Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Do Germans use social media?

Yes of course they do, you already know that. I know that now too, because of an email that made me very happy and which resulted from a link to my blog at LabforCulture LabforCulture exists to promote networking between persons working in cultural activities around Europe. I registered there a while ago and have been pleased to make a small number of contacts. Then, out of the blue I had a message via LabforCulture asking me if I was THE Timothy Jones from Liverpool who had been involved in a student exchange with a certain German youth.
The writer was in fact  Guido Block-K├╝nzler, the 17 year old from Schlitz who visited my family in Liverpool and who then welcomed me to Germany. Neither of us are 17 anymore, in fact that was all more than 35 years ago. Sadly, we did not keep in touch after the exchange, and this has been the first news of Guido. I will not tell you his personal details, but I will say that he is a publisher of travel books for the German market, specialising in Spain and above all its islands. His interest is in conservation of areas of natural value, so the (over)development of the coastline on the Spanish islands has kept him busy writing. How interesting that we have both established such strong ties to Spain!
 In 1975, the year before visiting Guido´s family I went to Berlin with the Liverpool Youth Jazz Ensemble, led by two brave and exceptional music teachers: Mr Ray Mulholland and Mr Brian McAllister. We performed in homes for senior citizens and at a youth music event at the recently built Berlin Philharmonic Hall. Yes, I said 1975 and we did cross the border and yes armed guards did check our passports as we entered and left the eastern zone.  I had a family holiday in Berlin in 2008 and took a group of students there in 2009, and we got to know a generation of young Germans who have never known a divided country.
You can read a report on the studying of German by the Spanish and Spanish by the Germans
 Thank you, Guido, for getting in touch, and my apologies for not having done so during the last 35 years: what have I been doing all this time?
And thanks to LabforCulture for making it possible for us to be in touch again. 

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