Der har været stille på bloggen siden jeg kom hjem fra Ghana
& London i juli. Jeg har brugt sommeren på at genoverveje mit projekt. Jeg
dropper det ikke, slet ikke, men jeg har måtte gentænke hvordan jeg fortæller
om mig selv, min rejse og mit projekt.
Der har været for meget sammenblanding mellem mig selv og
min podcast. Min egen rejse med at starte forfra og træde ud af hamsterhjulet
for at rejse verden rundt, har fyldt for lidt både på bloggen og på min
Instagram profil. Min podcast og situationen for ikke-troende er kommet til at
fylde det meste.
Så derfor adskiller jeg nu de to ting. Jeg har derfor oprettet
en Instagramprofil til min podcast Babelfish (følg den endelig). Fremover vil
alt vedrørende podcast findes der og på facebook. Du kan stadig finde podcast
episoderne her på mit website.
Jeg har også besluttet at min blog fremover skal være på
dansk fremfor på engelsk. Det giver mest mening for mig – jeg beholder dog
engelsk som på min Instagram profil, fordi jeg har mange følgere fra hele
verden. Min blog og egen Instagram profil vil komme til at handle om min egen
rejse, genopdagelsen af mig selv og de overvejelser jeg gør mig om det gode
liv, mens jeg rejser jorden rundt. Jeg har oprettet en facebook profil, hvor du
kan følge mig.
Min hjemmeside er blevet opgraderet med links til artikler
og foredrag. Hvis du gerne vil booke mig til et foredrag – eller kender nogen,
som kunne være interesseret i at book mig, så tag kontakt. Jeg har tid fra
Jeg håber du kan lide den nye tilgang til det jeg laver 😊
I just left
Ghana after a visit which seemed too short. It was my first trip back to
western Africa since Sofie & I visited Mali 14 years ago. Back then Mali
was a peaceful country and we travelled with Sofie’s friend Martha, her brother
Simon, her mom Dorthe and her dad David (who is born in Mali).
It was a
family visit, but Sofie and I took a road trip to Timbuktu. The first of many
trips to far away fairy-tale places (at least for us Danes 😊). Our drivers name was Baloo and our guide in
Timbuktu was Tuareg (one of the blue men) with the name Muhammed Ali. I kid you
not it was their names. Internal conflict now makes it impossible to visit and
the UNESCO world heritage sites we visited back then is ruined by rebels.
the opposite – it’s peaceful and compared to other African countries wealthy.
Like all the other countries Ghana is very religious, but the humanist
organisation is growing. Roslyn who recently was elected to the board of
Humanists International helped me settling in, showed me the beach and took me
to a pub, where I experienced the football frenzy – Ghana fighting for a place
in the quarter finals of the African Cup. Unfortunately, they lost so we didn’t
party all night (good for me).
house a met some of the other humanists. I interviewed her, Roslyn’s husband
Michael who is also president of the humanists in Ghana and Ato & Anim.
They are trying to create a safe space for non-believers, since they are
stigmatised. It was so nice meeting them and discuss humanism, human rights and
history is intertwined with Ghanaian history. We don’t talk about it much in Denmark,
but we also participated in the slave trade from Afrika to Amerika. We had a
few islands in the Caribbean with plantations and some slave forts along the
Ghana coast. I visited one of them Christiansborg in Accra with Michael who
took me on a road trip from Accra to Cape Coast to Kumasi and back.
Denmark was responsible for 100.000 slaves being brought across the ocean over
130 years. Local tribes delivered slaves to the Europeans – amongst them the
Ashanti kingdom which still exists. Slaves was rounded up from todays Mali,
Burkina Faso and other countries. Then they were sent marching towards Cape
Coast which is several hundred kilometres – barefoot in shackles, many of them
dying on the way.
from the slaves seek their roots and a lot of them visit Ghana. Every year there
is remembrance of the slave trade. A homecoming ceremony is held for those
visiting for the first time.
Ghana is a
beautiful country. People are so nice and friendly – we had a lot of laughs. I
leave with a lot of good experiences – a lot wiser regarding my own country’s
history and new friends I will surely miss.
The final episode
of Babelfish season 1 has been published. The podcast will be on holiday until
August. So far 30 interviews with non-believers from 7 countries in the eastern
and southern parts of Africa have been produced.
talked to humanists, atheists and freethinkers from Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania,
Malawi, Botswana and South Africa. All of them had fascinating stories to tell
about their life and the challenges they face.
them grew up in religious families with no room for critical thinking,
questions and discussions about belief. Growing up most of them have felt alone,
thinking they were the only ones doubting the existence of God.
are building communities for non-believers in their countries. In some countries
humanist schools are formed, educating the kids in science and critical
thinking. Other humanist schools are supporting single moms. Humanitarian
projects are being run by non-believers.
In some of
the countries the communities are very small with almost no resources. But in
all countries non-believers are having metups, debates and social events in
order to grow the small communities.
went non-believers are discriminated and stigmatised. Not due to legislation since
the constitutions are based on human rights, but due to the religious society.
Some have experienced to be shunned from their families, some have been fired.
In some cases, there has been violent reactions to non-believers fight for
it looks like an uphill battle to change the society’s view of non-believers.
But everywhere I went I met amazing people full of energy and optimism. They
keep up the good work and I am sure they will change the world.
It’s been quite a journey for me as well. A year ago, I started the planning – a bit scared, nervous and excited. I have had doubts many times, thinking this was crazy – thinking I wasn’t able to do this. But I did – and I will continue.
has been finalised. Tomorrow I’ll fly to Ghana to meet another group of amazing
non-believers. The interviews will be part of season 2 which will begin in
is to cover the rest of the world. I am actively seeking funding and sponsors
for a tour around the world. The tour will start by the end of August.
You can also support the project by donating money through Patreon – or for the Danish audience through 10er.dk.
part of my plan to visit Portugal this year. I want to do a Europe tour at some
point visiting all the European countries. I want to wait interviewing non-believers
in this part of the world where is seems to be easier than in other parts. But
since I was in the neighbourhood, I decided to tour Portugal and Spain after
the nomad cruise.
beautiful, the green mountains, the olive trees, the ocean and the cliffs. The
characteristic pavement of white and black stones in the cities and the
architecture. Until the 70’ies the country was a catholic dictatorship and has
suffered many financial crises since. They are only just recovering from the
latest crisis – there are many beautiful old buildings who looks like they are
falling apart. At the same time there is lots of restoration going on.
I was so
tired after the nomad cruise I needed to take it easy and not do much
sightseeing while I spend a couple of days in Lisbon. I just did a walking tour
with the other nomads to get a brief insight to the story of the city.
interviewed 2 non-believers from the secular society (http://www.laicidade.org/) Ricardo and Rodrigo. Portugal is very religious, and the catholic
church still has a huge impact on government and every day life. This even
though the Portuguese constitution has been secular since 1911. The secular
organization is not just for non-believers, members are of all faiths. The
primary goal is to implement secularism in Portugal. There are still many
issues in everyday life. Non-believers don’t face server challenges like in the
African countries I have visited, but people think they are a bit strange.
I also visited
the ADFP which
is a foundation in Coimbra. It’s founded more than 30 years ago and is based on
humanity and helps disabled people, foster kids and others. It owns a natural
park, a hotel and a few years back they build an ecumenical temple on the top
of a mountain.
is dedicated to peace and to remember the victims of fundamentalism. It is for
both believers and non-believers – I find it a bit strange to call it a temple,
since it then sounds like a religious place. I understand why they have built
even though I would have preferred something more secular.
Coimbra I rented a car and drove down south through the mountains and
landscapes. For once I was on my own – no driver, no public transport. I
decided to take a detour, going back in time finding the megaliths (Cromeleque dos
Alemenedres) outside Evora. They are thousands of years of old and are amazing.
They rest on a mountain top with a beautiful view. There are several megaliths
and monoliths in the area. They are breathtaking – incredible they were able to
build them back then.
I also visited
a former colleague Paul Gerner and his wife Ewa in Lagos in Algarve. We haven’t
seen each other for years, but it was just like the old days – nice relaxing
and cosy. Paul has been visiting Portugal for more than 30 years. He told me
the economy is improving, a lot of investments are being done and many
Europeans are moving here with their savings. So, it looks good for the future
– and hopefully some of these old amazing buildings can be restored.
My life stance is humanism and my values are based on human rights. This means I belong to a minority in this world since most people are religious. I have not really considered myself being part of a minority before I started my travels and talked to other non-believers.
But we are a minority. In Denmark approximately 1.500 people are members of the Danish Humanist Society and approximately 800 people are members of the Atheist Association – Denmark has 5.8 million citizens. So we are a minority in Denmark even though the country is considered to be one of the least religious in the world.
I’ve been a member of the Danish Humanist Society since it was founded almost 11 years ago. Since then the society has fought to be acknowledged as a life stance organisation to acquire the same rights as faith communities. We are not there yet but hopefully we will get there within a year or two.
I have been active in the society in some years now. It was my involvement in the international work which gave me the idea to Babelfish – it was meeting all the other humanist struggling to get recognised who sparked the idea. Even though I travel I am still active in the political work – you just need your laptop and your phone, and you can work all over the globe.
I have also
been involved in planning a lot of events culminating in our 10-year anniversary
celebration last year. 2018 was a busy year with a record high number of
ceremonies held and a lot of events. Last weekend we had our general assembly where
our President Lone Ree Milkaer again was amazed on how far we have gotten and
what we manage to do with very few resources.
general assembly I was re-elected for the board and will also continue as vice
president the next year 😊
I’ve just spent
four days in London with my family. My daughter Sofie and her boyfriend Rasmus
has been living there since August. Both my mom and I have birthdays in March. So,
we went there for our birthday celebrations and to spend some time together for
London. I love the diversity, the bustling streets, the parks, the food. Just
walking the streets, looking at people – walk a bit, grab a cup of coffee, walk
some more, have lunch and so on. There is always something going on in London.
we went to the Phoenix Arts Club for
The West End’s Theatre open mic night to experience Sofie on stage she is an
amazing singer. It was a great evening; the performers are fantastic, and we
had a lot of fun. They have open mic night every Thursday.
my mom’s birthday we visited Kew Gardens, a
fantastic botanical garden. Way too big to see in just one day, so we only saw
a fraction of it. We also had afternoon tea at the Ivy in Covent Garden – afternoon tea
is a must every time I’m in London, love it.
we went to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park while a million brits was marching
for a people vote. It’s hard to understand they are leaving the EU, but on the
other hand they don’t really see them selves as Europeans. They always talk
about the continent, i.e. Europe.
also affect us as a family because we do not know whether Sofie and Rasmus can
stay. Rasmus has just been accepted to one of the universities and will study
creative writing the next 3 years – it’s so cool and I’m proud of him.
Sofie has a
free scholarship for a musical performance school (MX Masterclass). We saw their show at Charing
Cross Theatre on Sunday. Sofie has applied for a master’s in musical
performance from this fall. All of this means we follow the Brexit negotiations
closely – tension rises each day.
the insecurity we had a great weekend in London – my feet were killing me, and
I had to relax all of Tuesday due to the pain.
I’ll be leaving
Denmark soon, but the whole family will be together again on Iceland in the beginning
of June – a family holiday.
finalized my next article. Its about my visit to Rwanda and it has been
difficult writing it. Its been tough thinking about my visit again, so
emotional. I ended up spending several days writing the article, because I
needed breaks in between.
about all those people killed during the genocide. All those lives lost.
Looking at history it doesn’t seem like we will ever learn and change our ways.
I’ve visited the memorial in Rwanda, I’ve also visited the killing fields in
Cambodia – my grandparents were part of the resistance during world war 2. They
were imprisoned in a camp in Denmark (Frøslevlejren). They were lucky. They
were caught just before the war ended, else they might have ended up in a
And why do
genocides happen – how is it possible for human beings to kill other human
beings. How is it possible for human beings to commit those horrible crimes. It
is difficult to comprehend.
history the commonalities to me seems to be when groups of people are
dehumanised – either because they are from another tribe, another religion,
another race or just something else which differs them from the majority.
dehumanising begins when those in power (or the people who wants to be in
power) starts to distinguish us from them. They point out the differences
between humans. Next step is to put fear into people, claiming ‘the others’ are
bad people. Claiming ‘the others’ want to force you to change your life, your
belief or even that they want to kill you, your family and friends.
This is what
the Nazis, the Khmer rouge and the Hutus did. This is what happened before all
genocides. Fear is a powerful tool – it is a powerful weapon. It is easy to
scare people, especially when it comes to the un-known. It requires much more
energy for us to have an open mind, look at the facts and be pragmatic.
see how fear is spread, fake news and lies are all over the place. It’s a shame
because basically all we want as humans is living a good life. We want a good
life with friends and family being happy. This is what everybody wants no
matter where you live, what colour your skin has or what you believe in.
been active on my blog the last week. My writing routine is a bit off after I
came home. I’m still trying to adjust to everyday life – it is especially hard
to get used to the cold weather and the rain. I’ve been freezing, some days
just wanted to stay under my blanket binging Netflix. It is no surprise that
many people suffer from winter depressions here in the north.
I’ve been bust
processing all my experiences, catching up with everybody and at the same time plan
my next trip. My plans are in progress and I’ll hopefully leave Denmark in 3
weeks. At the same time, I am meeting a lot of new people and hope I can corporate
with some of them in the future. interesting times 😊
I met one new
friend through Instagram. The fun part is that she lives in Copenhagen, she is
an atheist and has made atheist jewellery for some years. I had never heard
about her before and we live a few kilometres apart from each other. She found
me and yesterday we met for coffee and talked for hours about humanism, atheism
and our common goals. She has a lot of followers in the US where it can be (in
some parts of the country) just as difficult to come out as a non-believer as in
Her name is
Maja but known as minnie_mouseling on Instagram. Maja has created a beautiful invisible
pink unicorn pendant for atheists to wear and has the motto: put a friendly
face on atheism. The invisible pink unicorn is an international symbol for
atheism. Check out her webpage
and follow her on Instagram.
was International Women’s Day and I spent a lot of energy being frustrated
about the media coverage. In Denmark the media prefer to ridicule feminism
instead of focussing on the issues and challenges we still face.
We do not
have gender equality in Denmark – a report
from Amnesty international highlighted this in a report on how rape
survivors are being treated by the authorities. It is devastating to read how
the survivors are blamed, victim blaming is the norm both by authorities and in
the public eye.
media wanted to cover a non-existing conflict regarding gender neutral traffic
lights. A story created by a journalist who months back also created a
non-existing conflict about a song.
So I was
mad most of Friday – fortunately we (Humanistisk Samfund) was hosting
the annual Nordic Humanist meeting the whole weekend – they managed to make me
happy again. It is always a pleasure meeting our friends in the Nordics – from Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
shared experiences and made plans. During the weekend we also had a visit from
the Norwegian ambassador in Denmark Aud Kolberg talking about Nordic identity,
and a Danish scientist Josephine Valentin talked about SKAM (the tv-series) and
Nordic identity. Great weekend.
adjusting to the day-to-day tasks – getting used to grocery shopping, doing the
dishes, cleaning the apartment, visiting the doctor and the dentist. I still
need to get a haircut. All the tedious tasks you have to do – it’s tough to
I’m back in
Copenhagen, I’m back in my hood on Vesterbro down town Copenhagen. Today I went
back to my ‘office’ – a local restaurant BOBs where it is possible to work all
day if you are a member of Sp8ces. Through sp8ces (no I don’t get
paid to tell about it) you have access to several working lounges in Denmark
and Norway – they make agreements with hotels, restaurants, etc. to use
timeslots where their spaces are not occupied. It is a great concept – and
the last couple of days sleeping, doing absolutely nothing besides catching up
on Netflix. It will take time before I have processed all my experiences from
my journey. I have travelled many kilometres, met so many people – not only
humanists, but also other locals and tourists, seen the most amazing landscapes
and met fantastic animals. Earth is an amazing and beautiful place.
I know I’m
privileged – I have the possibility to visit places where the usual tourist never
goes. I’m glad this journey is a combination of following the usual tourist
path and meeting people living their lives in these countries. It adds so much more
when you talk to people living there and not just other tourists or people from
has showed me the diversity of the different countries. There is so much
prejudice in the western world toward the African continent – yes, it is a
continent and not a country. Africa is unfortunately often perceived as a
country and treated as such in popular culture and media. Africa is three times
larger than Europe and occupies 20% of the land mass on Earth – it is huge.
and southern Africa where I have been travelling, they have many challenges. I
travelled during the rainy season but in most of the countries, if not all,
they got lesser rain than they need to avoid drought. Climate changes are
already impacting this part of the world. The growing population is also impacting
the infrastructure – water supply, electricity and transport.
travelling for 10 weeks, visited 8 countries and held 30 interviews with
non-believers. During the next 3-4 months all the interviews will be published
as podcast episodes through Babelfish
and I will continue to write articles for POV International.
At the same time, I will plan the next steps of my journey. Which means I will be pretty busy while in Copenhagen – I also want to see, to hug and talk to my friends and family. Right now it is cold and rainy – I hope spring is coming.
Today I am leaving Namibia. The only country where I haven’t interviewed any humanists. So far, I know the country doesn’t have any humanist or atheist organisations – or at least no organisations are members of Humanists International.
to visit anyway – purely for recreational reasons. So, I have been on holiday
the last week, experiencing Namibia. A fascinating country almost twenty times
the size of Denmark, but the population is half the size of Denmark. It is the
least dense country in Africa with only 3 people per square kilometre – In the
whole world only Mongolia is less dense (2 people per square kilometre).
is all, in great amount. Savanna, desert, ocean, mountains etc. And everything
is big – the national parks goes on forever, you drive for hours through each
park in search for animals. For the first time ever, I have been part of a
tourist group with people I didn’t know beforehand. I’m used to be the only one
or travelling with Sofie.
interesting travelling with other tourists, even though it means you don’t get
as close to the guide or the locals. You meet people from all over the world
who are interested in the same things as you – to see some animals up close and
spend time in a 40-degree desert after hours and hours of driving. Canadians,
Americans, Namibians, British, South African and French – the latter has spent
the last 8 years sailing around the world in their own boat (impressive).
life is amazing – I saw my first leopard (2 actually) and my first cheetahs.
Black rhinos, elephants, zebras, Oryx’s and many other animals. It is much
drier here than in the other countries I have visited – Namibia is dry, but
also feels the consequences of the climate changes.
never been much water in this dry land – maybe one of the reasons for the small
population – but it is getting worse. They change salt water to drinking water
to cover the need. And everybody is asked to save water wherever we go. On the
positive side the water is clean enough for me to drink – I don’t need to bye
water all the time.
overwhelming experience was the Namibian Desert – especially the orange sand
dunes. This is the oldest desert in the world. The sun is relentless, the
wildlife is well hidden – but there are some. We managed to come across the
mountain zebra, many oryx’s, jackals and other animals.
the group climbed the Crazy Dune – aka Big Daddy – it is 325 meters tall. You must
get up at 5 o’clock in the morning or else it will get to hot to climb. I
didn’t get up there but walked to Deadveil to look at a dried-out flood pan
with trees which have been dead for 800 years – a fascinating place.
We had a
nice view of all the ‘crazy’ people climbing the dune while the sand got hotter
and hotter. Soon we could all feel the hot sand burning through the bottom of
our shoes – and it was only 11 o’clock. The temperatures were reaching 40
degrees at noon.
country was definitely worth a visit. It was a so-called protectorate of South
Africa until 1990 – or the real story is that South Africa didn’t follow the
agreements made in the UN, so they took power over Namibia and treated it as a
protectorate and even implemented apartheid rules. It took 35 years before
Namibia finally got its independence.
leave Namibia – I also leave Africa heading home to Denmark. It has been an
amazing trip, and an experience of a lifetime – I have been away for 10 weeks,
2½ months. This was a test run. I wanted to find out whether I can travel a
long time on my own. I can. I do not have any problems travelling alone – I met
a lot of people on the way. I talk to locals, I talk to tourists – and I meet
humanists, atheists and non-believers.
the heroes of Africa today. They are fighting for human rights and humanism.
They are fighting for their life stance in a part of the world where they are
the odd one out. Their stories deserve to be told – and to be heard.
arrive in Denmark, I will start planning my next steps. I want to visit several
countries in Africa north of Equator. I would also like to cover some countries
in the Middle East. I hope to be on the road again in April, but I will
continue blogging about my experiences from Africa.