Reflection on the year 2012

The New Year is an ideal opportunity to reflect back on the last twelve months. As I reflect, I see my boys have grown, the youngest is now taller than I am! The cat’s had kittens (again!) and the kittens have grown so we can’t tell who’s the mother and who are the kittens. The tree has budded, grown leaves, blossoms, leaves have turned yellow and dropped off again; the tree has turned white with frost and snow and then shone with diamond-like jewels as the raindrops hang on the twigs.

 

Happy New Year 2013! That was 2012. 

When I look back, so much is invisible: my friendships, my relationships, my thoughts, emotions, feelings, values and beliefs. But let me try to give a brief summary of what happened to us in 2012. We have a community of families and friends whom we meet more or less regularly.

I’ve added lots of links. You need to arrow back from the link to continue reading my blog, or read right through and repeat to follow the links.

In January Godwin was invited to friends to celebrate his birthday again so had to cut THREE cakes, instead of just the one I made for him. Apart from that, he often stays in Vienna, studying at the Technical University and working at the Imperial Palace Ticket Office. Christoph joined the Red Cross and completed his civil service during this year. Now he volunteers at the local Red Cross in Kirchberg. I supported Women In Nuclear (WiN), http://www.win-global.org/ resisted joining the actual executive committee due to too many other responsibilities, but still participated in organising meetings, the spa retreat, and took the role of photographer for many events.

In February I went to Linz for the Annual General Meeting of the Austrian Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) and made a presentation to the assembly. I am still the Vice President! I left at lunchtime to join Peter Zöhrer’s 60th birthday party and won the quiz about his life and likes! Thank you Peter for the prize money, Josef and I spent it on a Toastmasters celebratory dinner! For the first time Josef and I attended the IAEA Ball in the Hofburg, which is no unknown territory to us, since our boys have been singing in the chapel there on Sundays since 1999!

In Vienna the WFWP had a number of events including fundraisers and benefit concerts. The Kenyan Embassy staff came when we reported on the Hirumbi School Project in Kenya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfZg1sfsba4 where we sponsored the building of toilets and connecting electricity.

In March Nathan turned 15 and is now taller than I am. So, I am now the shortest in the family. Working at the UN in Vienna (VIC) http://www.unvienna.org/unov/en/index.html I had lots of opportunities to observe or join in on International Days and NGO projects.

Josef continues leading our small faith community and pioneering True Family Values, even without an actual True Family Award in Austria in 2012. His projects www.familienforum.at took him to Graz and Klagenfurt and I accompanied him on occasion. Our meetings at the candle factory http://www.koch-kerzen.at/ are always personal, interesting and rewarding.

Josef and I had another opportunity to dance together at Andi’s graduation ball – after years of  preoccupation with our formerly small children. We visited Josef’s sister in Eggenburg and the other sister came from Klein Nondorf, so our visits to his hometown are becoming rare since the passing of his mother last year.

Andi completed his Hotel College with Matriculation and took a trip to Italy with school colleagues. Then he got a job in a private clinic http://sanlas.at/home/sanlas/einrichtungen/Privatklinik-Hollenburg.de.php to fill the time before he begins civil service with the Red Cross now in January 2013. Christoph has proven extremely capable as a web master and IT professional. He revamped and relaunched our WFWP homepage www.herzundhand.at and had a workshop to train the ladies to do their own input in http://www.facebook.com/pages/Haus-der-Begegnung/164303873653286 Haus der Begegnung in Haibach, Upper Austria.

Our rented country house in Kellergasse of the wine district of Kirchberg am Wagram http://www.kirchberg-wagram.at/ is starting to look more civilized as the road has just been paved and the sewage was connected. The linden tree in front of the house is my constant reminder of the seasons. Occasionally the alps and mountains are visible on the horizon.

In springtime the Bear’s Garlic http://bearsgarlic.com/ sprouts in the marshes along the Danube and we took the opportunity to pick a few buckets full.

My NGO colleagues continue to be active at the VIC www.wfwp.org and elsewhere and even though I generally desist their activities, our paths inevitably cross occasionally and even I sometimes need a coffee break! My office window has some African violets and a lemon geranium which also help me to connect to my mother and nature despite the concrete jungle I work in. I watch the DC Twin Towers grow (watch this space!) through my office window and have taken regular photographs of the developments and “growth” there. It has grown from a visible four storeys to an invisibly high tower that disappears in the December fog by the Danube.

I was elected President of the VIC Toastmasters Club http://www.toastmasters.org/ and have held that office since July 2012. I was already the Vice President Membership since 2010. Subsequently I felt compelled to participate in Toastmastering events even more than before. It is an excellent educational opportunity as well as fun with great people from all walks of life, and at the UN from all agencies at the VIC http://district59.eu/portal.php?marknow=0 I pride myself as being a bridge builder in many different ways.

We went to a pop concert with our children and saw the Wise Guys http://www.wiseguys.de/index_1 sing. They are a group of five former school friends and our boys have enjoyed imitating their style. It was a first for Josef. I have to declare here that I saw Cat Stevens, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Daddy Cool and a few other pop groups during my youth in Australia.

Nathan sang http://www.wsk-schule.at/oberstufe/chorus-juventus/ on a number of occasions and you can meet any one of my sons on a Sunday if you go to see the Vienna Boys Choir sing in the Imperial Palace Chapel. They are either selling tickets or programmes or guiding the tourists, or lately, also collecting the donations.

June-July In the middle of the year I took a break from work and went to Korea for a three week workshop for blessed wives. My thoughts here are unending and I’ll have to continue my reflections in that direction later. The peace village is built in the midst of typical urban lower class looking country side. The fact that the hospital is the most successful tourist hospital in Korea speaks mountains. The visitors there come from all over the world. I met people I knew from Australia, New Zealand, America and other countries in Europe, as well as making new friends from other places too (Mimosa, lawyer from Albania!).

Nathan went to a summer camp in Germany, Timi to Spain. Timi is quite an expert in TaeKwonDo and also acrobatics.

September The death of Reverend Sun Myung Moon shortly after I left Korea was a challenge to our whole faith community. The establishment of the Women UN, renamed Global Women’s Peace Network, http://wfwp.org/wfwpi/index.cfm?SectionGroupsID=1&SectionListsID=1&PageID=302 was the last public appearance of Rev. Moon, and I left Korea, one week before to return to work. Many of my NGO colleagues then headed for Korea.

In October, WFWP co-sponsored an event with UPF at the VIC “Europe and Russia – Partners in a Globalized World” (link). I was working and also had a WiN planning meeting in the IEC centre, so was only in the board room for a few minutes at lunchtime and after work. Next day the meeting was in the NH Hotel, next to the UN, but I had a Toastmasters competition, so attended only the first session which dealt with women in leadership. On the way to the Toastmasters meeting I took a few shots of the Twin Towers from the church and the bus stop beside the UN.

December The Aunties visited during the Christmas break and we all enjoyed a fondue together – their first!

I enjoy recording events using video for sound and voice. I have another hundred and twenty gibabytes in my film file for 2012. The camera I bought uses AVI, a fairly large format of movie film. A small fraction of this film material has been converted, edited and uploaded to YouTube during 2012. Lots of other activities.  I will continue recording on my blog and somewhat on FB, YouTube, Picassa, SlideShare.

Happy New Year, Best Wishes and Greetings from Austria.