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

Day 63 — The One Where I Can’t Find A Suiting Title

The reason I sucked at physics was not because I had a bad teacher, it was because he tried too hard explaining me how physics works, how the atoms and molecules interact, instead of just telling me how to use it. It‘s the same with mobile phones or computers – few of us actually know how those things really work, we just know how to use them. I manage effortlessly to walk into solid walls and fall down stairs, so no, I don‘t think I have a grasp on how to use physics!

Happy bus ride with the Chimis!
Happy bus ride with the Chimis!

It‘s the same principle with Honduras (or any other country). We can spend so much time just trying to understand why a place is the way it is, why it is not better or worse, why there‘s corruption or dictatorship… and it can help, but what we need to learn in the first place is how to use it. A country‘s history is what sound wave‘s are for the sound – without the waves we wouldn‘t hear the music and without the history we couldn‘t build a better future. But in order to appreciate the waves‘ work, we have to have heard the music first. So, how do we use Honduras? Based on my experience the first and best thing anyone can do is be amiable. Smile, appreciate not having been robbed, return the hugs (try to enjoy them!)… Honduras is definitely a country where being happy is appreciated.

Oh, those loving Hondurans! :)
Oh, those loving Hondurans! 🙂

Then, learn how to dance. Or, if you can‘t dance, at least learn the songs and move your hip, and be sexy.
Another thing, always count your change. Don‘t trust amiable people (but trust them more than grumpy ones, because at least they are nice), they might still try to rob you.
Oh, and don‘t get mad at robbers. I haven‘t been robbed so far, but I would rather give up my phone than my life. Maybe that‘s just me, though.
That‘s how you get by in Honduras. That‘s knowing which buttons to press on your phone, the green one to call, the red one to hang up. But now, there‘s a whole bloody lot of things wrong with that phone. And knowing how to use it won‘t do any more, because as hard as you push those buttons, they won‘t change anything. That‘s the point where we have to start to understand what wire goes where and why. John Green said,

„Grateful to be a little boat full of water still floating.“

(I do think the Greens will save the day!) And that‘s how I see Honduras. A broken place that still somehow manages to keep its pieces together.

The peninsula Zacate Grande
The peninsula Zacate Grande
Typical house on the peninsula
Typical house on the peninsula

Last week I had the chance to visit the peninsula Zacate Grande in the south of the country. I don‘t think anyone can sum up the people‘s problems there as well as Disney‘s „The Emperor‘s New Groove“ does. It takes seventy-five minutes of whole hearted laughter to realise that Kuzco is a) real, b) owns the freaking country and c) did not turn into a llama, and therefore actually built Kuzcotopia and did make the farmers leave their grounds even though they‘ve lived there for generations. And yet, Zacate Grande, too, is a boat, still floating. The grounds are inhabitet by farmers who are more than willing to fight for their rights. It‘s either fighting with a small chance of winning or not fighting with the certainty of starving. The great land owners need the land to build their mansions and tourist resorts, they privatise the beaches and rob the farmers of any chances of existence (you can find out more here). But being there, in spite of seeing the poverty up close, was one of the happiest expierences ever. It is so lovely to see that people are still just people. They took me to the beach and complained about the fact that I didn‘t bring my bathing suit, and wanted to know if I had already found a gorgeous Honduran! Where there‘s girl’s talk, the world will not end.

With the Children of N.P.H
With the Children of N.P.H
Play for the kids
Play for the kids

And of course I have to mention the visit to the orphanage N.P.H. (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos). It was beautiful and is an example of one of the many things that actually go right in Honduras. The children are granted a good future and a safe childhood. Books are very valued (an institution that doesn‘t value books is not a good institution, simple as that) and the whole area has a warm ambiente to it (and not only because of the hot weather). One of the things I loved the most was the plays we did for them, mainly because I enjoy watching them, too! But in the end, what was beautiful was to see their excited faces when they received a little bag of sweets and couldn‘t wait to open them. That is why children are so beautiful. The way they can‘t hold themselves back, the way they just have to taste those cookies right now, because they might explode if they don‘t… that‘s what gets lost on us when we grow up. Because we learn how to hold back, how to control ourselves. But maybe, life is about not keeping control. Maybe it‘s about going ahead and shamelessly taking what you can‘t resist.

I may not understand physics in any way, and that‘s okay. I mean, I fell up the stairs once, and the bruise taught me that, against my better judgement, this is in fact possible! But what I do understand is this: Whether it‘s a phone or a country, some things you just love even if they are broken. And loving them in their brokenness will make you angry enough to do what you can to fix them.