menopausebarbees
... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Have I Got a Story to Make You Smile!

In the midst of all the chaos, upheaval and grief brought on by the coronavirus, I am certain we are all in need of some good stories; ones that warm our hearts and make us smile. I have one for you today.

Sadly, the beginning of my story is not a happy one. It involves the untimely death of a very dear friend of mine who lost his valiant, valiant fight with cancer on October 19, 2019. Jürgen Spreeman was a first-class journalist; an extremely intelligent man who could always be counted on to tell you the truth, and share some knowledge and a smile. Needless to say, he will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues at WDR Lokalzeit Television. 

His wife Anja, is one of the first women I met when I came to Germany. She was a jewel then and is to this day. A sports teacher at the time we met,  she has over the years, grown her business to what is known today as the Walzwerkwelle Water Fitness Center (http://www.walzwerkwelle.deAqua-Fitness) near her home in Pulheim-Stommeln–about a 30-minute drive from where I live. Anja has over the last twenty years trained over 7000 instructors throughout Europe on how to be fitness instructors in the water. This includes cardiac, circuit, rehabilitation, gymnastics and medical. (www.menopausebarbees August 15, 2016)

The story is getting happier.

One of Anja’s neighbors in Pulheim-Stommeln who also knew Jürgen is a woman by the name of Daniela Schumacher. Daniela comes from a family of agriculturalists whose farm, Gut Vinkenpütz, in the family since 1713, belongs to the historical-cultural landscape of Cologne.

Says Daniela, “I always feel faint when I know I am producing food, and there are so many people in the world who are dying of starvation. I always say we have it super good, we don’t have to feel bad, but we have to be grateful and let others share in it.

To that end, Daniela has been visiting a small village in the African country of Namibia in southern Africa for 25 years, dispersing food and media supplies and helping the villagers any way she can. 

When our Jürgen passed, Anja knew that he would think it ridiculous and a waste of money for people to spend money on flowers, so in lieu of that, Anja asked that a donation be made in Jürgen’s name to Daniela’s Namibia cause. €3000 was raised!! Daniela took the donation and flew to Namibia at her own cost.

Now the story gets REALLY happy. Daniella bought and dispersed the following to the villagers:

480 kg cornmeal

400 kg white flour

560 kg sugar

210 kg rice

210 kg noodles

310 liters cooking oil

40 liters milk

25 kg coffee

200 bags dry yeast

30 liters syrup

200 teabags

50 sticks of soap

50n warm blankets

30 T-shirts

40 jogging pants

30 fleece sweaters

20 pairs of socks

20 pair of underpants

10 baby rompers

She told Anja that EVERYONE went home with something, no one was turned away. 

Daniela also told Anja that she could feel Jürgen warmly smiling down on her and the villagers… 

Not surprising, as a warm smile is the universal language of KINDNESS.

I told you this was a good story. I love you, Anja.

Stay safe and stay home everyone.

Anja, Jürgen and daughter Emma

Daniela and a villager