“Good morning, Daniela, welcome back, we are so glad and happy you are back and teaching us again.” To this charming chorus of words and warm hugs I was greeted when returning to school on Tuesday after a two-week absence. To top it all off, one person surprised me with a big cup of my favourite coffee 🙏🏼.
Snacks are generally shared with me during break time and they go from homemade specialities over chocolate and cakes to fruits. I had to start saying no, actually, or my body would grow into a ball-shaped form :0). One woman then started bringing salty things always reassuring me that nothing would grow as there was no sugar only salt ;-).
I am regularly invited for coffee, too. As a matter of fact, I can hardly pay it myself. Even friends of my students want to pay for it. One morning before class I went to get me a coffee and the beautiful woman I knew from spending breaks with a student of mine just had her coffee done by the coffee dispenser. When I wanted to go for mine, she insisted to invite me. I said, no, please, you don’t need to pay for my coffee. But there was no way I was getting away. I gave in and enjoyed a wonderful conversation in German with her, instead.
Whenever I wait for the elevator I am asked to enter first, no matter whether they who give me this primacy have to wait for another one to come as this one might be already full with one more person. I work in a twelve-storey building and with four quite slow elevators for almost two hundred students finishing class at roughly the same time, elevators are a bottleneck.
Then on Friday, we wrapped up what was more than a year with the same class of teaching, learning, practising, laughing, listening, talking, explaining, asking, dancing (yessa 💃🏾🕺🏽💃🏼🕺🏿), visualising, repeating, writing, clapping, googling, and having fun together.
Not only did we celebrate this occasion with a homemade, self-organised, mouth-watering, and what-looked-better-than-a-five-star buffet, but I was also presented with flowers, a nice colourful mug, and a beautiful scarf (I almost always wear a scarf and I obviously drink coffee and I love flowers, of course!).
You may wonder why I chose to tell you all this. Well, for one thing, I wanted to share the everyday kindness and generosity that very clearly happens on this planet and I am so lucky to experience.
But, most of all, you must know that the wonderful human beings I am talking about above are r e f u g e e s.
They most probably came with barely nothing, they now don’t have a lot, but they generously g i v e from what they have.
It is their big hearts ♥️, their unbroken generosity, their respect, and their attitude I wanted to let you know about. I find, there is so much we in the so called western world societies can (re)learn from them!
Here is to a kind, generous, respectful, and open-hearted festive season. And way beyond.
*German: Audio dieser Geschichte auf Schweizerdeutsch