Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Into May

On May 1st our open-air swimming pool opened, and I made a point of actually dipping into the water. At 14 degrees centigrade that was not a prolonged swim, but today’s 18 degrees already felt much better. I actually swam 1200 metres and declare the summer swimming season officially opened.

We also pre-celebrated our May-clustered family celebrations on May 1st, because we knew there wouldn’t be a whole lot of time on either of the birthdays, nor on the wedding anniversary. The boy will have a proper birthday party in a couple of weeks with his friends, the mother just sort of skipped her birthday as she was driving and setting up a stall on the day proper.

Meanwhile, I have been to and come back from the Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe, where I sold fabrics, 

made contact with Leni Wiener, who will be featured in one of the next issues of the German Patchwork Guild’s magazine, and have gone back to the sewing machine. Little stuff only at this point, but my entry for Made in Europe II is also in the line, all it needs is a facing and tunnel, and then it can go to the photographer, and I might actually make it on time. No pictures right now, as jurying is still coming up.

Teaching at the school has been very intensive again - we are waiting for work permits for several of the students who are from countries that are being considered ‘safe countries of origin’ and for which Germany’s government is pulling extra efforts to have people deported back. It’s not been an easy time for either these students or the other teachers and me, and two of the students have given up hope. They have moved on - and it was very sad to suddenly have empty spaces in the classroom. Others are still holding out, but hope is fading, additional reprimatory action is taking place these days, and we still don’t know what will happen. In the whole context of this, I don’t know whether I will be teaching at that school again next year. If only a part of the class - those who are ‘proper political asylum seekers’ - gets a permit, I don’t think I will continue. But as long as we don’t know, nothing has been decided yet. I admit I am torn - I love working there, I love teaching these people and getting to know them. But it has really interfered heavily with my quilt making, and it has taken such a huge emotional toll that I am not sure, how I want the situation to continue. Of course, next year, there won't be anybody from Senegal in the class, the situation will be entirely different in that respect. I don't know how the class would have been this year without the people from Senegal in there, either, but I am very grateful to have met and got to know them. It's just a bit difficult to be a witness to their struggles, hopes, and problems, and not being able to really help them with their personal situations...

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