Advent Calendar – December 18, 2019

Advent Calendar – December 18, 2019

December 18, 2019
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With each donation package I buy (and you?) €1,50 goes to fund the start-up of microloan banks. During my visit to Kenya, I got to visit the first one, talking to the staff, getting to ask the chairman of the bank questions about who uses it, how it works, the most common size of the loans and what they used the loans for. I was reading Muhammad Yunus’s book Banker to the poor during the week which gave me a deeper insight into the phenomena of micro-financing.

Next to the bank, a small saloon. Closed.
Outside a young mother with a baby on her back, tending a donkey with yellow cans of water.
Two other women leaning against a post, and a toddler.

And these two.
Girls, in school uniforms, sitting there, solemnly observing the spectacle in front of them: Thirty-something mzungus busily snapping photos and talking to the bank staff, the gang of young kids congregating in front of the bank, two old men sitting along the road watching the traffic, a man grabbing the front paws of a stray dog, doing a little dance with him. The odd goat passing by.

As I moved to catch them in my camera lens I locked eyes with the girl in front, holding her gaze. Finally, I winked at her, only to have her drop her serious expression, giggle and lower her chin, laughingly looking at me from under her bangs. If she’d had any, that is. All the children and youngsters we met sported this hairdo. Closely shaven heads. Beautiful, all of them, girls and boys alike. Ever curious, we asked about it during our visit to Kaewa Secondary School and learned there are too many costs involved with letting the kids have long hair. And I assume this hairstyle is much more practical as well.

Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: 

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Boys and girls

September 22, 2016
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Boys and girls. Blue versus pink. Cars against dolls. Rowdy or mild-tempered. How we almost expect a teenage boy to have scruffy clothes and stink of sweat, while we would be horrified if it was a teenage girl. Excusing certain behavior with “boys will be boys”, while expecting girls to help fellow boys in Kindergarten put on gloves, tie their shoes and zip up jackets.

I could go on forever, listing things, habits, colors and much more, that for some reason have been deemed either to be for boys. Or for girls. Men and women too, of course.

I don’t want to do that though.

What I want to do is have you read this article: 10 Words Every Girl Should Learn. And once you’ve done that, you read this article as well: Beating the Toy Aisle Blues (and Pinks).

Read them?

I read them, and went bonkers. Then I stumbled upon this as well:


Oh. I just remembered another example of the absurd world we live in, as well. I read another article (or a Facebook-update?) the other day, about a lady who had stopped moving over whenever she came upon people when walking, to see what would happen. Guess what she found out? Women move over. Men do to. But not all of them. I think she was up to a count of having collided with 26 men (and zero women), when she shared her observation with the world. And you know what? I actually tried it out the other day, when I was talking a walk in the park close to home. I was walking along, came upon a man coming at me, and I suddenly got it into my head to try it out for myself! We would have collided if he hadn’t moved, which he did, in the last instant. I am grateful for him for moving over, but what I found most interesting was how uncomfortable it felt NOT to move over. Extremely uncomfortable.

So. There I go. I am a person who moves over. Which in itself is not a bad trait, not at all. But it’s interesting, the feeling I got when I didn’t. When I was hell bound on standing my ground so to speak. Makes me think about my own behavior, how much of it which is truly Me, and how much is culturally accepted behaviors I’ve learnt the hard way, which might, or might not, serve me, but which I perform automatically, without giving it any thought. Makes me think of the way of the world, and the culture I am a part of co-creating on a daily basis, moment by moment.

Oh well. There’s plenty do to in the world, to make it a better place, a place where I can be me. Regardless of what that means (within moral and legal constraints of course – unless the law is discriminating itself, which unfortunately is the case in many places where for instance homosexuality is outlawed, just to name but one absurd example). Being me. And a place where you can be you. Period.

So. Here’s a challenge (or rather, many!). For me. Definitely. But perhaps also for you? I’m gonna observe my surroundings for a few days, to see if I can spot this:


I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here where you also can find my ongoing blogging in Swedish. If you enjoy the read, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.

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