra at 9am for a Trotro to Ho, where my luggage was standing.
So I finally arrived in Ho after 20 hours of sitting in Trotros and 30 hours without sleep.
There I saw Horace (my boss) an left on Friday with 26 kilos of luggage.
They almost spent the entire time serving drinks and food – again I did not sleep at all.
In Berlin I went to “the carneval of cultures” and had african food again for dinner :).

By now I am back in Germany! Over here, two brothers and a Costa Rican who is coming back from
Prague on wednesday are awaiting me. On the weekend we are still receiving a mexican after
we have first celebrated my brothers birthday and then my return – party non-stop :).

Trip back

After the Ferry arrived in Yeji, Johannes and I were looking for a hotle with some other
“Yovos” (or “Obrunis”, how they are called over here) who we met on
the ferry. About 10 years ago they also had running tap water here, now everything has to
be brought with Trotros – but the beds were good!
The next morning we continued with a canoe of about 50 seats over the lake. On the other side
we went on to Tamale but with the most horrible bus ride of my life! At the end we just wanted
to let our anger out on somebody, but of course we didn’t!