Yvonne | Advisor in the field of international cooperation | Swimming and windsurfing, actually nearly everything that comes with water | Reading good books | Traveling | Being touched by art | Zimbabwe, Harare
1) THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
A stronger feeling of belonging, and being more curious and energetic.
Let me explain why:
As a child I grew up in Indonesia and later as a young girl in Nigeria. After my studies in Frankfurt I lived in South Africa, Kenya and London, and thereafter in Berlin, where I lived for over 10 years. I applied for a job in Zimbabwe and got it. When I packed my stuff I had this feeling of leaving home. This strong feeling of belonging somewhere was something new for me, and it felt extremely good. At the same time, I was overwhelmed by how many people from the expatriate community reached out to me to help me have a smooth move and start. This also felt like home. And now, out of my comfort zone, starting a new job and exploring a new culture and environment makes me feel alive. I am curious and energetic.
2) THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
The most common and trivial thing to tell about: Being Love-sick. I'm glad I’m over it! No further words needed. You’ve heard it all before.
3) YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
I'm very impressed by the "Fridays for Future" movement. To learn that one can shape the future through political or other means is so crucial that I wish that the younger generation will remain active by pushing for changes and bringing in their ideas. We, the older generation can support them in doing this.
4) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
We are still in the battle against COVID-19. At the same time we are facing unimaginable risks of high impact natural disasters, climate change and other health emergencies. World powers and markets are also rearranging themselves drastically. Are we coping? Are we going into the right direction?
5) A CONTEMPORARY WOMXN YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE?
I admire Angela Merkel. She was the most powerful women in the world for a long time, yet I think she did not misuse that power as many others before her. Even though I’m not sharing all her opinions, I will miss her on the political arena. Otherwise, I admire my mother and my aunt. Two very special and great women in their very own way.
6) A ONE-SENTENCE MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMXN?
Equality? We are not there yet. Sometimes I even think we are going backwards. Be aware, on top of your toes and continue the battle!
THE WORLD HAS BEEN CHANGING DRAMATICALLY IN RECENT MONTHS:
7) HOW ARE YOU COPING?
I'm trying to make the best out of it. I'm quite privileged, because non of my close family or friends were seriously ill or died from COVID-19. Also, although on my own, I was lucky that I always had good friends around me with whom I had inspiring conversations while taking long walks. In my entire life I've never walked so much.
8) WHICH CHANGE/ EVENT HAS AFFECTED YOU THE MOST / HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOU PERSONALLY?
I think there were many, but one thing really changed a lot for me. My father was very ill and we didn’t know if he would make it. At that time I was not very close to him and I started to write him emails, telling him more about myself. Something that I haven’t done before. Previously, we hardly exchanged any words.
We started to become a little bit closer. At that time I realized how important he is in my life, and I started to forgive him for the things I thought he hasn’t done right as a father. I'm very grateful that he survived and that he and my mother just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary now.
9) WHAT ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE MOST?
Digitalization and artificial intelligence are fascinating and make our live so much more comfortable, efficient, entertaining etc. At the same time it scares me a lot. The opportunities of misuse or that it leads us into a totally wrong direction is massive, I think.