Friday, December 5, 2008


December 5th is a special day in Austria. Usually of more importance in the rural areas: The Krampus Day.

For quite some time a lot of people have been working on their devil masks. Now in these days it's time to show up with these. Yes, things like these happen in Central Europe ;)

Good masks are carved out of wood.

No limits to anyones phantasy. However the devils do not wear any signs that could be connected with offensive sexual content.

The Evolution of Devils ;)
(when everything evolved why not them?).

The facial expressions could pretty good reflect the standard typical mood of some social network members. (Not you, of course).

As a devil has to make much noise, here's some equipment to produce it. Krampusse wear chains too. However this doesn't have something to do with SM-treatement. (SM=Sado-Maso).

Some 'devils' seem to 'have' great appetite. Watch out that you don't become a dinner for them.

Yes, pictures of an exhibition. I will try to get some 'live' ones on Sunday (very difficult and dangerous), if it works I will post them here, so come back.

Furs of foxes. The use of Fox Furs let's me think of a lot of Chinese Fairy Tales in which Foxes do play an important part. People can turn into foxes. These foxes can be dead people or something like Zombies. Usually they don't bring nice presents.

This guy got brains, so watch out for what he's got to say.

On December 6h is the 'Nikolaus Day'. He can show up at decent peoples houses, asks the kids if they've done good and behaved well and if they did they get some sweets. Before the sweets got invented he would give to them apples (no computers) and nuts.

Krampus traditions are mostly practised in the mountain regions of Austria (well some hills might work on it too). Therefore some Krampusses look like mountain spirits.

No, it's not KISS, though they seem to work on it.

As I said ... pictures of an exhibition.

So pray for me, that I'll survive this evening ;)

Oh, this one seems to like you too!

If you need a devil avatar you can help your self at:
Only 99 $ per Avatar which you can donate
to a any charity organisation. ;) of your choice
hm, however you can make it yourself cheaper.

You can see some of them in action on youtube:

Monday, December 1, 2008

AIDS HIV Africa BloggersUnite

Can you 'see' Aids in Africa?

Following the call of and BlogCatalogs BloggersUnite Action to post about HIV/AIDS I'll share some direct impressions (& photos) from Malawi Africa. I can do this as some of my children are and have been working there in rural areas for two years and have been interacting with the people right on the ground among the rural masses.
To summize this post:
AIDS is not just a disease that kills people,
it's a danger for a society in itself.
Tags (or whatever) for this post can be for example:
"Health, Africa, Society, Aids, HIV, Development."

First, some words about this action.
December 1st, is World Aids Day. ( #WAD08 ). Worldwide, an estimated 33 million people are living with HIV. In the United States an estimated one million Americans are living with HIV. is partnering with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Blog Catalog for Bloggers Unite on World AIDS Day 2008. This event encourages bloggers from around the world to dedicate their blog posts on December 1, 2008 (World AIDS Day) to issues related to HIV/AIDS.

Malawi is a beautiful country with beautiful people
like other African countries.
View from mount Mulanje (all photos by my children).

The Tuchila River

White people are interesting.
An European tourist who visited the country, the national parks etc. said: "We've been now around for 28 days in Africa, but I've seen no one with AIDS."

Some tourists that come to Africa even think that AIDS is just a fairytale, because they haven't seen anyone with AIDS.

Yes, when looking outside the Adventure-Africa-Safari-Busses you can not see that children are infected.
From a letter of my daughter: "The people that got infected with AIDS haven't got that written on their foreheads. If you shake someones hand, take a child into your arms, you don't know if that person or that child got AIDS.

And also when you get to know people from the country, they don't greet you with:
"Hey I am Chisomo and I have AIDS."

When you live among the people, and when you check it, how many people in the villages are dying, THEN you realize that AIDS is no fairy tale.

The carpenters are constantly busy with the construction of coffins for adults and children. There are many 'Coffin workshops'. Mostly you see a dilapidated sign on a simple house where someone is busy to saw a tree with an old saw.

The immune system of people that got infected with AIDS is so bad, that they die of more or less serious illnesses like, for example, pneumonia.
Newspapers report like this:
"The (famous) singer of this or that African Music Band has died because of pneumonia". They won't mention AIDs, 'AIDS' is still a tabu-word.

So ... a lot of people are dying, mostly under 40 years of age. Many of those people are parents. They leave children behind. Children without AIDS, children with AIDS.
This leads to a society where there are lots of children and adults are few. Therefore some speak of Malawi as a 'state of children' because half of the population is under 15 years old. Imagine that!

Many rural areas remain inertia, because the parents no longer had the opportunities to share their knowledge. The orphans usually find shelter at some 'other relatives'. Those 'other relatives' are grandparents or older siblings', people who cannot pay school fees.

AIDS is thus not simply a problem in Malawi (or Africa), which leads to many sick and suffering people, it is a problem which is changing the whole structure of society and especially to the detriment of children.
However, there are already many programs that try to tackle this problem (eg development programs, education programs, AIDS support groups, etc.). There are helpers.

So what does it mean for a country to have lots of people that suffer from AIDS?

It means:
* People don't get old. They just die away.
* A lack of older people.
* Less help in families.
* Less grandparents can help in caring for children.
* Less teachers.
* Less workers.
* Less thinkers.
* Less experience.
* and you can continue this list ...

Facing AIDS - World AIDS day 2008

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