Berta Cáceres

Berta Cáceres was murdered last week.
If we cared about every single person that dies and makes it into the news we would not be able to keep ourselves from devastation. But Berta Cáceres was a beautiful woman who cared quite a bit herself. About her people, about her country, about the land and the dirt and the water. She died because she wanted to live and she wanted her people to live.

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Berta Cáceres was an indigenous and environmental organizer who fought for indigenous land rights in Honduras. Land rights are a complicated thing in Honduras – essentially, what happens is this: Inigenous and Non-indigenous people have been living on those lands for centuries. They are farmers and as such their ethnic background is often of secondary importance. They never needed any titles to rightfully work the lands they were living on, they had formed communities and they had their own systems and treaties. I‘m not saying everything was always well, but all in all it worked. But Honduras is largely owned by oligarchs, meaning rich men who have the money to rightfully produce land titles that up until a few decades ago never existed. Probably the biggest jerk of them all is Miguel Facussé – he‘s rich as fuck (excuse the expression) and basically everything in Honduras belongs to him, at least in part. He and his rich friends now own lands that have been in the hands of peasants for ages, and they shoo the farmers away to build hotels or roads or oil palm plantations. This leads many families into poverty and is only one of the massive problems Honduras is facing.

Berta Cáceres founded the grassroot organisation COPINH (Civic Council of the Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras); since 2012 COPINH‘s biggest fight has been against the establishment of the construction of the hydroelectric project Agua Zarca by the internationally-financed Honduran company DESA. For the Lenca (an indigenous people of Honduras) communities, the approved constructions of over 40 hydroelectric dams presents a great threat; for the Lenca people, the free-flowing Gualcarque River has a special cultural and spiritual significance. Furthermore, the implementation of dams would choke the main source of irrigation and drinking water for the community.  For lack of respect for the rights of the Lenca people, the failure to comply with Convention 169 and the negative impacts of the project on their livelihoods, Berta Cáceres organised and led a peaceful opposition to the project as the coordinator of COPINH. In consequence of their actions, Berta Cáceres and other Lenca leaders have been the target of threats and intimidation. 

What‘s sad about Berta Cáceres‘ death is that it doesn‘t even come as a surprise. She was fighting for her people‘s rights, of course somebody murdered her! Because the rights she was fighting for aren‘t a given. Because rich jerks rule the country and they don‘t care about peasants or tradition or the ground they are standing on. All they care about is their little kingdom that will not fall, even if the world around them does. What‘s also sad is that the murderer is most probably still walking free. It‘s not unlikely that some rich person from DESA or the government or a sympathiser paid someone off to get the job done. Investigations? Better forget about that.

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They buried me, but what they don’t know is that I’m a seed.

But here‘s what leaves me hopeful; the rich jerks, DESA, politicians, they try and denunciate Berta Cáceres as a drama-queen, a liar whose opinion doesn‘t matter. Except that it did. Berta Cáceres did not have to lie to scratch the petty facade behind which all those denunciators are hiding. She merely told the truth, she pointed out the injustice and she had the courage to act and to speak. And it hurt them. It hurt them so much they had to kill her. And maybe, if we ask ourselves why things like this still happen in our 21st century world, the answer is because there are not enough people like Berta Cáceres.

We must not be defeated by her death; we do not live in a just world and if all we can do is stand up to a bully at school, then that makes the world an infinitely brighter place.

Be bold, and be courageous, and remember:

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I feel like I should mention that not every rich person in Honduras is a jerk. I know many wealthy Hondurans who are lovely, caring people and who are deeply shaken by Berta Cáceres’ death. Also, the conflicts in Honduras are not as straight forward as I put them. There’s a whole lot of aspects to be considered, which I simply ignored in order to make this blog post more readable!

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Role Models

Whoohoo, I am so done for this week! In the best possible way. I have literally JUST handed in a spontaneous essay – in which I stopped believing on sunday, but somehow it still turned out okayish. Yay for that! Tomorrow I am off to Lübeck, also quite sopntaneously and the reason I‘m writing a post tonight and not as ususal tomorrow. And I‘m going out tonight to see a photo exhibition that my friend made, more yays for that! (well, he contributed one small part of the exhibition, but that still counts, right?) Frankly, I‘m just happy to be leaving the house for a reason other than to watch my dog poop. Yay Yay Yay!

Something I have been wanting to write about for a while now are role models. I remember that when I was little I had this massive crush on Emma Watson. I wanted to BE her in every way possible, so I would braid my hair at night to have curls the next morning; it helped that I was a huge geek in primary school, so all I had to do was tell others how stupid they were for not basically living in the library. But I also remember that a few years later I read an interview in a magazine, some hot shot singer or what have you, that I would have snogged at any given moment. He said that he had no role models at all because he wanted to follow his own path, blah blah. And I thought, neat! The truth has been spoken! From now on I will only rely on myself and trust my own instincts and Imma rock this! I don‘t really remember how that decision went down. I probably just locked myself in the library and checked my teachers‘ assignments for spelling mistakes (I did that repeatedly – the search for missing commas always proved to be very successful!) But you know, now that I‘m thinking about it, that was such a crappy thought! The truth is that we all have role models, people we look up to. It shouldn‘t get to the point where we compare ourselves to them in everything that we do, of course – but I firmly believe that we need people to look up to in order to believe that something can be done. So here are my own personal role models:

Hermione Granger

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This much has never changed. I sometimes still find myself wondering what Hermione would do in a particular situation and I find great comfort in the fact that she‘s a huge bookworm, and yet that doesn‘t make her any weaker at all.

Emma Watson

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Obviously. She is basically a real life Hermione and I admire her for being super pretty and standing up for women‘s rights and gender equality. She seems to be staying very true to herself and that‘s a hard thing to do.

Sophie Scholl

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Sophie may well be my greatest hero of all time. She was in a resistance movement during the Second World War and was killed by the Nazis. What I admire about her, however, is not that she died, it‘s that she lived. Even in the midst of a horrible war she wrote about spring and about hiking in the alps. To keep believing in something good and pure when everything around you is falling apart is such a strong and wonderful character trait.

My Mum

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My mum‘s just one super cool lady, and if you tell me «you‘re acting just like your mother», then that is a compliment.

David Mitchell

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The comedian, not the writer. Although he has written books as well. Anyway. I‘m not absolutely sure David is actually a role model to me, it may well be that I just identify with him quite a lot. But then I catch myself thinking, hey, he‘s still alive and happy, so there‘s not a bad chance for me!

Carrie Hope Fletcher

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I never realised that I actually see Carrie as someone I idolise with until I watched one of her recent videos on Youtube where she announces that she‘s moving in with her boyfriend. And it got me thinking, I don‘t necessarily crave a boyfriend, but I like to think that I can one day manage to actually grab hold of my life enough to enter that happy place… Oh my, I sound severely depressed! I‘m not, I am a very happy person and there is nothing wrong with me. But you know, I feel like I haven‘t quite grasped the concept of being a grown-up.

Elizabeth Bennet

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She is such an amazing heroine. Every person, male or female, should learn to think for themselves. Elizabeth doesn‘t get married just to secure her future and just because that‘s how it is done. She does what she thinks is best for herself and what she believes to maje her happy.

Roxana Vasquez

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Roxana is a girl I met on Zacate Grande in Honduras. She is working at a radio station where she fights against landowners trying to take away local farmers‘ lands. She‘s very upbeat and actually risking her life in the struggle of keeping her home. She told me that she might get killed, but if she doesn‘t fight at all she will surely die of hunger – so there isn‘t actually another option. I just can‘t help but think that we need way more people like her!

Princess Leia

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Of course Leia‘s on the list! How could she not be! Leia is very badass, she knows how to handle a gun and she rocks a lot of braids. I don‘t know where we get the picture from that strong women can‘t also be pretty or care about their hair – Leia clearly has her priorities set. Even in war time she must spend hours braiding her hair. And she knows how to fly a space ship, no one can argue with that!

Between writing this post and actually publishing it eight hours have passed (the exhibition was great btw) and I have only just realised that there are almost only women on my list. It‘s not that I‘m the sort of hardcore feminist that refuses to look up to men, but they simply stand for things that I feel I am lacking myself. Getting my own mind, standing up for what I believe in, embracing my own weirdness in its full beauty… I think these are the things everyone of us is struggling with all the time. We all want to be a better version of ourselves, and I think that is the best thing we can want. Because we are good the way we are but we can change if we want to to, and if we do want to we should! And it‘s good to have someone to follow, but sometimes we also forget that we can set examples to and that maybe one small person would like to be more like us. Isn‘t that encouraging?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Blogmas (Day 16) – «It’s Going To Be Okay»

Today I was initially going to write about my Christmas shopping, but alas I left my purse at home this afternoon, and although the Swiss are very generous, not even my boss would let me have stuff for free. But that’s okay, because this time last year I was feeling a bit nostalgic and I wrote a poem about Honduras and the book shop I’m working at. Maybe it’s being around books that always makes me miss things, but I’m in that same sort of state at the moment, and I hope you like my poem.

I miss a lot of things.

I miss going to work for that first time last year.
I miss the smell of smoke and sweat and cardboard boxes in the hallway.
I miss the way my feet hurt every night.

I’m still working there now.

But it’s not the same.
It’s not the «I never want to leave this place.»
It’s more.
It’s less.

My feet still hurt.

I miss seeing Honduras from above.
For the first time.
I miss the feeling of «It’s going to be okay.»
Because it really was, you know?

I miss the song
Chim-Chim-Chiminike!
All day long.
I wanted to listen to it forever.
I didn’t want to lose it.
That song.
It was mine.

I miss the voices.
«Hola Gringa!»
The way they could carress my name.
Every Hello came with a hug.
Every hug lasted a lifetime.
Like the song.

Everybody hated the song btw.

I miss the dancing.
I hate dancing
But I was taught to love it.
Hands touching hands.
Lips touching lips.
It was a fairy tale.

But a slutty one.

I miss that side of me.
The «It’s going to be okay» side.
Because it really was, you know?

«One day I’m going to marry you.»
«Okay.»
It’s a promise
That we’ll never keep.
But we mean it
Nevertheless.

I miss eating
Until I need new pants.

«When are you leaving?»
«Never.»

I miss
Myself.

Just a little.
The me that knew
That it was going to be okay.

Because it really was, you know?

Lots of Love from the Roots of my Heart!
xxx

Again, I lost track of what Anna’ll be writing about tonight. Let’s have a look together, shall we? Her blog is right here under http://www.tinytrinket.wordpress.com

 

In Retrospect

A week ago the term has finished and I‘m looking back at an incredible year, so I thought I‘d reminisce for a bit!

Would you believe that one year ago I was still in this weird beautiful country called Honduras explaining farts to children? One of my friends has recently uploaded the video they made for me the day I left and I cried just a little (no really, it was a lot). I really can‘t believe I put up with Latin music and Salsa dancing for six months straight without going crazy, whereas now I want to punch my boss in the face for never changing the playlist at work!

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Less than a year ago I visited New Zealand again and realised that nobody had forgotten about me (which felt lovely); I saw the Hobbiton movie set for the third time and up to now I still totally want to live there!

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And now I‘m in Switzerland, stuffing my face with chocolate. I started university which was scary at first because as usual I was worried that everybody would see me as a complete dork and not want to hang out with me – but actually I immediately found a bunch of people who found me dorky yet endearing and are still willing to spend time with me. Maybe next semester I‘ll dive further into the student way of life; for now I was happy to just do my assignments, eat ice cream for lunch and go home to put on my onesie and read.
I really don‘t think that university is a necessity in life but it definitely works for me. Because, let‘s be honest, I love history. I get seriously excited when somebody mentions Martin Luther and if I could write more essays on power structures I would. And it‘s wonderful to meet others who are linked the same way!

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I‘ve started playing the ukulele, I took up a new job in february, I‘m learning Polish; all in all life has changed quite a bit.

My life is going to change even further as I‘m planning on moving out. I am so excited and looking at flats all over – actually, I‘m looking for a flat in one very specific part of town, so not that all over! I‘m sure I‘ll be completely lost for the first few weeks being on my own. I mean – how do you wash your clothes? I‘m probably going to be the crazy lady who hand washes her clothes down by the river! Also, how am I supposed to sleep without my cat? We‘re cushion buddies! He‘ll be crushed when I leave!

We have a tendency to think that we need to have figured everything out by a certain age but that‘s really just holding us back. Maybe sometimes it‘s enough to figure out just what the next step is. And maybe the rest will figure out itself.

So here‘s to a new year, new changes and sappy rainbows!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

How To Make Baleadas (and snowmen)

Hi everyone! I am currently on a ski holiday with my familiy – not to boast or anything, I don‘t ski anyway. To me winter breaks are all about staying inside, reading good books and watching Harry Potter. Which is pretty much all I‘ve been doing this whole week so far. Aside from building a snowman the night before I left, I haven‘t really been in contact with snow other than just watching it from the window. It‘s very lovely from that angle, I can assure you!

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This morning, while still in the progress of properly waking up, some 432 WhatsApp messages popped up on my phone, all from this insane group chat I‘m in with a bunch of Hondurans. I tend to only scroll through the messages, look at the pictures and smile at the memory of them. One thing that I distinctly remember is eating Baleadas every day of the week. I would have been happy to eat only that for the rest of my life, but of course living in Switzerland means a greater variety of lunch options – Baleadas sadly not being one of them!

Just before the snowman inicident last friday I made them for my family and they were delighted. So seeing as I haven‘t been up to much more than eating anyway, I decided to share the recipe with you!

Ingredients:

Flour Tortilla:
4 cups — flour
2 tsp — baking powder
2 pinches — salt
1-1.5 cups — water or milk (I use half and half)
6 tbsp — sunflower oil

Filling
2 cans — red beans (Kidney Beans)
1 cup — grated cheese
1/2 cup — sour cream
3-4 — eggs
2 — avocados

Method
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the water or milk to form a dough. Work in the oil until smooth. Add more liquid or flour as needed to form a smooth dough that isn’t too sticky.
Knead the dough until smooth, then roll 8 – 12 equal portions into balls. Leave them to rest for a little while.

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While waiting for the dough to be ready, mash the beans and slice the avocado, putting it into a small bowl to serve.

Roll each ball out into roughly an 8-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. Place a dough round into a frying pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until the tortilla has browned spots and is lightly puffed. Set aside and repeat with the remaining dough rounds.

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Heat up the mashed beans – I always buy canned beans, so it‘s enough to just put them in the microwave. However, I always fry them and add a bit of salt and spices, but it‘s all up to your liking. Crumble the eggs, then put them in a bowl to serve.

As for the cheese, I buy grated Gruyère cheese, but any cheese you like will go with the Baleada. Feta cheese probably comes closest to what they use in Honduras.

To eat, just put everything onto the tortilla (be careful not to overload it), fold it once and enjoy!

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I think it‘s funny how we stress about dinner every single day when it‘s okay in other cultures to have the same meal over and over again without complaining about it even once. I put on a lot of weight while I was in Honduras, and while I agree that a healthy diet is very important, I also believe that eating what you love greatly distributes to your happiness.

Another thing that I learned is that even if you think mushrooms are the most disgusting thing the gods have invented, you can still eat them if it‘s your friend‘s 19th birthday and she made a vegetarian lasagne just for you that happens to have a LOT of mushrooms in it. In addition to that you might end up building a snowman at three in the morning which is the kind of weird thing that makes you feel so, SO lucky for whatever messed up friends life has given you.

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I hope you enjoy the Baleadas!

Lots of love!
xxx

Ps. My friend Jonathan made the Snowman photos and I think they’re really good considering he was unequipped, so look at his website too! 🙂

Staying In Touch

One of the things I have been most lucky to have in my life are my friends. That sounds like such a cliché to say, but considering how many of my friends live oceans away from me, I can‘t pressure this enough. I‘m astonished, really, that people are still putting up with me. I‘m terrible at replying to messages or letters or remembering Skype dates. I‘m such a confused little person sometimes and I have my heart all over the place; and no matter how many times I tell someone that I love them to pieces via WhatsApp or Facebook, it‘s always a mere excuse for not saying it more often. But their pictures are all on my wall and I look at them every time I‘m writing or doing homework. Some of them I don‘t even talk to anymore, and some of them I talk to every day, and whenever I look up at our smiley faces I remember how infinite I felt, how grand, how little rain or sleet or snow mattered because we were all wrapped up within each other.

Even if your best friend lives a country away, it is possible to feel closer to her than the people you sit next to in math class. Sometimes the people surrounding you are the ones 2,763 miles away.
(The Girl in the Little Black Dress)

There‘s so many people who feel so close to me still and I feel like the world deserves to meet them.

There‘s my wonderful Kiwi friend Annie who sends me heaps of letters and cards and sexy firemen calendars. I keep buying her chocolates and end up eating them myself – one of these days, Annie, you‘re going to get a massive letter and a half eaten chocolate bar!

I can‘t thank Charlie enough for the endless SnapChat messages I get on a almost daily basis. I never reply because I suck. But my mood brightens so much when I get Snaps like this one early in the morning!

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And all my Hondurans! I could cry everytime I think about them. I‘m in love with all of them because they carry their hearts on their sleeves, because they tried so hard to understand my culture and they took me in as if I were just like them, even when everything about me screamed that I wasn‘t. And even now with life rushing on for all of us, I randomly receive messages from people telling me that they love me still. I miss their hugs  and I hate that all I get are hundreds of messages in a group chat, but I also love it because its a fragment of their lives and somewhere in there I have my place too.

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I met my cousin/aunt/whatever only a few years ago. Her name is Paulina and she‘s my dad‘s cousin, but she‘s younger than me. She lives in Hamburg and she‘s very pretty and I love her for also being a Harnickell because I thought I was the only girl. We haven‘t spoken in so long but I can‘t wait to see her again. Weekends with her have been the loveliest and they made me love this gorgeous human so much!

There is a girl whose name is also Noemi and who made me a Minion hot-water-bottle cover for my birthday. She likes weird things which is good because I‘m a little weird too. And sometimes she understands and sometimes she doesn‘t but she always makes me smile, even when I don‘t want to!

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Tashina listens to my endless dramas about boys and books and Cadbury chocolate and watches Doctor Who with me. She doesn‘t even like Science Fiction. Inga sends me a hand-made photo calendar every Christmas and Bethi let me stay at her house once. Samantha and I have a book club but we never read anything together. Jonathan makes me stay up until the sun rises, and Anna brings me back a plush princess from the Disney shop in London. Claire let me come to her speech but not her parents, and Anna went to the book shop with me afterwards. I have never met Rieke but last year she wrote me a letter and I really want to give her a hug. Jennifer wasn‘t my sister but now she is. Tamara and Magalie once went to have a picknick in an illegal place with me where we could look down on the entire city and felt like kings. Macarena was there too and I miss that little chilean munchkin.

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I love that there‘s Lucy and Jacqui and Katrien and Luis and Alice and Kerem among others who never write but who go out with me for Frozen Yoghurt whenever I‘m in the area. And I love that they still look happy on their Facebook pictures  and that I once had them smile and laugh like this with me.

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The favourite thing about my best friend is how she smells like home.
She is home
(cbrown93)

Life consists of so many tiny memories and it never matters where we are and if we are still with the same people or not. We are always in motion and friendships come and go but they never leave us completely. Not talking to someone is not the same as not thinking of them. And I can‘t even do all the people justice with this little blog post here. Who cares about it anyway? I just love them so much and I wanted you to know.

Lots of love!
xxx

Blogmas: I’ve Never Seen The Matterhorn!

 The strangest thing for me to understand is that a big part of the world population has never seen snow. Never having seen snow does not just mean never having seen frozen water. It means never having woken up to a winter wonderland, it means never having felt a snowflake dissolve on your skin, it means never having been even hoping for a white Christmas (not that I am this year!). Never having seen snow is very sad. Maybe it’s a bit how I feel about never having seen the Northern Lights. Do people wake up in the morning and squeal with delight because of them? Or is it just, you know, a light in the sky that’s there all year? It’s not as if I care too much, because I’ve never had a life with the Northern Lights in it, but yes, sometimes it makes me a bit sad that they don’t extend to my country.

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Yesterday my Honduran host brother arrived in Switzerland, and seeing snow was on the top of his bucket list – after all, what is Switzerland without snow?! So I took him.
Two hours away we found it (he was delighted) and we also found the Matterhorn, a famous Swiss mountain. It’s not that astonishing that we found it, considering that we went to Zermatt with the sole purpose of seeing it – and the snow! And now is my ime to confess: I’ve never consciously seen that mountain before! It’s so gorgeous! It has it’s own chocolate – that’s how beautiful this mountain is! Eating Toblerone will never be the same again.

I’m not a very patriotic person. I have lived in New Zealand where I could see the Milky Way and I have lived in Honduras where I could hardly see the stars at all. And I have lived in Switzerland where you get some stars, but if you’re lucky you always get snow and you have those mountains that can take your breath away if you just look. It makes me glad to be alive!

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Wishing you all the best!
Cheers!
xxx

Blogmas: It Really Was

I miss a lot of things.

I miss going to work for that first time last year.
I miss the smell of smoke and sweat and cardboard boxes in the hallway.
I miss the way my feet hurt every night.

I’m still working there now.

But it’s not the same.
It’s not the “I never want to leave this place”.
It’s more.
It’s less.

My feet still hurt.

I miss seeing Honduras from above.
For the first time.
I miss the feeling of “It’s going to be okay.”
Because it really was, you know?

I miss the song
Chim-Chim-Chiminike!
All day long.
I wanted to listen to it forever.
I didn’t want to lose it.
That song.
It was mine.

I miss the voices.
“Hola Gringa!”
The way they could carress my name.
Every hello came with a hug.
Every hug lasted a lifetime.
Like the song.

Everybody hated the song btw.

I miss the dancing.
I hate dancing
But I was taught to love it.
Hands touching hands.
Lips touching lips.
It was a fairy tale.

But a slutty one.

I miss that side of me.
The “It’s going to be okay” side.
Because it really was, you know?

“One day I’m going to marry you.”
“Okay.”
It’s a promise
That we’ll never keep.
But we mean it
Nevertheless.

I miss eating
Until I need new pants.

“When are you leaving?”
“Never.”

I miss
Myself.

Just a little.
The me that knew
That it was going to be okay.

Because it really was, you know?

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Blogmas: Nostalgia (273 days)

Today I just want to share with you this amazing poem a certain Natalie (www.natalieslovelyblog.com) wrote about her exchange year in France. I’m missing Honduras quite a lot right now and reading this makes me feel better. It’s not that christmassy. Well, a bit maybe. I hope you like it!

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It‘s Leviosa, B****!

When I was in Honduras one of the first things I did was get myself a Spanish copy of Harry Potter. I literally know the first book by heart and I felt that my language skills would improve if I read something as simple as this. One of my friends even ended up reading it to me during lunch break and I ended up discovering so much more about this brilliant magical world.
I know a lot of people who don‘t like Harry Potter because to them it‘s just another fantasy story that children get obsessed about (oh, the pain, the pain!). But it‘s just such a good series!
While reading it in Spanish my friend and I had to laugh really hard at things that I didn‘t even consider funny when I was a child. At the same time we also talked a lot about the social aspects of the books that are really sad. Like the chapter when Harry gets to go to the zoo for the first time with the Dursleys, his foster family. They are giving him a horrible time; he‘s only allowed the smallest of ice creams, he‘s not allowed to talk and he has to keep a safe distance from his cousin, Dudley, so he won‘t get beaten up. And yet, in Harry‘s eyes, this is the greatest day of his entire life so far! It‘s both funny and sad, but it just made me realise how little someone might need to be happy.

Most. Exciting. Day. Ever.
Most. Exciting. Day. Ever.

J.K. Rowling is so good at writing characters, you love them or you loath them or a bit of both, you sympathize with them you cry your heart out for them… she can make them seem so real. When I was little –and this hasn‘t ever changed– my all time favourite character was Hermione Granger. She was my role model all through primary school, and only now am I starting to realise just what an amazing character she is. J. K. Rowling created the ultimate nerd with bushy hair and big front teeth, a know-it-all, a small person so annoying that even Harry can‘t stand her (and he seems pretty noble when it comes to people). And then she just so happens to be the coolest girl to hang out with. She‘s always the smartest, she‘s brave and she doesn‘t care about people‘s opinions – every girl should have her as a role model!

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I‘m turning 22 in December and I know my Hogwarts letter was due eleven years ago and I know I‘m a muggle and I know I‘m never going to date Harry Potter and I know the Warner Bros. Studio tour is the closest I‘ll ever get to the magical world, but I still find myself wishing I had an owl and potion‘s classes and that I was Hermione. And then I always realise that even though a lot of things happen in Harry Potter‘s world that normally don‘t happen to us, the story and the people are still real. I have met Germans who are still terrified of saying Hitler‘s name after all these years. I have had frighteningly strict teachers who were dedicated to their work with all their heart, just like Professor McGonagall. There‘s boys like Harry who have been bullied all throughout their childhood and still grew up to be decent adults. And Hermione is after all just a smart girl with a passion for books. You don‘t need a wand to become like her, because the greatest things she does she does without magic. Like fighting for the rights of the ensclaved house elves or punching Draco Malfoy in the face or loving an ugly cat named Crookshanks. That‘s what makes her awesome. And that‘s something we can all be.

“Harry – you’re a great wizard, you know.”
“I’m not as good as you,” said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.
“Me!” said Hermione. “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery and – oh Harry – be careful!”