XXII Badi Asha School – Brown Bread Bakery (Special social project)

For me it was destiny that I had chosen the great Stops Hostel to stay at. Cause the Stops was a partner of the Brown Bread Bakery (selling food from the bakery and making advertising for them). So it happened that I went to the Brown Bread Bakery for dinner and I went there again and again and again….for the rooftop, for the live music, for the great food and the great people. While I was there I read about Micha’s (the owner of the Brown Bread Bakery) social project „Learn for Life“ (non-profit organization) and that they are running a school at Varanasi. Curious as I am I asked Micha straight ahead, if I could visit the school to see what kind of social work he is doing and I got invited. Micha gave me a look around and I was able to help to serve lunch to the pupils. When I visited the school in 2015 there were 110 students (30 kindergarden kids and 80 school kids) – kids were between 4 and 14 years old. We are talking about the kids of the most poorest families. Besides being taught at the Badi Asha School in the afternoons the kids have the possibility to play there. In between they are getting a lunch. And also the health insurance is covered by the school. Teachers were either indian ones or  foreigners that worked as volunteers. Some more things to mention which fascinated me about this project:  At the Badi Asha School every one is equal and the kids are being taught that from the beginning. This might be normal in our civilization, but we are talking about a country with a great variety of religions (Hinduism – with it’s castes system, Buddhism, Moslems, Catholics, Protestants….). AlsoMicha tries to employ disabled or older people that won’t have any chance to finding any job and also giving poor or punished or raped women who might have been kicked out by their families and were now on their ones with the kids a chance to get involved at the school. Either within the stitching project or supporting the brown bread bakery (packaging, etc.) or to help with gardening. There are so many who are in the need of help and getting some hope for life, so I am very happy that I was able to Meet Micha and Nicole and the rest of the people who have such great hearts and are running this school project. To find out more about this wonderful project feel free to visit: http://blog.learn-for-life.net/ or check them out on Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/Learn-for-Life-School-Official-Page-VARANASI-261154148628/ .  Here now some impressions of my visit at the school…

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Und hier nun die besagte Brown Bread Bakery, wo alles begann…

(And that’s where all began for me….the already mentioned Brown Bread Bakery…)

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XXI Heiko goes Varanasi (Benares)

Discovering India by train – always exciting, always challenging!

Leaving Allahabad towards Varanasi.

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Didn’t have your shower today – just go to the train station.

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Toilets – indian style.

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Taking a tuktuk to my hostel….getting first time in touch with the crazy traffic on the streets of Varanasi….either you will hate the hole place or you will love it! I for myself did love it and so I extended, and extended and extended my stay 😉

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The Stops Hostel – best place ever! Great people! Lovely rooms and food. And the best tours (thanks to Mr. India).

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First walk around…along the ghats….I will just let the pictures speak to take you with me on this journey through Varanasi.

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The evening ceremony at the main ghat…..be ready to expect hundreds or even thousands of people.

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Back to the Stops  – some yoga session to start the next day.

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Hop on a tuktuk for a half day trip to Sarnath, a holy place for all that believe in Buddha. And definately worth the ride, as in comparison to Varanasi it felt so green and so much fresher air. Probably besides the normal dust in Varanasi it is also related to the 24 hours of burning bodies along the river Ganga, as Varanasi is the place to die at for every Hindu believing person.

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Back to Varanasi – back to the magical ghats.

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Probably one of the best walking tours I took part….the market tour.

Impressive street life…

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And what lovely group we were! – was such a pleasure to meeting each of you guys!

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Narrow alleys – no problem! Just share it with the cows and scooters. Once you want to move on and a cow stops and you can’t pass anymore  just hit her on the bu..  and you should be fine.

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Market tour finished……but with Anil you could do tours all around the clock…so the Ghat tour was next…

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This is something you better don’t do. As probably even the quality of europe’s dirtiest rivers is 100times better than the one of the holy river Ganga at Varanasi.

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A little trip to visit the Badi Asha School, a social project which I got to know about at the Brown Break Bakery…..pictures and story in a separate post.

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Back to Varanasi centre…some more street impressions…

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Sometimes it can be good when you are carrying some bananas or other fruit with you around…..never saw any happier face of a chikd or mother afterwards.


Enjoying some delicious food on the rooftop of the Brown Bread Bakery.

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Time to say goodbye Stops Hostel – goodbye crazy , magical, beautiful Varanasi!

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XX Heiko goes Allahabad I

Oh well flight no 18  from delhi to Allahabd should become exciting…the airplane was quite small and having that special side motors…..arriving safely on kind of a ilitary base airport.

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Sitting next to me Anadi, a very mysterious lady which I should visit later on.


Leaving one friend in Delhi behind, meeting the next friend from our studying times in the UK…..my lovely room…


First trip with Summit & Shanaya…..visiting the Ghandi museum…

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And then making our way towards the first holy place which I should see in India…….“Triveni Sangram“….where the river Ganges meets the Yamuna river as well as the invisible Saraswati river…..thousands of people around….me being the only foreigner there.

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Making a little boat ride towards the place where the 3 rivers are meeting up together.

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Back on land…strolling around a little bit  before leaving that holy place.

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Stop over – chicken place – probably not the best place for any vegetarian people or for people focusing too much on hygiene.



Appetizer = street food


Main dish = one of the lovely dinner’s at Summit’s place. Yumyum.


We proudly present „Scamper – the dog“…..short story about that cutie……once he is very excited about visitors he jumps up on them; but not only that he jumps…..if you are an unlucky one then he also might pee on you as he is so happy to see you.  What a lovely way to welcome a guest….but as far as I remember I was quite lucky and didn’t get any wet.


Visiting Summit’s mom…

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Barbecue time….chef Summit made a great job!

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I loved that nice little bar!  That’s the place where I got to know „Old Monk“…..don’t miss out on trying it once you are in India.

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Discovering the environement…..walking around Allahabad….

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Right before left?  Left before right ? – Nevermind….cow goes first and the pedestrians, scooters, cars, Tuk Tuk’s, Riksha’s are finding their way through.


Yummy yummy again.

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My very first time teaching…..German lesson at the IPEM…it was a great and unique experience.

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My very first indian wedding…..for now a catholic one….but more to follow…

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Sun was setting down – time to dress for the evening ceremony of the wedding.

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Oh well, poor bridal couple…..while everyone was having dinner and talking together   those two had to stand for hours in the spotlight receiving presents, being photographed and filmed and were supposed to smile most of the time.

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A little goodbye present from Shaniya….so sweet….I still have it and it got a nice little space.


XIX Heiko goes Delhi I

Stopover in Bangkok – before flying out to Delhi – Crazy India I am coming.

Sometimes it is very wisely not to buy a simple burger for 6$ (!) at Burger King at the airport or to eat for nearly the same price lunch at the hotel; but just to walk 500metres and find an authentic street food place with only Thai writing on the menue and very friendly + wonderful people (Thx at Nattha + Poy).

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Here I am….getting a airport pick-up from my lovely friend Yatan.

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Yatan’s lovely family and my very first accomodation while in India.

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First night – Indian Dance event…

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Oh well…..public transport…..talking about Delhi’s metro…..yes it’s true….not pretty much space, so you shouldn’t have any problems to feel the breath of others in your neck…..and also  it’s men, and men and men again…didn’t see any single woman in the hole train….later on I found out that there even exist separate wagon’s for women only.

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My destination for day 1: Salaam Balaak Trust – Street walking tour…very interesting, as former street kids are showing tourists around the streets  talking about the life as a street kid and what Salaam Baalak trust does offer to get kids off the street.

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Only bad touch of the story…..he didn’t even know his exact birthdate/age…no identity card…no trace of his parents……he was a small kid when he left home to go to Delhi. Definately worth to try out this walking tour yourself.


A lil bit of street life…colourful…

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If everyone ever questions why you do find pictures of the god’s on the walls here and there. The answer is quite simple….Indian people, whatever religion they belong  to, are very strong in believe to their gods. So a picture of their gods should avoid them from peeing on the walls.


Visiting Qutab Minar together with Yatan.

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Yatan wanted to show me the new Delhi, I insisted on seeing the old Delhi first ;-)….so here are some street impressions of the old part.

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Western media say:  Be careful…..Indian streetfood…..severe stomach problems. I did prove them wrong…..if so many indian people are standing in queue to get some food than it can’t be that bad…just probably dont take something too spicy which might be too untypical for our stomachs and you will be fine.

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Indian way of transporting things…..just be creative and do it!


Time to say goodbye to delhi for now! Thank you so much for hosting me and it was a pleasure to got to know your lovely family. But I should be back….also to see the New Delhi 😉

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On the way to the airport…..cows, crazy traffic….daily life.

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The holy cow – eating rubbish from the streets….typical India.


Me at the aiport again….flight number….hm?….18 !?


XVIII Heiko goes Hoi An

Time to say goodbye to Hanoi and hopping on the train for my 2nd ride.

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My two room mates for the night. They didn’t speak any english – I didn’t speak any vietnamese. But hey, we smiled at each other, talked by using the hands and at least could exchange our names and our travel destinations.

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Some train ride impressions – on our way to DaNang.

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After arriving in DaNang I arranged a taxi ride towards Hoi An….destination for the first day/night was the „Under the coconut tree Homestay“….nearby the beach, 18-bed-dorm without aircon, but with Ven & Moscito nets for every single bed plus open air toilet and shower…..plus lots of lovely people – simply great!02 beach hostel (1) 02 beach hostel (2) 02 beach hostel (3) 02 beach hostel (4)

A first little walk towards the ocean, which was very nearby.

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Time to find some food…

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Usually I don’t book accomodation in advance, and if I hadn’t done it I would have probably extended my stay at the Under the Coconut Tree Homestay…..but the move towards the city centre should be worth it.

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The father of the family owned guesthouse is a long-year tailor. So I decided to get myself some nice new clothes.

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And the mother of the family was a great cook; and she was so lovely to allow me to join her in the kitchen to see how she is cooking and also to join their lunch. The children were studying english in evening classes, as many young vietnamese people are doing, to better being able to deal with the increasing tourism.

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Hoi An is a great and lovely city in which you can easily walk and bike. Some first street impressions…

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The local market.

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Spontaneoulsy arranged a Yoga session a little bit outside of the centre…going there by bike trhough rise fields….if only the bikes were not that small, or better said: If only my legs were not that long – but well, I made it.

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Hoi An by night…the city of lanterns…

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A big recommendation goes to…

Bike tour with Hoianfreetour….local students offering tours for free to improve their english skills…..we were a nice little group and saw lots of amazing things all around the city.

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Back in town…and some more street impressions….including the old Japanese Bridge…

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Doing a little boat ride.

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Crazy or just Gaga ?

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And even more lanterns…..it was the night when they switched off all the lightning in the hole city for something like 30 – 40 minutes as a sign of saving energy for the world.

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Hair cut – Vietnamese style – why not.

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There we go…..remember ?….yep…the 2 lovely ladies from the trek in Sapa, originally from Down Under…..I was just riding the bike along the streets in suddenly   someone shouted at me „Heyyyyy….“  (can’t remember actually the originally saying)…..but it ended up having a lovely dinner together and also meeting the Oops-Girl along the river.

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Final market shopping and cooking and lunch time with the lovely hosting family of my guesthouse ebfore saying goodbye to Hoi An.

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XVII – Heiko goes Sapa

Arriving in Sapa early in the morning, after taking the night train from Hanoi (quite comfy – I was positively surprised).

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Probably my very best experience in Vietnam so far and it should stay one of the top highlights of my trip. 2 days trekking tour with local Hmong women – staying over night with a Hmong family. This tour was so impressive and definately worth to do it!

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Where are all the tourists everyone was talking about ? We saw a fantastic landscape & lots of children & various animals…..but on the 2nd day of our trek not one single other foreigner! Woohoo.

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Lunch time & some creative art work…

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Sunset – and we arrived at our accomodation right in time to have a fantastic herbal bath right before dinner….btw at Sorrel, if you ever read this…..still waiting for you to sending me the herbal bath pic….I will leave an empty space here in the blog to add it 😛

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Starting into the 2nd day…..with our lovely little group…

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I somehow tried to draw in the trek we made onto a map.


Sapa – Street impressions

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Very interesting architecture. A lot of houses in Sapa have only made their „faces“; it seems like the rest will be forever under construction.

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Still on my walk to find the local new market…

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Sapa – New Market
Hidden, but i found it…..lots of locals there, nearly no tourists.

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Street impressions – Hmong women.

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Sapa train station, Leaving Sapa – I should meet those lovely ladies by luck later again 😉


Sapa O’Chau – Ein bemerkenswertes soziales Projekt / a remarkable social project

Sapa O’Chau – Ein interessanter Blick hinter die Kulissen:
Nachdem ich diesen fantastischen Trek mit Sapa O’Chau erlebt habe, hatte ich mich spontan gegen einen Besuch des Cat Cat Dorfes entschieden (in welchem Touristen wohl von Verkäufern durch die Gegend gejagt werden) und anstatt dessen einen tieferen Einblick in die gemeinnützige Organisation Sapa O’Chau genossen. Dank Shu’s (Gründerin) Ehemann ‚Melson‘ durfte ich mir das Sapa O’Chau Centre anschauen; und so sah ich die beiden Gebäude, in welchen sowohl die aktuell 35 Schüler, als auch die 6 Voluntäre unterkommen, als auch den Computer-Raum, den Handwerksraum, die Küche, den Gemeinschaftsraum, sowie die beiden Klassenräume und die Mini-Bibliothek. Da ich selbst durch die einzelnen Bergdörfer der ethnischen Minderheiten gewandert bin, weiß ich wie viele Kinder dort leben. Auch wenn die Regierung die lokalen Grundschulen in den Dörfern sponsort, so können sich die meisten Familien im Anschluss keine weitere Schulbildung (High School Sapa oder anschließend Universität) für ihre Kinder leisten. So gab es auch hunderte von Anträgen die bei Sapa O’Chau eingingen; doch mit 35 Plätzen ist die Kapazität bereits ausgeschöpft.
Anstatt daß der aktuelle Vermieter der Gebäude die Mietraten stabil hält oder das soziale Projekt durch niedrigere Mieten unterstützt, erhöht er diese aktuell, da er höhere Einnahmen erzielen möchte. Darum plant Sapa O’Chau mittelfristig den Kauf eines eigenen Grundstücks, um darauf eigene Gebäude errichten zu können, welche dann weitaus mehr Schülern Unterkunft bieten sollten. Ich sprach auch mit der Schüler-Koordinatorin und Sie zeigte mir unter anderem die mit Büchergeschenken gut gefüllte Bibliothek. Allerdings sagte Sie mir, daß auch immer wieder kleinere Sachgeschenke wie Kleidung oder Schreibhefte sehr willkommen sind. Ich sagte ihr was die Schreibhefte angeht meine Unterstützung zu, und werde sehen, was ich dann wieder zurück in Deutschland organisieren kann. Wenn also jemand von Euch alljährlich um die Weihnachtszeit seine Geldspenden entrichtet, hier wäre eine Alternative, die ich mit eigenen Augen gesehen habe, und wo man weiß wo das Geld landet. Bei Interesse könnt ihr mir jederzeit eine Nachricht schicken.

(Sapa O’Chau – Interesting view behind the scenes:
After having done that amazing trekking tour with Sapa O‘Chau, instead of visiting Cat Cat Village (where I was told that you get hunted around by local sellers), I decided to take a deeper look into the non-profit organization Sapa O’Chau, which is reliant to volunteer work and donations. I am so happy that Shu’s ( the founder’s) husband ‚Melson‘ took his time to lead me up to the Sapa O’Chau Centre. There I had the chance to see the 2 buildings they are using to give accomodation to the currently 35 students + 6 volunteers, a computer room, two in house teaching rooms and 1 craft room. As I was trekking through the villages myself I saw how many children are living in the villages. Even though the government is sponsoring the local grammar schools in the villages afterwards most families cannot effort to send their children to high school in Sapa or to college/university. So there were hundreds of applications coming in to Sapa O’Chau, but they have only space for 35 students (aged between 15 and 18) so far. Also the land lord is currently increasing the rent for the building they are using instead of supporting the social work; that’s why Sapa O’Chau midterm plans of buying own land and to construct bigger buildings on that land to support even more local sudents of ethnic minority families. I also talked to the student coordinator. She showed me that their library with donated books is currently quite full; but there are always little things (donations) which are always welcome – like clothes or just paper notebooks for school. So in case anyone is doing yearly donations around christmas time – this here is a project I could experience with my own eyes; and myself will definately go for the paper notebooks and organizse sending a parcel once I am back in Germany. So if you are interested in supporting this project as well just drop me a note and I will find out what else is of need for the students and what we could send them from Europe.)

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Autogramme-Spenden / sale of autograph collection for a good purpose

Autogramme-Spenden (www.autogramme-spenden.de). Heute startet meine wohl umfangreichste private Aktion, um 2 Schulprojekte in Indien + Vietnam nachhaltig zu unterstützen. Schweren Herzens aber für den guten Zweck trenne ich mich in Form von einer Auktion von mehr als 4.000 Originalautogrammen aus allen Bereichen, welche ich in den 80er und 90er Jahren sammelte. Ich möchte Euch von Herzen bitten und wäre Euch allen wirklich sehr dankbar, wenn ihr die Aktion so publik wie nur irgendwie möglich machen würdet (egal ob nun durch teilen, Mundpropaganda oder in einer anderen Form darauf aufmerksam zu machen), damit am Ende ein toller Erfolg dabei herauskommt. Ob ihr nun ein Autogramm für Euch selbst ersteigern möchtet, oder als Geschenk für einen Freund/eine Freundin oder unabhängig von den Autogrammen, einfach nur zur Unterstützung der guten Sache (bei vielen größeren Organisationen kommen 50% oder mehr des Geldes gar nicht bei den eigentlichen Projekten an, und werden zuvor von Marketingkosten und sonstigen Kosten der Organisation aufgefressen; ich plane 2018 selbst als Flugpate das Schulprojekt erneut zu besuchen, und werde neben den Geldspenden dann auch Mitbringsel direkt vor Ort abgeben und alles entsprechend online zur Nachverfolgung dokumentieren). Alle weiteren Informationen zum Projekt findet ihr auf der oben genannten Website. Vielen lieben Dank für Eure Unterstützung!

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Autogramme-Spenden (www.autogramme-spenden.de). Today I am going live with the probably biggest thing I have done so far to support two social school projects in India and Vietnam. For this good purpose I decided to sell my autograph collection which I collected mainly in the 80s and 90s (4000+ original signed autographs from different areas). It’s a heartfelt wish of mine to bring it to a maximum success and would kindly ask everyone of you to somehow make this project as public as possible (either by just sharing it with family&friends, by word-of-mouth recomendation or in any other way). You might be even  interested in gaining an autograph for yourself or to give it away to a friend as a birthday/christmas present or you might not care about the autographs  at all but just wanting to support the social project (in most of the bigger organizsations big amounts oft he donated money which are urgently needed by the projects themself are wasted on advertising or get partly lost by a huge organziation structure – my project is little, but I plan to visit the school project myself in 2018 and besides making amoney transfer also to bring in gifts to the students in person). You will find all detailed information on the link I gave you above. A hole description on how it works can be found in english and I would ship the autographs all over the world. Thank you very much for your support!

Me & the stars:

Samples of the collection:

The 2 supported projects (details see website – link above):

Junges Staatstheater Karlsruhe

Wer hat ihn nicht schon einmal gehört, den Spruch ‘‘Och Mensch Kinder, nun macht hier doch bitte nicht so ein Theater!‘‘? Doch das nunmehr bereits in der 6. Spielzeit als eigene Sparte bestehende Junge Staatstheater Karlsruhe tut exakt dies, erstklassiges Kinder- und Jugendtheater spielen. Beginnend mit ‘‘Farbenfroh & Schwarzgeärgert‘‘, ein Stück bereits für die Allerkleinsten (2+) in welchem der Zusammenhang von Gefühlen und Farben in sehr unterhaltsamer Art und Weise dargestellt wird, über einen Kinderklassiker wie ‘‘Karlsson vom Dach‘‘, bis hin zu Jugendstücken wie ‘‘Odyssee‘‘ und sehr bald dann auch ‘‘Romeo & Julia‘‘  ist für alle Alterststufen etwas geboten. Begegnungsstätte für Jung & Alt –  Klein & Groß ist  die ‘Insel‘. Doch keine Sorge, man muss entgegen der Namensgebung nicht befürchten Wasser überqueren zu müssen, um dann nassfüssig durch die unterschiedlichen Produktionen in den Bann gezogen zu werden, sondern man erreicht sein Ziel von der Karlstrasse aus kommend dann doch recht einfach und zügig durch einen kurzen Fußmarsch über den Pausenhof der Gartenschule…… Weiterlesen ….. JuSt-Bericht

XVI – Heiko goes Halong Bay

Meinen 2-Tages-Trip in die Halong-Bucht hatte ich letztendlich dann doch über mein Hotel gebucht. Dazu muß man sagen, daß es in Hanoi eine Unzahl von sogenannten Reiseagenturen gibt. Alles was man dazu braucht ist ein kleiner offener Raum, dann noch ein paar Werbeplakate angebracht, ein Telefon und schon kann der Alltags-Vietnamese sich auf Provisionsbasis ein Extra-Taschengeld verdienen. Also Achtung! Oftmals werden hier wohl Prospekte von wunderschönen Schiffen und Kabinen gezeigt und am Ende landet man wo ganz anders. Doch leider ging es auch mir nicht anders, obwohl ich über mein Hotel buchte, doch dazu später mehr. Beim vietnamesischen Kachelmann waren wohl irgendwie die Brillengläser gesprungen, oder seine Kristallkugel war eingenebelt, als er in diese blickte, um die Wettervorhersage der kommenden Tage abzugeben. 20 – 23 Grad, Mix aus Sonne und Wolken – klang jedenfalls alles gar nicht so übel für eine nette Schiffahrt durch die Halong-Bucht.

[After comparing offers from the various so-called travel agencies in Hanoi, I finally did book my 2-days-trip to the Halong Bay through my hotel. Actually it doesn’t need much to run your own ‚travel agency‘ for such tours…a small open room, a mobile phone, and some advertising posters, that’s it….and you are ready to earn some easy extra money on provision basis. But be careful!….Lots of those places are showing you flyers with really great looking boats, which seem to be in a good state, but you might end up being disappointed or even end up on a totally different boat. Anyway, the same could even happen when booking through your hotel; more to come on that. Somehow the vietnamese weather frog must have been somehow dizzy or out of sense when looking into his crystal ball set the weather forecast for the upcoming days. I mean 20 – 23 degrees celsius – partly sunny, partly cloudy –  didn’t sound that bad for a nice boat trip in the famous Halong Bay.]

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Anstatt dessen war das Wetter eher gepenstisch. Doch das Ganze gab der Bootsfahrt einen speziellen Touch. Man hatte so das Gefühl King Kong Island zu umschippern. Ich wäre wohl auch gut als Capitano der Eclipse durchgegangen. Die von mir hier geposteten Bilder mögen tatsächlich den Eindruck vermitteln, daß man hier in totaler Idylle (wie man es eben so gedanklich im Kopf hat: Fischerboote, die einsam in der Halong-Bucht liegen, wunderschöner Sonnenuntergang und beeindruckende Landschaft) durch die Bucht fährt, doch die realität sah dann doch ganz anders aus….Massen-Tourismus….ein Boot nach dem anderen….wir hatten wahrscheinlich lediglich das Glück, daß wir deutlich verspätet starteten und daher die ganzen anderen Massen erst bei den Haltestops zu sehen bekamen.

[Through the hole trip the weather was very spooky. Which often gave us the feeling of riding around King Kong Island. I didn’t look that bad being the captain of the Eclipse. My selected photos might be a bit misleading, as it really seems to be like in the books, with you boating idyllic though the bay, maybe meeting a fisherboat from time to time. But the reality looked quite different. Be prepared of finding a mass tourism with one boat following the other. In the end we were actually quite lucky starting late due to some engine problems, so we partly had a ride on our own, but did meet all the other visitors from the other tours on the several stops.]

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  1. Halt: Die Sung Sot Höhle [1st stop: Sung Sot Cave]


Ratter, ratter…..Erdkunde-Unterricht….frühe Schulzeit…wie war das nochmal mit den Stalagmiten und den Stalaktit(t)en…ach ja, Eselsbrücke, letztere = von oben herab hängend. Gibt sicherlich auch andere Möglichkeiten sich das zu merken, ist aber irgendwie doch recht einprägsam.

[Hmm…trying to remember how that was what we learned back ages ago at school in the geography classes about stalagmites and stalactit(e)s…using a memory hook like magic reminded me that the st…tit(e)s were the hanging ones. There might be other ways to memorise the difference, but who cares.]


Und wo wir gerade beim Erdkundeunterricht waren; der rot leuchtende Stalagmit hier, der erinnert dann doch eher deutlich an etwas anderes; Biounterricht eben.

[And after refreshing geography class knowledge of the early ages, that very special red light stalagmite did catch the attention of many visitors and was a quite famous photo spot ; biology class this time.]


Ein Männer-gefrässiger Feuerdrache.  [A man eating fire dragon.]


2. Stop…hier konnte man entweder den kleinen Berg erklimmen oder ne Runde an den Strand und Schwimmen gehen…..das Wetter entschied für uns…99% von uns kraxelten. Ach ja, und hier sieht man dann doch ein paar der anderen Boote 😉

[2nd stop……our guide gave us the opportunitys to either climb up that baby mountain or to relax at the beach and go swimming….the weather / the rain did make the decision for us….99% of our group did climb up. And from the top of the hill you could see some of those many other boats ;-)]


Vor dem gemeinsamen Abendessen noch eine kurze Lektion im vietnamesischen Rollen – Zubereitung einer Vorspeise.

[A short introduction into the vietnamese rolling – preparing an appetizer – before dinner.]


Wie schon anfangs erwähnt waren wir zeitlich ein wenig in der Bredouille. Doch keiner von unserer Gruppe wollte weder auf die Runde Kanufahren noch auf den besuch der Austernfarm verzichten. So wurde einstimmig nach dem Abendessen entschieden, am nächsten Tag sehr früh aufzustehen, um noch beides im Zeitplan unterzubringen. Und as Paddeln war traumhaft schön!

[As I mentioned already th the beginning our boat was quite late in time. But none of our tour group would have liked to miss out the canoeing or the visit of the oyster farm. So it was an unanimous vote to get up very early the next morning so that we would be able to do both of these action points before riding back. And it was totally worth it!]



Bereits auf dem Rückweg….ein letzter Zwischenstop und dann ab zurück nach Hanoi.

[On our way back. One last stop over and then back to Hanoi.]


Fazit: Vielleicht war es die Tatsache, daß unser Boot vermutlich 1-2 Klassen unter dem war, was Einige von uns bezahlt hatten – inklusive mir -; es stellte sich nämlich heraus, daß wir unterschiedliche Preise zahlten. Und eventuell war es auch das dauerhaft neblige und regenerische Wetter; daß die Halong-Bucht-Tour von mir nicht als besonderes Highlight bewertet wird. Doch da ich später von anderen reisenden hörte daß Sie eine Tour mit 2 Übernachtungen buchten, wovon eine in einem Resort auf einer schönen Insel war, sie ein super Schiff hatten und auch Sonne, ist es jedenfalls legitim, daß die Halong-Bucht auf jeden Fall mit auf die To Do-Liste eines Vietnam-Touristen gehört; man sollte sich nur bewußt sein, was auf einen zukommen kann. Aufgrund der negativen Erfahrung mit der anderen Bootsklasse erhielt ich später über das Hotel 50% zurückerstattet, was dann letzendlich mehr als in Ordnung war. Denn der Tourguide war sehr bemüht und wir hatten eine wirklich super nette bunt gemischte internationale Truppe an Bord. Ein letzter Tipp: Buchen über einen renomierten Anbieter (bspw. Vietnam Awesome Travel) und lieber ein paar Dollar mehr bezahlen, und dafür eine tolle Erfahrung haben.

[Conclusion:  Maybe due to the fact that I got another boat class as I initially booked and also the spooky and rainy weather did lead to the point that for me the Halong Bay was not a special highlight of my trip. As I also heard from other travellers later on that they booked a 3 days tour and had a great boat and good weather, so experiences can’t be any more different. After raising a claim on the tour my hotel later on refunded me 50% of the prize I paid for the tour so in the end all was on a more than fair value. Our our guide was okay. And especially the international and nice mix of our group was a definite plus.  My final advise: Book over a licensed operator (such as Vietnam Awesome Travel) and invest a few bucks more to a higher class boat and have a wonderful experience.

Eine weitere Weltreise…