WELCOME EVERYBODY! We, the students of Parhamer High School in Vienna, Austria, have things to share – things that made us laugh, frown, cry or think: books, texts, activities and experiences which moved, bored, shocked, fascinated or amused us. Enjoy the blog and let us know what you think:
March 23, 2009
July 4, 2009
Camp Green Lake is an institution where criminal boys are sent. “If you let a bad boy dig a hole every day in the hot sun you get a good boy.” That is the motto of this Camp.
But is it really true that the boys have to dig to build character? Stanley Yelnats said: “No, the Warden was looking for an old treasure.” Stanley is a teenage boy who was sent to Camp Green Lake for a crime he had not committed. The Warden is the head of this camp.
Two boys ran away from Camp. They survived on a mountain called God’s Thumb. They returned to camp and dug up a suitcase. “Stanley Yelnats” was written on it. It once belonged to Stanley’s great-grandfather. He was robbed by Kate Barlow who hid the treasure in the dry lake bed. The Warden wanted nothing more than to get this treasure.
When she was little she had to dig holes because her family was cursed to dig up everything Kate Barlow hid. She did not want to dig so she opened a juvenile detention camp and thought up a motto (see above).
The Warden did not have to dig holes anymore but she violated some children’s rights. The boys did not get enough water and they were not really protected from lizards or rattlesnakes.
In the end she was arrested and the camp became a girl’s scouts camp.
An unbelievable story happened in Texas. Camp Green Lake, a juvenile camp, turned out to be a place where criminal teenagers have been tortured and abused for years. The poor boys had to dig holes every day and would only get back to the camp when they were finished, otherwise they had to dig until they broke down. We can assume that this could have happened a few times regarding the fact that they didn’t get a lot of supplies and had to dig in a dry lake without any shade.
Later on it turned out that the supervisor of Camp Green Lake was looking for a buried treasure under the hard dry surface of the lake. In her childhood she apparently had to dig holes with her parents who had been searching for the treasure too. Researchers proved that this treasure was real and found by Stanley Yelnats, a boy who had to experience the torture of Camp Green Lake himself even though he was innocent.
However the Warden currently is under arrest and receiving psychological help. She seems to be disturbed or even insane because of all the abuse from her parents she wanted nothing else but to find the treasure she had to suffer so much for. Now destiny refused to grant her wish and in this case we could also call destiny law. After all there will be no chance at all to avoid jail for her as she is accused of several crimes like child abuse, torture, disobeying human rights, and more. All we can hope for is that the horror of Camp Green Lake will soon find an end.
June 12, 2009
Er steht vor mir und lächelt. Sein Lächeln ist einfach perfekt. Die Zähne sind weiß und sein Mund ist breit. Er lächelt noch immer. Ich muss einfach lächeln. Seine Augen verfolgen meine Schritte. Ich gehe langsam auf ihn zu. Am liebsten möchte ich auf ihn zustürmen, doch ich beherrsche mich. Ich lächle. Mein Herz rast. Er scheint ganz ruhig zu sein. Er sieht mir in die Augen. Wie tiefgründig seine Augen doch sind, so, als ob sie in einen hineindringen. Ich stehe vor ihm. Keiner spricht. Er lächelt noch immer. Ich lächle zurück. Er nimmt meine Hand. Ein kleiner Stromstoß durchströmt meinen Körper. Seine Hand ist warm. Zärtlich aber bestimmend zieht er mich in den Wald hinein. Seine Muskeln sind angespannt. Wir gehen in den Wald. Überall fliegen Vögel und ein Eichkätzchen springt von Baum zu Baum. Ich sehe mich fasziniert um. Die Vielfalt des Waldes beeindruckt mich immer wieder. Er bleibt stehen und lächelt. Dieses Lächeln bringt mich immer wieder aus der Fassung. Er sieht mich an. Seine Augen gleiten an meinen Körper entlang. Während er meinen Körper mit viel Interesse zu mustern scheint, kann ich meine Augen einfach nicht von seinem, wirklich wunderschönen, Gesicht lassen. Er ist fertig mit den Mustern und macht einen Schritt auf mich zu. Mein Herz rast. Meine Hände sind feucht, doch mir ist kalt. Langsam kommt er auf mich zu. Unsere Blicke treffen sich. Wir reden nicht. Alles ist still, ich höre nur seinen Atem und das Zwitschern der Vögel. Er steht vor mir. Nur wenige Zentimeter trennen unsere Körper von einander. Er hebt langsam die Hand uns streichelt über mein Gesicht. Seine Hand ist weich und warm. Langsam, ganz langsam, nähert sich sein Gesicht dem meinen. Erst jetzt sehe ich die vielen kleinen Pickel auf seinem Gesicht. Mit seiner anderen Hand gleitet er zu meiner Hüfte. Sanft, ganz sanft, drückt er mich zu sich. Unsere Lippen berühren sich. Seine Lippen sind weich, sein Atem warm. Ich stehe da und er küsst mich. Der Kuss übertrifft meine Erwartungen. Er drückt mich an sich. Ich lege meine Hände auf seine Schultern. So stehen wir da, küssend und eng umschlungen. Ich spüre, wie eine Träne über mein Gesicht rollt. Er anscheinend auch. Er stoßt mich von sich. Er sieht mich schockiert und besorgt an. „Es tut mir leid, falls ich dich verletzt habe!“, sagt er mit rotem Kopf. Ich lächle und erwidere:„ Du hast mich nicht verletzt, sondern mir den schönsten Moment meines Lebens beschert!“ Er lächelt und küsst mich erneut.
May 26, 2009
On a cold, windy day a girl called Jessica watched a scary movie in her room. She was sitting on her couch and was hiding under the pillow. The movie was about a pretty girl and her father. The father was one of the famous treasure hunters. One of his missions was to go to the mysterious Cave and he did. But this time he could take somebody with him. He took his daughter Jamie. The two of them flew with the airplane to Dallas where the mysterious Cave was. Jamie was really excited because it was her first trip with her dad. 16 hours later they arrived. Dallas is a city in Texas, which is Jamie`s favorite state. A few days later the father and Jamie went to the cave. The Cave was big and a little bit bizarre.There were many stones and Jewels. They saw Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire stones. Her father started to pick up some stones. They went along. Jamie was too tired and sat down for a while. She sat on a brown big animal that she didn´t know. Suddenly the animal stood up, and ate Jamie.The father tried to stop it but it was too late. Jamie got killed.That´s how the story ends, Jamie died, the father was sad and nobody wanted to go to the mysterious Cave anymore. “Not really the best ending, but worth watching” Jessica said.
May 24, 2009
My opinion about animal testing
In my opinion animal testing is cruel and brutal. Nevertheless, in some cases animal testing can help to save human lives. For example penicillin, organ transplants and many vaccines were tested on animals before they were used on humans. But even if a medicine works out all right for animals this does not prove that it is also okay for humans. Animals and humans are similar but not the same. So maybe it would even be safer if medicine was tested on artificial skin or with computer simulations. Why must innocent animals die? They do not want to use cosmetics so it is unfair that they have to die. It is a big difference if medicines, which can save lives, or cosmetics are tested on animals. For medicine I can understand why scientists use animals. They want their product to be very safe and really saves lives. Scientists sometimes have to test their medicine on animals because they want to produce safe medicine. Therefore they need to do animal testing. Of course they could also use other possibilities but this would take much more time, and this would not be good for the people who wait for a new medicine. They even could die before the medicine is developed. But I also think that it is absolutely unnecessary to test cosmetics on animals. There are other ways to do it where nobody or nothing has to die. For example cells, artificial skin or computer simulations. This of course is more expensive. So the products would be more expensive too. But I think a life is more valuable than some money. I think it is good that testing on animals is not allowed in the EU for cosmetics. But many large companies do their testing in other countries where it is not banned. Another thing is that companies often just test some chemicals on animals, and this is not forbidden. So I think there should be stricter rules and checkups.
There was a man called Jack Hawkins. He lived in London, England. Jack Hawkins did research about ancient Egypt. He was working as a scientist and he wanted to find out about the old Egyptians and about the pharaos. But Jack had never really been in Egypt yet. Of course he was trying, but Jack never had chance. “Hi Jack, fine to see you again.” This was Curt Ryder, Jack’s friend. Curt Ryder did the same thing as his friend. Jack had known Curt since high school. They both had the same dream.
“Hi Curt, I’m fine again. How do you do?” “Well, nothing has changed, Jack.” “Good, let’s go back to work. Do you have information about the pharaos?” asked Jack. Curt said, “Yes, I do, and I read the new article too. It is really interesting, look at it. “Curt was right, it was interesting because there were many strange things in it. “You are right, it is really strange.” “Maybe we could find out more about the hieroglyphics.” “Let us start then, Curt.”
It was night. They finished their work and went home. When Jack got home, he surfed on the internet to find out, if there would be cheap tickets to fly to Egypt. (Cheap tickets because Jack and Curt didn’t get much salary.) Look there, there were exactly two tickets to Egypt for one month for only 500 pounds! Jack was so happy that he burst into tears and he wanted to buy the tickets right away. But before that, Jack called Curt and asked him, if he would agree. Of course Curt agreed and Jack bought the tickets. On the next day, they flew away.
“It is very hot here,”said Jack in a quiet voice. “That doesn’t matter Jack. There must be an aircondition in our hotel,”Curt said. When they reached their hotel, they went to their apartment.There they relaxed from the long journey.
On the next day, they went to the sphinx. Jack didn’t dare to look in the eyes of the sphinx, but Curt thought nothing could happen and looked in the eyes of the sphinx. At that moment Curt felt dizzy, but he didn’t tell Jack. After some hours they got to the tombs of the pharaos, the pyramids.
“This looks very spooky,”said Curt frightend. Jack answerd, “You are right. I have a plan of the pyramid that I copied from the computer.”
After some minutes they were in the tomb. They went slowly and silently. After one hour they discovered the place, where the pharao was buried. They could hardly believe it: They found gold! Curt ran to the gold and put some in the pocket. Jack called “Wait!” but it was too late.Then suddenly a door opend with a terrible noise. A snake came out and bit Curt. Jack ran to him and wanted to help,but the snake had disappeared.
When they were back, Curt was very sick. Every day he got sicker and sicker. At last they went back to London, but when they got there, Curt died. By and by, Jack got famous, and he got his own team of scientists. They looked at the body of the mummy and then at Curt’s body. The team discovered a scary thing: The mummy and Curt had the same injury at the same spot. Jack said,”The curse of the pharao.”
Curt Ryder was buried on 17.5.2010 in London, England. The death certificate was signed by Jack Hawkins.
May 17, 2009
Michael and his Therapist
So Michael, how was your weekend? Did you spend some time with your children?
It was fine, thanks. Yes, in fact I did spend some time with my children.
With Lindy too?
Lindy was there too, we met at George`s, as usual, it was a quiet, nice evening.
Did you get any closer to Lindy? I mean, did the two of you have the chance to deepen your relationship?
No, not really.
But you’d like to deepen your relationship or wouldn’t you?
To be honest, I don’t really know. I mean she’s back now, but what about the time she wasn’t there at all? Sometimes I have a hard job controlling myself instead of shouting at her “Why did you leave? Do you even know what we’ve gone through?” But of course, I wouldn’t do that.
Who do you mean when you say “we”?
Pauline and me of course!
Alright… So, how exactly do you feel about Lindy`s return?
I don’t know… I’m so confused. When I found out that she visited George I was relieved, of course! She’s my daughter after all, but still I was very angry too. Not in a million years I would have thought that she would come back. Why now? Sometimes, when we have one of these family dinners, I start thinking about Pauline… If only she had had the chance to see Lindy, she would have been so glad, so happy to see her… and then I’m angry with Lindy.
That means because of Lindy you start thinking about Pauline?
Oh no… I never stopped thinking of Pauline. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife, Anna, but I spent more than half my life with Pauline, she was my first love, of course I think about her.
How’s your relationship with your wife? Would you say that this marriage is better than your first one?
No, I wouldn’t put it that way. My marriage with Pauline was something special, we were so young and hopelessly devoted to each other … but in fact we were in a bit of a hurry, in the heat of the Second World War a lot of young couples married, you know, which might have been a mistake. I don’t regret the years I spent with Pauline; still we could have done a lot of things better. My marriage with Anna is different, that’s because first of all Anna is different than Pauline, we’re older, our relationship is much more stable.
So, your marriage with Pauline wasn’t stable?
I wouldn’t say it wasn’t stable… if you had known Pauline, you would have understood (laughing) Pauline was so capricious and temperamental and … incredible! You never knew what she was thinking; you never really knew what she wanted… it was more exciting, HYPERLINK “http://dict.leo.org/ende?lp=ende&p=thMx..&search=definitely”definitely, but on the other hand it wasn’t really long-lasting.
Well, considering this, it did last very long… right?
That’s true; I think one big reason for that, were the children. We just didn’t want them to choose between the two of us. But when Lindy left, she took something with her… something from our family, it was like .. Yeah it was like the end. That’s it. “Not even our own daughter is able to get along with us” I sometimes thought.
When I think about that now, I have the feeling that I made so many mistakes! We neglected George and Karen because Lindy needed all our attention. When Karen got a good grade, we didn’t appreciate it, of course we were proud of her, but you know, Lindy wasn’t good at school at all, she didn’t even go to school regularly, she sometimes didn’t come home… so she was the centre of our attention. Now I know, that this was a huge mistake, thank God George and Karen were independent! Moreover, Pauline and me, we stayed together because of the children, but I think it would have been better for them, if we had had a divorce. (Sighing) However… you always know better afterwards right? (Grinning a bit)
Nevertheless, I think one reason why we didn’t get a divorce was simply because we still loved each other… it didn’t matter at all how many awful fights we had, how many problems we had… we still loved each other. I think I never stopped loving Pauline you know… I mean there’s a part, a small part in my heart, which still loves Pauline… always loved and always will love her, after all she was my first true love (smiling)…
But why did you decide to leave her then? After all, you said, you loved her?
Well, I guess it wasn’t the best moment to leave her; we were celebrating our thirtieth wedding HYPERLINK “http://www.dict.cc/englisch-deutsch/anniversary.html”anniversary and after the children left, I kind of realised something… a burden I’d borne thirty years, and I told Pauline, I told her that our marriage have been hell, all the carrying on, the door slamming, the arguments…. I just wasn’t able to handle this anymore. It’s true, I still loved her, but on the other hand I knew that we just weren’t good for each other. So I decided to do the only right thing and I hoped that she would forgive me one day and we could be friends.
You mentioned that Lindy took something with her… Do you think that she was the reason why your relationship was such a disaster?
I think, that Lindy just realised what we weren’t able to, that we weren’t a family after all… of course that’s no excuse for leaving your family! However, certainly a lot of arguments Pauline and I had, were about Lindy, but I think if she hadn’t left, we would have found another issue to argue about. Maybe our fights wouldn’t have been that dramatic, I mean when your child runs away, you are angry, you are sad, you don’t know how to carry on …you just have so many feelings and the worst feeling is that you can’t do anything… so we were in a really bad mood nearly all the time. I just had to say one wrong word and she exploded… it was very easy to irritate her.
Still, I don’t want to blame anybody, but I think when Lindy left it was also the end of our relationship so Lindy was HYPERLINK “http://dict.leo.org/ende?lp=ende&p=thMx..&search=definitely”definitely one big reason why Pauline and I didn’t get along with each other anymore.
But once, you nearly did find Lindy,…?
Yeah, she lived in San Francisco with Pagan, her son, but she was sick and in hospital so the Landlady had to take care of Pagan. She phoned my cousin Adam to come and get Pagan and he phoned us… we bought the first air plane ticket to San Francisco, we were so excited, still it was kind of weird… out of the blue, they found Lindy and her son? We didn’t even know she had a son… but when we were in San Francisco we were not able to see Lindy. Moreover we were not able to take her home with us and her son… she was addicted to drugs and she was in a home, it was like a hospital but quite more spiritual… they helped her to stop taking drugs. I had never told Pauline that she was addicted to drugs…(sighing)…
So we were not allowed to see her and we had to take Pagan home… we thought that she might phone when she had recovered, that she might come and see her son… but, anyway she didn’t. She disappeared again; she didn’t even phone to ask how her son was come along. I was so disappointed, you can’t imagine.
At least, we had Pagan… after all he was a part of her; he was her son…-
I’m afraid, but I have to interrupt you! Our session is over now, and I have an appointment afterwards, so I have to go. However, our next session is on Friday, right? I want you to sit down and think about if you want to deepen your relationship with Lindy. If you want to, then I want you to meet her. Alone. Just the two of you. You should prepare what you want to tell her, what you want to ask her. Have a nice chat with her. Talk about everything that happened. Alright? You`ll do that!
Michael: Oh… Alright. I’ll think about it. See you then. Bye.
Bye, Michael. Have a nice week.
May 3, 2009
Veronica is a 24-year-old woman. Even though she has a family who loves her, she isn’t happy in her life. She takes an overdose of sleeping pills and decides to die. But her plan fails, and the next mornig she wakes up in a mental hospital with the information that she will die in some days. She has a heart problem. So now we are going to ask her a few questions about her plan to die, about her life and how she is going to spend the last days of it.
I: Thank you Veronica, for talking to me at the hardest part of your life.
Take a seat please.
V: Thank you. I hope I can answer all your questions, so what do you would like to
I : Firstly, why have you tried to kill yourself? You’re so young and you have your
whole life before you, so what happened to you?
V: I have to say, I really don’t know, my life wasn’t really exciting, and maybe I don’t
know my place in this world. You know, there are these people who wake up one
morning and they say they will change the future. Maybe now in this moment a
child is born, who will find a possibility to help people with aids. Such a
thing never happened to me. I know you think, that this can happen to me too,
but I think you feel it if you are an important person in this world.
I: I’m really impressed, that you can talk about this so easily.
V: It was my decision to die, so why shouldn’t I talk about it.
I: That’s true, but not everybody would do this. So what was your life like?
V: I was waiting for my father to come home from work, I was waiting for a letter of a
lover, but it never arrived, I was waiting for the train and for the holidays, nothing
special and now I have to wait for death.
I: This seems to be an unhappy life.
V: True, I wasn’t that happy, but I wasn’t unhappy either.
I: I heard you wrote a letter before you took the pills. Is this true and what was it
V: There was this magazine and the headline of it was: Where is Slovenia? I thought,
this must be a joke, they don’t know where Slovenia is! So I started to write this
letter to tell them where this country is they don’t know.
I: Why was this so important to you?
V: Slovenia is the place where I was born and where I lived. I walked through the
streets so often, so I wanted to tell them where I lived.
I: And how do you would like to spend the last days of your life?
V: Some days ago I started to play the piano for a schizophrenic, he likes what I’m
playing, even if he doesn’t know me. I also met a woman named Zedka, she stays
in the same room as I do, and so we became friends.
I: Thank you for talking to me, it was really interesting.
V: No problem.
„Käme doch Schnee“ ist eine Kurzgeschichte der Autorin Gabriele Wohmann, die seit 1958 Erzählungen, Romane und Hörspiele veröffentlicht. Bis zum Ende der sechziger Jahre beschäftigte sie sich hauptsächlich mit dem Thema „der alltägliche Schrecken und die schreckliche Alltäglichkeit“. Seit Mitte der siebziger Jahre haben sich ihre Wahrnehmungen in eine Art Positivität des Lebensblicks verschoben.
In „Käme doch Schnee“ geht es um die Sorgen einer Witwe, mit einem kleinen Sohn, und ihre Beziehung zu einem befreundeten Mann. Sie trifft sich mit diesem Freund, obwohl es kalt ist, heimlich auf einem einsamen Weg und sucht nach einem Zeichen, einer Lösung ihrer Probleme.
Auffällig sind in der Kurzgeschichte die vielen Symbole und Metaphern. So schreibt Gabriele Wohmann zum Beispiel vom dichten undurchdringlichen Nebel, welcher auch als Voraussicht in die Zukunft, eine ungewisse Zukunft, gedeutet werden kann. Auch ist immer wieder die Rede von Raben, ob in Verbindung mit den Vögeln am Feld oder als „Rabenmutter“, verwendet um jemanden schlecht darzustellen. Der Titel selbst steht im Konjunktiv, er drückt den Wunsch nach Schnee und vielleicht auch nach einer Veränderung der Situation aus. Die Häufigkeit von Adjektiven, wie nass oder klamm, bestimmen die Stimmung. Sie geben ein Gefühl selbst dabei zu sein und zu frieren.
Geschrieben ist die Geschichte zuerst in der auktorialen, später in der personellen Erzählperspektive, aus der Sicht der Frau. Die erzählte Zeit dauert ungefähr eine Viertelstunde und ist nur um ein wenig länger als die Erzählzeit. Der Handlungsort ist die Bank bei der Landstraße, vor dem Wald, auf dem Feld, eine verlassene Gegend. Diese Abgelegenheit charakterisiert die Angst der Frau vor den Blicken anderer.
Die handelnden Personen sind die Frau und der Mann, indirekt auch das Kind und die Menschen in der Ortschaft.
Die Frau ist vermutlich noch sehr jung und hat wenig Erfahrung. Sie ist unsicher und weiß nicht, wie sie mit ihrer derzeitigen Situation umgehen soll. Sie hat Angst vor den Meinungen der Menschen in ihrem Umfeld und fühlt sich in ihrer Mutterrolle nicht wohl.
Der Mann ist ebenfalls unsicher, doch er möchte mit ihr zusammen bleiben und sieht als einzige Möglichkeit eine Heirat.
Der Sohn der Frau, Michel, hat wie es scheint keine Ahnung von der Beziehung seiner Mutter mit diesem Mann, er ist vermutlich noch sehr klein.
Eine für mich herausstechende Interpretationshypothese ist, dass die Frau noch nicht bereit für eine erneute Heirat ist. Dennoch möchte sie den Mann an ihrer Seite nicht verlieren. Sie möchte, dass alles so bleibt wie es ist und sich doch ändert. Sie will mit ihrem Freund zusammen auf der Bank sitzen bleiben, möchte sich ihrer Mutterrolle entziehen. Dies erkennt man an folgender Textstelle: > Sie wollte nicht weg von der Bank, nicht weg von dem steinigen Narbenpfad nach Loms, nicht weg aus dem Nebel hinter den gichtigen, flehend hochgereckten Astarmen der Akazie, wollte keine Wärme unter die Haut, dort bei Michel in dem engen Zimmerviereck, kein Mami Mami und Radiogezeter von unten und Licht aus gute Nacht liebes gutes Michelchen. Die Leute hacken auf mir rum: eine Witwe ohne Treu und Herz, das arme, arme Kind, Rabenmutter – Rabenkrähen im Feld, irgendeine Schrift. Also werden wir heiraten.<
Mit inneren Monologen und Verben, die die innere Erlebniswelt der Frau beschreiben, verdeutlicht Gabriele Wohmann, die immer wieder Schwierigkeiten im Ehe – und Familienleben beschreibt, die innere Zerrissenheit der Frau in ihrer Geschichte. Sie beschreibt die Natur aus der Perspektive eben jener Frau, kalt und nass, vernebelt und einsam. Vielleicht genau so, wie sich die Frau in der Geschichte fühlt und wie sie ihre Zukunft wahrnimmt.
Da in Gabriele Wohmanns Geschichten immer wieder Privates und Autobiografisches miteinfließt, ist es gut möglich, dass auch diese Geschichte einen wahren Kern hat. Die Autorin schafft es mit speziellen Verben und Adjektiven die Sehnsucht nach Geborgenheit, um die es in vielen ihrer Erzählungen geht, zu verdeutlichen und sichtbar zu machen.
Mir hat „Käme doch Schnee“ gut gefallen, auch wenn die Kurzgeschichte anders ist als Texte, die ich normalerweise lese. Die Autorin hat es geschafft mich als Leserin zu fesseln. Vielleicht geschieht dies nicht beim ersten Mal Lesen, doch zumindest beim zweiten Mal beginnt man zu begreifen und fühlt die Kälte und Unsicherheit im Inneren dieser Frau. Man möchte ihr gerne helfen, ihr einen Rat geben, doch man merkt, dass man selbst genauso unwissend und unsicher ist. Als LeserIn hat man keine Chance in das Geschehen einzugreifen, man ist machtlos.
Ich wünsche mir, dass auch ich einmal diese Gabe besitzen werde Menschen mit meinen Texten und Geschichten derart zu fesseln, dass sie nicht aufhören können zu lesen, so wie es mir bei „Käme doch Schnee“ ergangen ist.
Desert dawn by Waris Dirie is a book about the differences between the life in the West and in Somalia. In her first book Desert flower Waris Dirie wrote about circumcision and her life alone, in her second book she wrote about the meaning of family and how different it is in every culture.
Family means that there are people around you, that there is love and friendship, but the deeper meaning is different in every culture.
In the West a family consists of parents, often only one of them, and the children, most of the time two of them. The parents bring up their children and teach them how to live, but not only the parents, there are also people like teachers who support the children. When the kids are old enough they have their own home and their own family, as a result, the circle starts again. A good example is Waris’ little family. Her family consists of her son Aleeke,his father Dana and Waris herself. After Dana and Waris split up, the family only consists of Waris and Aleeke.
In contrast to this, for the Nomads in Somalia family is everything. Without a family you can’t survive. A family consists of parents, often one father and a few mothers, uncles and aunts and a lot of children, for instance Waris’ family. Her family consists of her father and her mother, and also the second wife of her father, moreover her brothers and sisters, finally her cousins and halfbrothers.
There are no schools, the children learn everything from their family members. They learn how to build houses, how to take care of a big family and of the animals and how to survive. Some children stay with the family forever, others get married and start their own big family.
In the second place the meaning of family in the West is that they live near to you, maybe in the next street or the next town, but you can visit them if you want to. You can call your family members when you need them. They come and help you to solve your problems and then they go home. Somali families often live in the desert, far away from anybody else. In the USA Waris calls her brother Mohammed, who lives in Holland, and asks him to come with her to visit their family. She flies to him, and they travel to Somalia. She doesn’t have to wait long in order to visit him, she only has to call him.
In contrast to this, if you are a nomad in Somalia, you can’t visit your family all the time. Visiting is rare, because the families travel around and so when married children go away from home, it’s clear that they have to live alone from now on. Waris and Mohammed have to search for their family for a long time. They can only find them, because they aren’t nomads any longer.
In the third place a family should make people stronger, no matter if it’s a Somali or a Western family. Your family should give you love and hope. They have to support you and be there for you, even if it’s only in your mind. Waris knows that her family love her and never want to hurt her, therefore she forgives them, that they allowed her to be circumcised, and wanted to marry her. She knows how important a family is, and she wants to help her family and other Somali people. She sends them money, furthermore she wants to tell the public the story of her country.
A family should be there for you, when you need them. This can happen in different ways, but your family members are there helping and supporting you. This is the true meaning of a family, consequently this is or should be the same in every family.