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Sharing memories with strangers

text and photos published by the Göttingen University alumni network, September 2017 >>

Former students of Göttingen University live all over the planet. More than 80 of them recently met in Berkeley, California, remembering good old WG and Mensa times.

“The free spirit will not be ousted”

Published by the German Acedemic Exchange Service (DAAD) in English >>  and in German >>, September 2017

Expat scientists in the US from countries like India or Egypt are increasingly interested in research opportunities in Germany; some of them feel alienated by the political climate under the Trump administration. They were among the largest groups among the 550 scientists who met at the Annual Conference of the German Academic International Network (GAIN) in San Francisco.

A treasure in the forest

documentary published by the German NGO Welthungerhilfe >>

Until recently, the only people who came into Jomi Pacharin’s remote mountain village were vendors and debtors. Doctors, teachers and government officials never set their foot here, they find the trail too arduous; hence many Paharia die from malnutrition and preventable diseases. When local helpers of the German NGO Welthungerhilfe first came to their village, Jomi and her neighbors stayed inside, full of suspicion – until they realized that these strangers would not take their belongings but offer something.

Climate in turmoil

published by the NGO Welthungerhilfe, 4/2015, pp. 17-19 >>

Indian fishermen and Burundian farmers have one thing in common: As poorest among the poor they are not responsible for climate change; yet they are the first who live with its consequences. In both countries, the weather has been diverting from its usual pattern for a decade. Welthungerhilfe trains fishermen and farmers to take precautions.

Made in India – young entrepreneurs in the countryside

translation of an article published by the NGO Welthungerhilfe, 2/2016, pp. 17-19 >>

Despite its economic boom, India is leaving its rural youth behind. Less than one in ten young Indians had any professional training, unemployment is staggering. A Welthungerhilfe program tries to change this: It builds training centers for thousands of young people who want to start their own businesses – as rabbit breeders, vets or solar technicians.

Topping out of Half Dome

published on YouTube >>

“A different America”

translation of a feature published November 12, 2016, by ZEIT ONLINE >>

In Oakland thousands take to the helicopter lit streets each night since the election, protesting hate crimes and a police state. But the demonstrators are also at odds with each other.

Crossing

broadcasted on German public radio SWR on November 7 and 8, 2016 >>

Kat Rodriguez has one of the hardest jobs along the US Mexican border. She supports Central American families in finding relatives who went missing on their journey to the US. All too often, they find their bodies in the Sonoran Desert behind Kat’s house. On her mission to stop the deaths, Kat crossed the desert on foot with 70 women, men, teenagers and me. Join us in my radio feature.

Beach vacation with bears – hiking along the Lost Coast

published on the expat blog Life in the Bay, April 21 2016 >> and (in German) on the tapir travel blog, October 5, 2015 >>

If Malibu Beach comes to your mind first when you think about beach vacations in California, you should probably not venture out to the Lost Coast. But if you prefer Alaska to ‘Baywatch’, this is your spot. Even the road builders of the Wild West steered clear of this coast, steep and rugged as it is. All the better for us, as well as for sea lions, black bears and marijuana farmers who peacefully cohabit in this wilderness.

The Taliban on their heels

part of the photo exhibition “…und plötzlich diese Stille” (…suddenly there is silence), on display in the townhall of Wadersloh, Germany, as of April 20, 2016 >>

In Germany, Kainat can finally go back to school. Her family fled from a remote Pashtun village still ruled by the Taliban, who forbid her to leave the house. In rural Westphalia, the eleven of them easily make friends as they are all avid football players. All of them except one-year-old Sana who prefers sitting on the ball to kicking it.