It is not always ideal to think Christmas is better spent white. Like depicted on the television with snow all over, puffed jackets playing on snow while awaiting a good meal and all the perks that come with this day. Its is often ideal to spend the day with family, be it rainy or sunny. It is perhaps also ideal to spend Christmas with people you are getting familiarised to and all that is linked to them, like culture and language. This too is a great test, with which you can withhold or not. I have underwent it and have withstood the test.
It is literally three months and 10 days. 100 days to be precise.
Initially, I have been contemplating about how spending Christmas and the coming new year without my family for the first time might be like. Without any hassles, my intuition told me that it is going to be fun, given my independence.
I was wrapped and had been looking forward to spending Christmas in southwest, Stuttgart for some 4 days or so. But, will be back in Berlin to end what was an eye opening, fantastic, full of blessings year for me.
My year 2016 would have not being possible without God whom I thank daily. The year started with a big punch after making decisions to pursue my Masters in Journalism which initially got me into doing some editorial work for the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Circle, a formation together with a news online platform The Journalist in University of Free-State (UFS). This was my highlight of how much I love my career and a revelation of how much I can do so much journalism work without being paid. It had been earning bylines and producing good journalism my priority. I found this space testing. But, I have learned so much in a short period of time. It all paid off at the end, helping me build relationships within the Department of Journalism, Film and Television (JFT) at the University of Johannesburg and of course The Journalist´s newsroom at large.
Along side this, I devoted myself to learning more about civil organisations and activism. I then joined and become a part of Right2Know Campaign from late 2015. What a wonderful space to be and to engage. I have relatively focused on humanitarian work in all my interests, working with NGO´s such as Kliptown Youth Programme (KYP). I feel accomplished!
It seems to have been a productive year after all. Plus, landing myself in Germany to continue on humanitarian work, volunteering at Waldorfpädagogik Havelhöhe e.V has been a cherry put on top. This is were my German language skills are sharpened and improving too. This is were I am also gaining global understand of the world.
Nonetheless, I am not limited to this place I call my external community. With this I mean, where I am known and it feels like home. Like my host family, which I has sort to understand me over the time I have known them, how beautiful has it been for me to know them.
Although I find myself not so expressive but I am conscious of this friendly space I find myself into. This Christmas has been the least expected. I am not one to have a lot of expectations anyway.
And, these are the fantastic gifts I got for Christmas:
A pair of Dr.Martens boots
I am of the assumption that the people I live with pretty much understand me thus far. I suspect their kindness is a gesture of making me feel home all the time and I have nothing more but appreciation. My intended Dr.Martens collection starts now. This is one of the best gifts I have ever got in my life.
My H&M hoddy and body cosmetics
This is courtesy of a nine year old I will call A*, whom together with her mother, a sister of my host mother bought me. They too seem to be paying attention to what I might like for instance they spotted that I like wearing black. They then got me a black hoddy. The sister of my host mother got me body cosmetics. I guess I am sorted for the next coming months on these.
Chocolate for the sweet toothed
It is a season of good food and candy. Within my presents, I also got plenty of chocolate to get me going. Lindt chocolates, home made chocolates, you name it.
As some of you may know, it is winter in Germany. Often rainy at times and sometimes dry. I have been blessed once again with a pair of gloves and knitted socks to keep me warm. Not once have I got a pair of gloves. Last month during my birthday I got a very nice pair which I accidentally lost one somewhere at Karlsruhe. My heart still bleeds when I think of this glove. My conclusion yesterday after getting a new pair as one of my gifts, I suggested it would be great if my host mother plug them together on my winter jacket like it is done in kindergartens. This is of course for security purposes.
Some cultural German utensil:
I have since ever been fascinated by the German culture of using these looking like chopping boards. In German it is called a “Brett”. It is used when eating bread. Not only have I been fascinated. I have dived into the culture and find these very practical to use. As a gift, its a cherry on top.
After all, it was not so much of an expected Christmas. I got a lot of gifts, with which I have limited on this list. I enjoyed my Christmas and think experiencing it first hand in country side Stuttgart was an awesome experience.