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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Home Alone - Well, Almost.

It’s our free day. I couldn’t sleep last night until 4am or later, and so woke up after 930 with the house quiet, most of the group gone, and a sign on the stairs saying be quiet after 10am,   Mennonite service, eat breakfast in your rooms.  As I came down the stairs (I’m on the 3rd floor, good exercise), people were coming in, folks older than me, some shaking my hand, one elderly   gentleman (ie older than me) looking confused at the sign in English saying please take off your shoes, quiet after 11pm.. and the wifi password, until someone explained about our group ( I assume) and then saying “ah, so.” Funny to go from being the oldest to being the youngest in the crowd.  I made breakfast quietly and brought it upstairs to my room.

Our meals have been interesting , dependent mainly on the food donated from supermarket surplus,  now with some supplements from our budget, as the fruit, veggies, and cheesecakes are starting to run low.  The donated produce has been mostly fine, even after 5 days grapes, peaches, apricots, grapes, apples, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, eggplant, potatoes, pasta, rice, etc.  And lots of bread, all kinds of bread. We probably have more than enough bread for the 17 of us for all two weeks.

As I write, the Mennonite service is going on downstairs and wafting up the stairs. Nice accompaniment to my wrtiitg.  It’s singing and piano, lovely voices, interspersed with the voice of the pastor. Next Sunday we will attend the service, so I’ll get a better idea of what he is talking about.
Some of the group has gone off to a castle in Potsdam, outside of Berlin, and the other half to a museum, not sure which one. One guy,  Brian/Khan, from Vietnam, has a rail pass and took off for Hamburg early this am for the day.  First Saskia had advised him against going, because of the G-20 and some violent riots. Then she realized it had ended yesterday, so said it was fine to go.  Jakob, our co-leader, just got up, after me! He is heading off on a walk, to the Botanical Gardens, a few kilometers from here, and a museum nearby.

 They knew I had other plans, so it’s fine I slept thru everyone getting up and heading out.  My plan – a flea market, of course.   And it wasn’t even my idea, Saskia suggested it. Of course, she knows a little bit about me.  My dilemma, though, which one?  There are about six, some more high end, some lower, some focusing more on books, vinyl, etc.  I wonder if chockas is a word in German.!

I have not been on the T, or S-Bahn, except with the group. So am hoping I don’t get lost. It’s an extensive system.  My original plan was flea market, then the Decorative Arts Museum. But at this rate, I’ll be lucky to just get out the door.  If I wasn’t writing this, I would probably be back asleep. Hoping coffee, writing, shower will awaken me sufficiently.  If not, my free day is going to be a long nap.

Yesterday we stayed at the house and wrote all day.  I only took a brief break for a walk around the block, taking some photos  of the house and neighborhood to show the folks back home. That’s you. Some are posted on fb, there will be more.

Quiet downstairs now. Maybe the service is over. Or maybe they are doing some silent meditation. I know there’s coffee downstairs in the living room afterwards, saw the set up.

I have been working on three possible Wiki entries so far. One is about an American nun who won a U.N. award for work with refugees in Honduras and Guatemala. Wiki has strict rules about significant sources for entries, so it remains to be seen if my entry will pass muster. It has been published, but possibly will be deleted. That apparently happens frequently, and can be frustrating to new wikipedians.  Still not sure just how this works, who determines and deletes.

The others are related to two of the places we’ve visited. For one, the Uber den Tellerand, Saskia is writing an entry in German. But since it’s a German organization, Saskia isn’t sure if it’s relevant enough for the English language Wiki. So she is translating her German version for me (their materials and website are only in German)  which I will slightly edit for grammar, etc. Even small things have nuances, of course. For instance, Uber den Tellerand is a saying that literally means”beyond the edge of the plate.” and relating somewhat to travel.   Very appropriate for an organization related to food, community, integration, etc.  The closest English is “beyond the 
horizon.”Since someone from Ohio was very taken by the program and has established a “satellite” program in Columbus, I will try to track her down, which hopefully will make the W folks feel it relevant.

The other potential story is related to the shared housing community we visited. Rather than write an entry just about their organization, I will try to broaden it to an entry about share housing.  It’s akin to co-housing, for which there is an entry. But the only share house Wiki entry is about a 2010 Japanese movie.  Share housing actually is a concept in Japan, but with a somewhat different connotation.  And it’s a word in Australia, but there it merely refers to being roommates. So I will try to put something together, and see if I  flies. And now, I’ve got myself curious about that Japanese movie. So guess I’ll go google it. I mean wiki it. 

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