Hugo from Argentina has used DW for over 20 years and he would like to share some personal stories about his life with DW. Numerous correspondences, radio, TV and My DW have all had their place.
First Contact- the DW radio program
My story with DW began in July 1990. Without realizing it, I pushed the shortwave button on my radio and had quite a surprise as I was suddenly listening to a Spanish broadcast. It was a DW program that clearly and expressively reported on what was happening in Germany. The Berlin Wall had just fallen and a new era was starting. I was so happy to hear a DW Spanish language program that I sent a letter to the address in Cologne which was mentioned in the broadcast. DW was located in Cologne at the time.
I was then surprised for the second time. Not even 15 days had passed and I had already received an answer. It was an envelope with tourist brochures, information about the radio broadcaster and other souvenirs. All of this made me want to listen even more to DW and since then I have never lost contact. How could I forget about my correspondence with Monika?
The following year I had my first face-to-face meeting with the voice of Germany. At the time DW was on location in Argentina at the “Exposición Rural“, an agricultural exposition that takes place every year in Buenos Aires. Knowing that DW had an exhibit there, I travelled to Buenos Aires and met Carlos Rico, who worked on the Spanish radio program. The meeting was very pleasant and many years have passed since then but I will never forget that moment.
Then things got a little more complicated. The radio world was changing and in 1999 the Spanish voice on the radio was silenced. My connection to DW was however not weakened. Since then I’ve been listening to the English and German DW shortwave radio programs and also the Portuguese program for Africa. This presented no problems for me since Portuguese has a lot in common with my native tongue, Spanish. In addition I also had the fortune to be appointed as a radio monitor.
The first visit to Deutsche Welle in 2009
In June 2009 I finally found my way to Bonn. After walking a few times around the block from the U-Bahn station trying to find the immense and modern DW buildings, I finally reached Kurt-Schumacher-Straße 3 and a dream had come true.
I received a friendly and heartfelt welcome from Andrea Schulz, a customer service representative. She led me through the buildings and explained exhaustively the technical and operational details. There I had the opportunity to enjoy the radio program from another perspective.
2011: The second visit to Bonn
I’ll shorten my story a little so as not to bore you. It was an incredible experience to visit and get to know DW but my curiosity was not yet satiated. I decided in summer 2011 to travel once again to Germany. This time I found the buildings a lot quicker and my destination was the office for the editors in charge of “Portuguese for Africa”, being that the Portuguese program at this time had replaced the Spanish on my receiver.
My host this time was Beatrize Brücken and once again I felt right at home. I got to know the director of the Portuguese program, Johannes Beck, as well as other associates. I was especially happy to get to know Daniel Machava, who is the former host of “Antena da Amizade“. He interviewed me in Portuguese! It is hard to believe how I was able to have a whole conversation in this language that is not my own.
Beatriz led me further and introduced me to the associates that work on DW’s website. Another emotional encounter was with Cristina Papaleo, who is also from Argentina. She even remembered my name from the letters I used to send during the old days when DW was still based in Cologne.
DW today- TV and My DW
I’m going to jump now to the chapter dealing with the capital city of Berlin. I arrived almost unintentionally at Voltastrasse and I took a picture in front of the building where the television programming is produced. I couldn’t help but ask at the reception if there were Spanish-speaking colleagues or hosts were working at the time. The answer was yes and Héctor Medellín came to meet me. In Argentina, I watch DW’s television programming via cable. I had the chance in Berlin to walk the hallways, see the editorial offices and even visit the production studios. The very place I watch from my tiny screen at home was now directly in front of my eyes. It was really a great experience!
I think you have been able to tell how important DW is to me and the influence it has had on my life. In the meantime My DW, the interactive user platform, has become my current source of information.
DW is celebrating its 60th birthday and I have been using DW for 23 years now. We are in regular correspondence there will always be interest on both sides. I feel like a part of the celebration and I would like to raise a glass to wish my beloved voice of Germany health, success and continued progress.
Sent by: Hugo from Argentina
Edited by: Jeanette Müller