By Maj from the partnership committee in Dortmund

Maj is a member of the partnership between the Dortmund church district and the Bolenge church district. The young women from Dortmund is currently studying in Austria. Since a partnership meeting in October 2019, Maj has been in contact with Frida from Bolenge via WhatsApp:

I just landed. In Vienna. From the sparsely occupied plane we went straight to a deserted airport. Austria has imposed an entry ban. Only those who undertake to undertake a ten-day home quarantine are allowed to enter. After six days you can test yourself free. I was in Dortmund with my immediate family over Christmas so I wouldn’t be all alone in Vienna. Now I’m waiting a long way until it’s my turn to commit to quarantine. Army soldiers explain to you that under no circumstances should you leave your own apartment. In the otherwise radiant entrance hall of Vienna Airport, shops are empty and others are barricaded. Unlike normal, no ceiling lamps are reflected in the floor but everything is in the semi-darkness.

If Christmas was so wonderful even in the smallest of circles, I am now all the more surprised by the effects of the pandemic. I long for a time when I could travel in Europe without identity checks. N / A. Actually, I am not longing for the time before the pandemic in Europe, but for a time in which you can travel all over the world, regardless of where you were born. For a world in which we don’t have to hope that all of our guests will get their visas the next time we visit our partners in Dortmund.

Oh, not just formulating such a dream in your mind sounds pretty megalomaniac. After all, we are getting closer and closer to that in the digital world, Frida a friend and partner from the Congo, has whatsapp since today and we can suddenly communicate much easier, faster and more, a little more as if we were seeing each other. Your first message blows away the apocalyptic mood at the airport:

Salut chère Maj, comment vas tu ? J’espère sur WhatsApp on peut s’écrire facilement ? Je suis maintenant disponible sur WhatsApp.

I begin to hope for another world when I type my answer as I walk:

„Coucou Frida🥳🤗 trop cool que tu as maintenant whatsapp🥳 moi je vais très bien, aujourd’hui je suis revenu à vienne, car j’étais à dortmund pour noel avec mes parents et mes frères:) et toi comment vas tu et est-ce que tu as passé un joyeux noel?✨🌟❄️🎄“

… only when I send it, I notice that the snowflake doesn’t really fit my idea of Christmas in Bolenge, apart from the fact that it never snows here in Dortmund either – but maybe Frida will surprise me with the opposite.