One of the first blog entries was called “First Times“. Maybe this one should have been called “Last Times“ to create a loop, to connect the beginning with the ending. So why is it not called “Last Times“?
After saying good bye to the big German team, it was the four of us again. The last days were filled with all the things we wanted to do, but did not have time, like getting hold of the WERK-t-shirts or finally visiting the coffee roasters. We also went to site one last time to document the structure properly and see what has happened over the weekend. Khusta has already planted some new plants and covered the dusty ground with carpets again. Neighbours came to visit and chat – and to show us some kittens…
After a really quick photo shoot that included two cameras, lots of camera swaps and full physical effort we left Walmer Township for the last time.
The first one who left was Jana (going to Cape Town and having some well deserved holiday). It felt like the beginning of the year where it was only Alena, Uta and myself staying in The Cottage as well. On the same day that Jana left, Alenas parents arrived during the day and the following we showed them around, showed them WERK 1 and 2 and the Makerspace. As it was the last Thursday of the month there was the Goodnight-Market at the Tramways building again. Another circle completed: Uta and I visited the Goodnight Market in our first week in South Africa. So after meeting our fellow students in the afternoon we all decided to go there and enjoy our for the moment last evening together. But as this programme is a true exchange between universities, we are already preparing for their visit in Germany.
The last night at The Cottage followed by a cleaning session completed another circle to the first night here. It was Friday. All of a sudden. All of a sudden it all ended the same way it began: Uta and I, sitting at the airport of PE, waiting for a plane that takes us 9,866.48 kilometers away. Back to Wismar.
About two weeks are gone by since then and we settled back in in our small, cozy Wismar.
Well, Wismar’s welcome was not too cozy: Rain and hail, howling wind and freezing temperatures greeted us when we arrived. When the university started again on Monday, we still were not completely adjusted. Not just to the temperatures. It was a weird, yet amazing feeling to be able to walk around alone in the evening, to not worry about whether leaving your stuff in the car is safe, to take the bike to go everywhere, to be sure that you will have electrical power when you come back from uni.
The time in South Africa changed everyone of us.
It not just changed the way we appreciate things that we took for granted before. It also changed the way we see things, it changed our view of the world and the view on ourselves. South Africa, its mentality, its nature and especially its people touched everyone of us.
So the reason, why this blog is not called “Last Times“ despite the extraordinary high use of the word “last“ is fairly simple: Most of the last times described are last times for now not for ever. We will come back. There is no question of whether. There is only a question of when.