30 November 2008

The sun rarely shines in Vancouver...

Since we arrived here in Vancouver, it kept raining and drizzling. Lucky that the hotel provides an umbrella for us! 3 pm feels as dark as late evening, it is difficult to stay up late here, specially with 9 hrs time difference in the back.
It is a bit warmer than at home, around 8 c above 0, so I kept walking around outside, because I like this city very much. Even when you dont exactly see that there is a waterfront or Grouse Mountain on the other side, because cloudbase is at sea level ;)
Every time there are more poor people in the streets, and yesterday I experienced a new sad record. I was asked for money by people living in the streets 26 times (in about 4 hours of walking around...) - that is more than in any other city I have been to.
But there are good news too - all our crew members who were in Mumbai returned home safely and are well looked after right now!

27 November 2008


Way into December, I have to work a standby line at Lufthansa which means I dont know when or where I will end up. Today I called and offered to work a day early - with the latest news from Mumbai I can imagine that some people are scared to fly there, so I offered help.
A few hours later, I was called and got a flight for tomorrow - going to Vancouver. A relief on one hand, even though I would have been ready to go to India to help, get colleagues and other people safely out of the country. My thoughts are with the people who live in Mumbai as well as with all visitors - quite a few times I had the opportunity to enjoy the vibrant city for a day, to taste the best food in the world, to haggle on the markets for silk and mangoes.
Three times over the past 12 months I met extraordinarily strong Indian women sitting next to me on private flights to Australia or the US, hard working and successful women, medical doctors or professors most of the times. I admired them for their amazing stories, for their braveness and for their vision that India is on the rise and they can support their country´s reputation abroad.

23 November 2008

Sportlertag DHV 2008

Today we are still in Bruchsal at the "day of the sport pilots" - we are listening to different presentations about hanggliding and paragliding. Torsten Hahne (on the photo) just showed us the most amazing photos of his cross country flights around the greatest peaks of the European Alps and glaciers. And by the way, he is 3rd in this years DHV xc contest in sport class.
Now Peter Achmueller is teaching us about how to improve performance in cross country flying, and how to work in the hanggliding and paragliding clubs - how to raise motivation. We are laughing a lot, Peter is a real comedy talent!
Soon after lunch, we will also get the awards for this years cross country contest, also for German leagues and German Cup. Soon more.

22 November 2008

DHV annual meeting: Honourings

Today we met in Bruchsal, close to Heidelberg, for the annual meeting of our hanggliding organisation DHV. First they started with honouring the pilots who won medals in European and World Championships. Rebekka Speckenheuer started with her song and video "Hammer" that she wrote for our women´s team - I dont know who was more nervous, me or her!
Then Monique, Regina, Ute, Christa and me were called to the stage and got a big applause from the about 150 delegates of all hanggliding and paragliding clubs in Germany. We got a great present - as a memory we got a real book filled with photos from the worlds at Monte Cucco.
After that, Ewa was honoured for her European paragliding champion medal - here we are sisters, I also won the gold medal at the hanggliding Europeans at Greifenburg, where the men´s team won the bronze team medal, so Andre, Lukas, Hans, Jörg, Gerald and Roland were called to the stage as well.
Now the political part of the meeting is starting, and tonight we will have a party for all the pilots. Tomorrow we will have the awards for the DHV XC flying contest with interesting presentations of some of the best cross country pilots.

16 November 2008

"Hamma" (Hammer)

After a couple of work trips last week (Orlando and Portland), I finally arrived back home, picked up my parents in the airport and we started preparing the big "gold party" that Regina and I celebrated with the German women´s national hanggliding team at Reginas place in Riedern last night.
But not only our team and people who helped us win this summer at Monte Cucco were there, also our families and friends, lots of pilots of different kinds. Regina and I loved to prepare the best food in the world for our loved ones, all tasty, healthy and vegetarian. And I heard quite a few people raving about the Indian and Thai curries, the pumpkin soup or the veggie chilli ;)
Unfortunately, a lot of our friends from further away could not make it this time - we hope they are all well and that we see them sometime soon anyway. Music, food, lots of flying action projectored to the wall and even a dance floor!
But the best surprise was our young friend Rebekka - she and her friend Sandra have created a video for us about the worlds, they dubbed a song and cut a whole film. Incredible job! We love "Hamma" - have a look at it here: Hamma you will see quite a lot from the women´s worlds and I wish all of you could understand their German lines of the song. Those two girls are great, incredible, and that is what "Hamma", actually "hammer" means in colloquial German. Thanks a lot for the song and the film, and we hope they will be successful on MTV ;)