Some of you dedicated followers may recall that our friend Rob Friesen visited us back in October. He is a teacher at the Zurich International School in Switzerland. While he was here, he asked us if we might be interested in participating in an event at his school in March. You may have heard of TED talks? A short description from their website:
“TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.”
Since its inception, TED has allowed local organizations to host TEDx events and this is what we were invited to. The focus of the event, titled “Hand in Hand”, is to share ‘big ideas’ that might be of interest to a broad audience. Rob, as well as the student organizers, thought Friedenshaus was an idea worth sharing. So, long story not so short, we are travelling to Zurich on March 16th. Marla and I will be visiting classes on Friday and the talk is on Saturday, March 18th.
Needless to say, we have been preparing for a while. Not only are we speaking in front of an audience (nothing new for preacher Marla), but the talk will also be filmed and available online. Once we realized this would be “out there” for all to see, we started to get a little nervous. Nonetheless, we (at least I) have enjoyed the process of putting together some ideas to share.
Our title is, “Friedenshaus: A Modest Proposal for World Peace”. How’s that for a big idea? Our main theme is that the relationship building we are fostering here in Ludwigshafen is the key to understanding “others” better. Once we know each other, our fears and misunderstandings disappear. We’ll let you know once the video is available, but if you’re interested in learning more about the event and the other speakers, here’s the link:
In the meantime, I thought maybe it was time for a haircut. I visited a Turkish barbershop Marla and I visited a while back. Besides being one of the cheaper cuts in town, I liked the attention to detail the barber gave, including a straight razor to trim things at the end. So I returned and was almost finished when he showed me a lighter and asked, “Brennen?” I had an inkling of what he was asking, but being curious and willing to try something new, I said ok. He proceeded to use the lighter to burn the hairs not only around my ears, but inside as well! It was quick and relatively painless, but a strange experience nonetheless. The smell of burning hair is not the most pleasant, but the after shave used later sort of overwhelmed that odour.
So, we will fill you in on how our trip to Switzerland went in the next blog. Stay tuned!
German Word of the Week: die Herausforderung (the challenge). Marla mentioned this on her return from a visit with her tandem partner, where they practice their German and English together. Marla’s partner Ute was sharing about the challenges that a recent injury to her foot was presenting. They had to search for the English word. Marla has been dealing with her own challenges, trying to sew together our first blanket from our sewing circle. As a relative rookie seamstress, she is realizing that it is not a simple process – eine echte Herausforderung!