God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

Drug wars, guerrilla fights, terror, revolution and a nuclear catastrophe

Move the world means also making a detour

That is not how we did imagine it: We introduced the theme of our expedition for 2011 „move the world“ – but never imagined that people take this literally in many parts of the world.
The constant flow of new crisis areas is forcing us to reorganise the route of our tour. The imaginary „W“-route  (standing for world) which we wanted to follow received some cracks, but that is life We want to safe lives by doing our awareness expedition, but not put at risk unnecessary our lives.

In the moment we are really sometimes don’t know where to start with reorganisation. And it affects not only Arabic countries. One example is Mexico: A travel warning was issued while there is an ongoing drug war. Or Colombia: When we started planning, it was an easy job. But now it seems FARC and drug cartels restarting their fight against the government. In Ecuador we will arrive on the day of a referendum regarding the new constitution – unrest and violence is expected and there is a ban on gatherings.  So how about gathering for a „Round Table“?
Regarding the Americas we have no chance but to get through, partly with the assistance of police and military.

And have a look to the top of Africa. We had to skip Tunisia and Algeria for the danger of being abducted during route through the West-Saharan countries. We now go via Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria knowing of the risk of Al Quaida and various militias. How the situation is in Sudan and Egypt when we arrive there nobody knows. Add Jordanian and Syria – lots of open question marks in the moment.

Well, last but not least the disaster in Japan. We were aimed to go from Vladivostok to South Korea and then continue flying to Australia. In the moment it will only remain a plan. Experts speak about the risk of more radiation in the area – so there is the only solution to plan and to hope for the best.

So at the end we will go with plan A, plan B and sometimes plan C in the pocket – what this means for the logistics you can only imagine. New visa applications and the organisation of new „Round Tables“are keeping us busy

At the end, we pan and will see how it works out – a sort of excitement we don’t really need seeing all the usual commotions planning such a tour.

Why take we on this challenge?
The answer is simple: We know that moving the world is a huge task and we can’t run away when the first difficulties arise. 1.8 million people have died as the consequence of HIV and AIDS in 2009, 14 millions kids have no parents in Southern Africa due to the pandemic. 33 million people carry the HI virus. That is simply not acceptable. So we will return to the drawing tables as many times as we have to do to change the route, always having our aim in front of our eyes.

We keep you informed…

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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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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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