It was unbelievable! The new WOW programme started last Wednesday, with Wenya describing her reading time. WOW, (sorry for the pun). She reads somewhere between 2–4 hours reading PER DAY! It really makes one wonder how she does it.

How were the first reactions? Martin and Manfred were taken by how much discussion (and improving potential) there is in this programme. I asked Céline if she is interested in “Scouts”, Walter’s topic. “No”, she replied. I rose to the challenge when I listed the words that can be associated with scouts. It helps to open the discussion further.
Martin wanted to know what an “awning” is in the camper van thread. Our resident camping expert, Manfred, could have translated it and explained it to him then and there. However, that would not be in the spirit of WOW, because it’s democratic. Everyone should be able to learn what it is and then ask more about it. This brings me back to Wenya because she and her husband are looking to buy a camper van.

Alexandre even thanked me for launching WOW. I had to put the brakes on Walter because he wanted to start an entire series of questions about Alexandre’s exciting book about the brain. We learned that Céline expects a lot from authors. When she reads a novel, it must captivate her from page one right to the very end. That is quite a demand. But what would be a discussion without a gentle provocation from Maxime? Who needs books when we have the internet? But this doesn’t stop him from promoting the book written by one of the teachers he admires.

“It’s an argument”, says Alexandre. In Seoul, Nathalie brings reading to a level of meditation, the peace and tranquillity needed and enjoyed when physically holding a book in one’s hands. But then, we have different generations speaking about the same subject.

Speaking of different generations. WOW will give Sarah, our youngest member, the opportunity to improve her English and teach those much older members, who know nothing about scouts, about an activity which she loves doing. It will be a chance to live up to the scout’s motto, “Be prepared” as she gradually moves to adulthood.

Over in the podcast area, Ismar hosted a Tuesday Get Together discussing the different attitudes Brazilians and Europeans have towards holidays. As Sebastian said at the end, “Mr Question” certainly lived up to his reputation. He even had me scrambling for answers.

Did you know that Igor is a born storyteller? I was gripped when he told the story of Becky and her family, who run a farm in California. It is part of a new series on Career Changes. We explore why people completely change their careers and what happens when they do it. It is really well worth listening to, and the transcript is online too.

Beating on the drum, those who haven’t had a look yet, do watch Nathalie’s powerful presentation on her trip to the North-South Korean border. It took quite some time to build, but the result is terrific. Some of you have seen it but couldn’t write a comment, so harsh is the reality of a divided country.

And on the subject of presentations. If someone still has no summer holiday plans, Manfred and his fantastic pictures of the island of Cres in Croatia might have just the solution. And, you can talk about Camper vans with him, too.

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