God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

08.07.2009 Sanook and other observations on travel

Travel in Asia – and I could sit long hours in a cafe here in Thailand or in Singapore and just watching people. What a diversity – and still in both countries an interesting unity, despite the recent turmoils in Thailand. Observing people shows how virtually everybody tries to be individual – the way he or she dresses, what kind of make up, what kind of jewellery or the combination of it all..
Everybody is an individual with his or her own charisma and talents – and there are never two the same… This we also teach in our churches but sometimes there comes somewhere deep in my heart the impression up, that church institutions rather keep the diversity at bay and preach uniformity in certain ways. Working in an immigration chaplaincy does also show diversity, which in return needs an openess in pastoral work to succeed.

Sanook – often translated with “having fun” – is a Thai principle and means much more: The ability, to enjoy the moment, even if dark clouds are hanging at the same moment above ones head. To find the niche then to relax, to postpone in a certain sense for some hours the routine, the worries – also that is a reminder of the Christian virtue to live the moment and not to forget, that we all have only one life and it deserves to be lived to the fullest – every second.

Both thoughts apply also, when I think of so many encounters with people living with the virus. They are all individuals – and no “general opinion”  matches their life situation. No sterotype thoughts can do them justice.
And as, especially in South Africa, the perspective of many people living witht he virus is still bleak and dark, because of lack of medical care and other reasons, they have to enjoy their life as long as they can. And they deserve it.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, Reflection, , , , , , , ,

2 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Thx and that is correct – thanks God we are human..
    To keep sane myself is sometimes not that easy, but I believe, that every life has a meaning, and that the life span is not the only factor judging a successful life.
    The question for me is not “how long”, but what can one do with the time left..
    Obviously it still makes me sick seeing that people just have to die because they live in Africa instead Europe..
    For me, seeing so many people dying – mostly young – gave and gives me quite an education to value every single moment of my life..

  2. petz1step says:

    Priest are also human by nature.
    How do you keep yourself sane and keep striving when you can see a dark road ahead of them with the virus?

HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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