I am Melanie and I live in Cape Town, South Africa.
I was born in Tel Aviv, Israel where my Dad was working at the time. When I was four, my family moved back to Germany.
At thirteen my father was transferred again and we spent 3 of my teenage years living in Philadelphia, USA.
Together with my parents I visited much of the United States and love their open spaces, deserts and mountains. To this day I am drawn to American traditions and festivities, I can relate to their idealism and enthusiasm and I love wrap-around-porches!
With my parents I visited (less commercial parts of) Mallorca, Spain a few times. We also travelled to Florida when I was little, as well as to Sicily, Italy. When I was ten, they took me back to visit Israel where my uncle was working at the time.
As a young adult, my first long term relationship of five years was a difficult one to a Palestinian boy. Together we spent holidays in Tunesia, Egypt and Florida.
In my twenties I travelled a lot, visiting the Scottish Highlands, New Delhi as an intern, backpacking Yucatan peninsula with my girlfriend, visiting my Peruvian relatives in Arequipa together with my boyfriend. With him I also travelled Southern Norway.
After my studies I got the opportunity to assist with a commercial DVD production in Namibia for two months and although the team work was a disaster for many reasons, the experience was incomparable. For a nature lover like myself Namibia was a revelation and I fell deeply in love with the African landscape.
I am now a mother of two, wife of a South African, a German with South American roots. I am a deeply idealistic person with a strong feeling for right and wrong and a longing for justice.
I have seen and experienced several countries and cultures which has left me with deep – and often confusing – feelings about them and their issues.
My country of choice is a particularly difficult case with a wealth of different cultures cramped into it.
I am extremely sensitive which has made things very difficult for me at times as I developed a severe anxiety disorder with depressive episodes after the birth of my kids.
Having children can leave you raw with no defence against the realisation of the cruel and unjust realities of our world.
It can be hard to think positive and keep going, believing and fighting when our future is facing the challenges that we are having to face now.
Nevertheless I am sure of some things. I know that I want to be a good and strong example to my kids. I want to teach my children to look for solutions instead of dwelling on the problems.
And I see quite clearly now that the solution for our world must start small and locally – with each individual.
Knowing what I can achieve and how useful I am to anyone when I am not well (ergo nada), we must look after ourselves. Then our family. Our neighbours and neighbourhood. Our town and country. And so on.
I have also learned that when I read too much about the misery in the world, that I feel overwhelmed and paralysed. So I must filter my information intake and make sure I act and do instead of watching helplessly.
This is going to be a positive blog that is meant to encourage, motivate and give hope to people. It is meant less to educate people about what is happening in the world and more about what we can do about it. I am hoping that its readers will participate by adding constructive and helpful information so that we as a community can work together on making this world what we want it to be.