Some afternoons we walk up with Pádraig to this park. When our German friends talk about walks in the afternoon, they say to stay clear of these parks. Not only because they are not well maintained, but because of the people frequenting them. Yet, this is where Pádraig has made friends. The kids from the Middle East who asked him had he died and arisen (nothing unusual in their mind) – causing a huge smile on Pádraig’s face. The woman from around the corner living with her daughter of €40 social welfare a week and €30 worth of plastic bottles she collects (and people leave for her in the park). Getting out of the park on the other side is a bit tricky as there are bars supposed to make it difficult for motorbikes, for example, to get through. Never was there no help offered to navigate Pádraig’s wheelchair around the barriers.

img_5354Today we saw where they are living: just beside the park in what planners in Ireland had called ‘modular’ living spaces. Containers stacked upon each other and bolted together.

Pforzheim has taken in more refugees than the whole of Ireland.

Today, as most days, Pat and I practised to ‘walk’ Pádraig across the room. Today was the first day, however, that we managed to do (a bit of) it without direct help by the therapists:)