While I am still scrubbing my legs to get rid of the clay and mud from the Mangrove planting in Penang, and planning to write more from that excellent meting of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs to share with you, we got inspiring visit in the office from Germany. I like to share these experiences with you so that you will have a better understanding of the daily life in the John R. Mott House in Geneva, the centre of NEW WAY.
On the photo you see Dr. Roland Werner,(Number two from the right), the new General Secretary of the German YMCA and his team from Kassel, Professor Dr. Barbara Schellhammer and Direktor of the International YMCA University of Applied Science in Kassel, Dr. Wolfgang Neusser and a hidden International Direktor Berthold Messinger and Yatzi, the assistent of the General Secretary. You also see Pablo from Guatemala, who represented the World Alliance at a meeting of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance today, he is the Vice Chair of the programme committee for food issues. Suzanne is our office manager, Selma is there, Katrine and Stein, our two volunteer researchers working with us this month as well as Ingunn, my wife, visiting to catch up with friends from Germany.
A nice family gathering in the lunch room of the NEW WAY.
We spent the day together discussing cooperation between the Kassel YMCA university and NEW WAY, about their new Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Leadership in Cross-Cultural Dialogue,
and we discussed with Werner and his team how Germany can walk together with us in NEW WAY and helping us to deliver our strategy.
Werner is a master of many languages, and he is even able to speak to me in fluent Norwegian! We met many years ago, so I am quite used to his unusual language talents. Then he does Bible translation to different African languages, is assisting in creating new written languages for African tribes and has been a dedicated supporter and visitor to Sudan since the early 1970s. A true Africanist! Of course I needed to call Carlos, who happened to be in South Africa today, and we had a good chat around Southern Sudan and the situation there.
Thank you to our German friends, thank you to our volunteer researchers, to Pablo for traveling all the way from Guatemala and to Suzanne for an excellent lunch and chocolate cake with very light calories!