Celebration time, come on! 

Sometimes life can feel rather mundane. Between working, keeping up our households, taking care of children and all our other responsibilities there doesn’t always remain much time around our routine to be filled with anything but rest and sleep. Sometimes this can be quite frustrating and overwhelming. Financial success is countered by expenses and vacation time comes and goes in a flash.

In order to get us out of the potential rut, sometimes it’s important to find reasons to celebrate. The majority of us are taught the joys of celebrating from the time we are old enough to comprehend it. Success, longevity, commitment, new life and past life are all celebrated in some spectacular manner. Celebrating birthdays and holidays are an annual tradition among most, along with celebrating the coming year itself. Pregnancy and birth are celebrated. Promotions and new jobs are celebrated. Reaching milestones is celebrated. Marriage is celebrated, and in some cases so is divorce!

Some cultures have what we may consider rather unusual reasons for celebration and festivities. In Spain the Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme celebrates people who have had near death experiences and survived. The survivors are carried around in coffins and offerings are made in honor of Santa Marta. In January in some parts of Japan, Hadaka Matsuri is celebrated in which large groups of almost naked men (except for their loin cloths) parade through the streets in a spiritual purification parade. The Hindi people of India have made quite popular even in Europe the color festival. In India the celebration is called Holi and has to do with Lord Krishna. In Europe the festival has more to do with coming together in large groups, having fun and throwing the colored dust called gulal.

In the spirit of celebration TIP TOP English celebrated its tenth anniversary last Friday 2 October. We wanted to celebrate our past success, and we hope to be able to continue to accommodate our clients with a fun and memorable learning experience! It has been a blast!



mundane -  alltäglich

rest – sich ausruhen

overwhelming – erdrückend

is countered by expenses – wird entgegengewirkt druch Ausgaben

go in a flash – wie ein Blitz vergehen

get out of the rut – aus der Tretmühle kommen

near death experiences – Nahtoderfahrung

survivor – Überlebender

coffin – Sarg

loin cloth – Lendenschürze

has been a blast –war einfach toll

The Last Shall be First…

The Pastor was reading from Matthew, and when I was finally able to focus on his words again, I heard “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last”. I had heard this expression before many times. I held this thought in the back of my mind many times, as encouragement when I felt as though I wasn’t getting anywhere despite my efforts; that if I just kept on pushing that someday I would be where I wanted to be.

Since that Sunday service, I have realized that this recent reminder had nothing to do with me at all. In looking at the very obvious recent events taking place in Europe and specifically in Germany, I have been very much avoiding the net, the news and any other avenue of tracking the latest on-goings, because it is very painful to watch.

Realistically speaking, it isn’t news; human suffering has been amass in third world and war torn countries for decades, and most people don’t shed a tear or bat an eye. These facts have often been met quite coldly with an attitude of “better them than me” or even accusations, that it might be the faults of these people themselves that they’re in the mess that they are in. There are shoulder shrugs, and comments like “What are we supposed to do? This is something the government should take care of

The difference between what people generally turn a blind eye to and what is going on now is that those in need are not faces on the infomercial, or lost in the pages of a newspaper, but they are knocking directly on our front doors. I have heard very harsh nay-say about the intentions of these refugees…. People we have never met. People forget how fast life changes, that many of our own grandparents suffered after conflict and had to start over from nothing. Thus, those who are last shall be first and the first shall be last.

The Dalai Lama said, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.” I cannot say everyone has received the refugees in a negative way. People are volunteering at shelters and lots of people are preparing care packages and donating money to try and help refugee targeted humanitarian efforts. TIP TOP English is also going to teach German and English to those families who came to Bingen. Let us help to make communication possible for those new arrivals.



encouragement – Ermutigung

despite my efforts – trotz meiner Anstrengung

obvious events – offensichtliches Geschehen

avoid – vermeiden

human suffering – menschliches Leiden

not to bat an eye – nicht mit der Wimpern zucken

shed a tear – eine Träne vergießen

shoulder shrugs – Schulter schütteln

supposed to do – tun sollen

turn a blind eye to – ein Auge zudrücken

infomercial – Informationswerbung

nay-say – nein sagen

refugees – Flüchtlinge

suffer – leiden

at least don’t hurt – zumindest verletze nicht

volunteering at shelters – freiwillig Unterkunft geben

donate money – Geld spenden