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  • Leilani begins her last piece on Cowbird with this sentence: "On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month." She says this is the day she honors her dead, the soldiers of her family, who have died in wars.

    We have talked about soldiers and veterans and wars and honor today.

    Reading LeilaniĀ“s entrance sentence I remembered that on the eleventh hour (and the eleventh minute), of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of the year Carnival begins in Cologne and all the German cities along the Rhine and the Mosella and other wonderful rivers in that lovely part of Germany. People in hundreds of Carnival Clubs start thinking about the situations in our world and write political poetry about it, sarcastic poetry, ironic pieces that show the absurdity of our world. They prepare their monologues to make you laugh from Rose Monday to Ash Wednesday next February about what usually we want to cry about. This they do since many centuries. I do not know if it has helped to make the world a better place, but it sure helps to keep putting up with this valley of tears.

    Each comedy is a hidden tragedy and each tragedy you can turn around and laugh - Shakespeare was a master at this.
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    This photograph I took in the Carnival of Swakopmund, Namibia. Yes, they also have a Karnevalsverein - a Carnival Club - today also Blacks join in the colorful Carnival March through the Main Street of town. The famous "Funkmariechen" of Cologne were all white, though. But that was 5 years ago, maybe last year a black girl had joined in or so I hope.

    After all the horrendous things the Germans did during their quite short time as a colonial power in what today is Namibia in the beginning of the last century, their Carnival has survived. Probably one of the best things they could have left behind.

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