Integration starts from two sides. We will never be able to prevent refugees. As long as power, money and greed rule the world, there will be people who suffer. But these people can become friends. And there is nothing better (and easier) than getting to know new cultures, new food, or new directions in this way.

Man man man, it’s really getting crazy with these blog entries! There are as many highlights in early 2018 as there are in all of 2017, and I just can’t report on them.

Every time I have tried to start a report, and I have started at least 4 times, I just can’t find the words to summarize it all. Instead, I can only think of other topics I want to report on, but which don’t have much to do with my project.

I’ll tell you right away who had the feeling from my last blog entry that everything is going bad here, then I’ll have to row back wildly! It’s not all going perfectly, but as dear Ruth says, “it’s not always directly visible, and yet you quietly and secretly achieve one thing or another more than you thought you would”. And that’s what makes it all so real. And it is exactly this “effecting” that brought me to my topic today.

Effecting, and the #scoffs, have brought me back to the subject of refugees. To be more precise, it is the line of the Höhner “Brown cloud over land, jestern David, hück de Asylants…” from the song “Wann jeht dr Himmel widder up”.

While most of you enjoyed carnival to the fullest, I have been reviewing my past carnivals. And sometime I came across myself as a little 9 year old boy, who always sang “Wann jeiht dr Himmel widder up?” from body and soul (not to say groaned). It was my absolute favourite song. At that time consisting of some fantasy words, today I am interested in the right lyrics. And it is really quite good. And then you think about thoughts and continue the thoughts.

Yesterday refugees made, today they come to us. And what we make of them tomorrow

And in a way, I’m a refugee too. For my own reasons, I left my home country to go to another country. without hardship, like an economic refugee! New country, new culture, but I have arrived, fully integrated. The perfect integration of a refugee. Okay, Ghana is taking great care to make sure that I leave again. But I live a Ghanaian life here. I have found Ghanaian friends, work here only with Ghanaians, in a Ghanaian workshop. I speak “Twi” relatively well, sometimes I dress like a Ghanaian and listen to Ghanaian music. And often I am asked how I can ever leave Ghana. “Kofi Rasta, the White Ghanaian!” Integration complete.

Great! I did good, right? No, you didn’t, did you? Because it wasn’t me who integrated very well, it was the Ghanaians who integrated me completely!

Because from the first moment, I was recorded as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Every day people came up to me, they were interested in me, my home country, my motives and, and, and, and, and. I was taken to friends, to the place where football is watched or where people meet. I was told all about the importance of the right hand, how the Chiefs and Queen-Mothers work. Added to the Ghanaian food. I was simply integrated into everything as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

And then I always have to think about Germany and how difficult it is for us to really integrate foreigners into our country, our culture. How irresponsible we feel towards refugees. I myself have never even begun to provide a personal introduction to our culture. And I have had so many opportunities to do so.

For example in my training with my company. My boss had hired a refugee from Senegal. Exactly one day older than me, we got along really well. Pretty clever person, helpful, open, friendly and a big heart. He had even invited me to his house to show me his favourite Senegalese food. And what did I do? You did nothing.

We saw each other every day. But I neither invited him to my place, nor did I date him, nor did I introduce myself to anyone. I didn’t feel responsible. Nor to the refugees, at my age, in my village.

In Germany integration is a profession, a job. A sense of duty from Germany to “David”. And it is unfortunately carried out by the wrong age group. Sorry mother, age is just a number, I know. 😉 But the only integration that can really integrate visitors in the long run is through us young adults who are at the age of the guests who come. But not out of a sense of duty, but out of curiosity, out of friendliness, out of next love, or simply to give someone else a smile, who definitely needs it.

Politicians can shape their refugee policy as they wish. In the end, we will see no real change. But changes will be visible when we take integration into our own hands. I bet you that if we were more open, the problems would be halved. We must open up.

And here we come straight to the always favorite carnival song, also from the mocks, “Leeve un Leeve losse!

It’s too easy to grumble at all the negative reports, to call refugees parasites, and just let everything pass you by. I don’t know why we’re such socialignorantes. But let’s do ourselves harm.

When young people here ask me what the difference between Germany and Ghana is, I always say

“In Germany we have money, but we seek life. While you have life and want money.”

We always try to solve everything with money. But it’s the little attentions that bring us the life we always seek.

Maybe for some people it’s nonsense what I write here. But I know now that it is not the person who should integrate himself, but mostly those who should integrate.

So let’s blow away the “brown cloud” and let the sky rise for everyone!

Just my highlight of the festival, 2 weeks ago

Africans love to walk. And during the week-long festival, several “floatings” (a kind of parade) were held. People walked, danced, strolled to different places, etc. One was accompanied by trucks with music or brass bands. In other words, a stream of more than 1000 people, who walked kilometer by kilometer, danced and were in a good mood. My highlight was to just stand still, look around and tell me, “they are all black! It was really breathtaking to walk in a mob of people and not to see that they have a different skin colour. I just don’t see skin colors anymore. It’s really fascinating. The bad thing is that everybody sees that I’m the only white guy. Always surrounded by a bunch of people who ask you to dance and dance to it, I had to show off. That’s a lot of work. And it would actually be exhausting enough to walk on the way in this heat. But no. Kofi, dance. Kofi, dance. And so embarrassing because my absolutely rhythmic dancing is so indescribably graceful and elegant. Fortunately, I can laugh at myself.

Tomorrow, Saturday, is quite a big day for me and I am honoured to be here. Before anything goes wrong tomorrow, I’ll leave it at that. If I can find the words, I’ll write something about it. Otherwise there will be photos.

So long, dear ones, 78 days…

Your Leo…

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