Recap of exciting days – Birgit Baier: Madan arrived on Sunday in Berlin. Thomas and myself went to pick him up at Airport Tegel. We were super happy, that everything worked out with the visa – which wasn´t an easy task. But that is a totally different story. Most importantly: we made it happen:)
The next day we packed all of our staff (flyers, balloons, standup panel, papers, music equipment!! etc….) and Mandan and myself drove from Berlin with a lot (!!) of things to Hamburg. We met with Heidrun and Heidemarie, spend an afternoon with assembling our mail-out (flyer plus supporting membership application) and prepared ourselves for our presentation at the Lions Club Hamburg Bellevue. This was great as we were able to share who we are, what we do and what our project “Through our eyes” is all about. Plus it was a great to get constructive feedback which we could implement in all of our talks at the Frankfur Book Fair. After all it was the first time ever that Madan and myself presented together. I personally was very felicitous, because Lions Hamburg Bellevue is the Club that I am proud member of for over 15 years now.
The next day we went to Frankfurt. Heidemarie and Madan by car and I by 6:20 AM flight to be at our booth when the fair opened its doors for the professional audience. Getting up before 5 AM really isn´t my cup of tea.
We made it. I was there in time and started preparing our booth with the flyers, brochures and flags I carried in my hand luggage. Around early afternoon Heidemarie and Madan arrived with the rest. RESPECT! She drove all the way alone.
For 5 days we were non stop in action! I can not remember the last time I spoke so much. We all did as a matter of fact. 5 full on days. We had to answer questions like: “What is the government doing?”, ” How do we know for sure that the donations get there and are used for what you say they will be used?”, “Why Nepal?” … All relevant and good questions which we were very happy to answer and share our perspective and processes and and and …….
It was a great idea to bring prayer flags from Nepal as an eye catcher. Also the balloons were liked a lot. Many people stopped because they knew or liked the flags. We placed some of the pictures taken by the street children with their quotes for people to get a better idea of what the children see and how they live their life. After all this is was one goal: to create awareness, connect, exchange, introduce our program, us and scout for a publisher who is interested in printing the book with us. Which we are still doing by the way.
All in all it was a success. We made valuable and interesting new connections, learned how important transparency and open dialog is. We knew before, but its always different when talking to people directly about it. We are grateful for the Frankfurt Book Fair to sponsor us, because without them, we would not have been there. We are thankful for all the people that stopped by, came to see us and special thanks for Julia Kautz to give a 30 min. concert at our booth.
Madan and myself took the train back to Berlin and the first thing we did there: went to the bank to deposit the donations collected at the book fair 🙂
More to come.