Berlin Day 19 of 21
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Today was the first day that I have not had to run throughout the streets of three great European Capitals. No, I did not stay in all day, but ventured out for a sight visit to Transparency International. Dr. V did not run and we decided that he is not running anyway, but has a long stride that puts the rest of us short people at a disadvantage. I am glad that Dr. V has been here for our class of Independent Studies because he is a “native” of this area and knows the good, bad, and ugly of each city that we have visited.
Transparency International (TI) is a great organization that works to fight corruption. Corruption is not only taking money, but the abuse of entrusted power for personal gain. This organization does not impose fines nor does it pass judgments on companies that are found guilty of bribery. It was amazing to me that in Zimbabwe hospitals charge women $50 US dollars to have a baby. Marie Terracol, Knowledge Coordinator, said this amount of money is more than half a year’s wages for people of that country. Also, some corrupt nursed would charge women $5 US for every scream they let out during child birth. The thing is not only did these women have pay for having the baby, pay the nurses, but if they did not pay they would have to remain in the hospital until they did. This was no vacation as interest would accrue on that money and have to be paid on top of all of the other before the women could leave the hospital.
After our visit to TI, we had the best day. Today was not a free day, but it was a day that was liberating in that it was not too hot, not too cold, but just right in temperature. The sun shined a while after the rain this morning. Dr. V took us to a great place today: Galeria Kaufitof. We had sour choice of steak, Asian, vegetables, salads, macaroni and cheese, and even ice for our drinks. This was a great meal. We all had steak since we have not had many good meals in Berlin at the hostel. Notice I did not say they were all bad, but on average, they left room for something more desirable at the end of the night. Steak, mashed potatoes, slaw, beets, broccoli, and pineapple rounded my plate. I was in hog heaven. I ate all of my food and my mother would have been so proud of me. I had a small portion of steak that could not go to waste, so I brought it back to the hostel with me to enjoy at a later time. Yum Yum! This meal made me forget that I have only one more full day in Berlin. I saw a clock today that was fascinating in that a person can tell what time it is all over the world at this one spot in Berlin. Home, what time is it there? I always know, it’s time for me to be preparing to be there. I was asked yesterday why I was ready to go home. My reply was when you have someone you love at home that completes you wholly; you have a void in your life that only that special someone can fill. My desire for the group is to gain all of the knowledge they set out to gain, but in the end, find someone as special and loving as I found over 30 years ago. My husband is my biggest supporter and I love him.