Once a year, I travel to Germany to meet my family, but also to inform friends and supporters about the work of Bats in Action in Brazil.
I am now on my flightb ack to Brazil and I am grateful for the time spent with my family, the meeting with old and new friends as well as the encouragement and support I received throughout my journey.
In my home town Heideck I had a presentation about the Bats in Action School with an audience of around 50 people. Many of them have known me since my childhood and now they support me in many different ways. I met school children, elderly ladies and a Catholic women’s group. My big thank you goes to all of them for their support, not to forget the local Lions Club that continuously supports Bats in Action. The contributions I received in my home town are essential to ensure growth and continuation of the Bats in Action School, but they also encourage me to go on with my work despite the challenges which arise from time to time.
A special moment of my stay in Europe was the meeting with two graduates of the Kanthari Institute in Kerala. Together with a group of Kanthari graduates, we ave been working on the establishment of a global network of changemakers and now three of us had the chance to meet in person. I enjoyed it a lot to discuss with likeminded people sharing dreams and challenges.
In Chemnitz, I had a project presentation for a local organization of the blind. It was a small, but very interested group and we spent a great night together, while discussing new ideas and possible partnerships.
Vienna is always on my travel itinerary. I met up with friends from a local Church that has supported the work of Bats in Action since its beginning. A project presentation with Brazilian dinner with a partner organization Blickkontakt, was a great opportunity to inform more people about our work. I spent a weekend with a wonderful family from Hungary visiting Vienna and helping out with translation during sevral events. A meeting with Juan, a perceptional mobility instructor, helped me to understand more about the use of ecolocation for independent movement of the blind. If we can include the active use of ecolocation in our training, our name, Bats in Action, will get a new dimension.
Last stop on my journey was Mainz where an old friend who is a teacher organizes a fundraising project with her students. This has been the second year of the project. It was great to meet the students and let them know how their effort made a difference in the lives of our blind students in Brazil.
At this point, I want to saya big thank you to all supporters, friends and family members who made this stay in Europe special for me personally and for Bats in Action as an organization.