God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

Day 5: 21st April 2011

Is it that easy to leave the US and to enter Mexico? The man from the US boarder police tells us that all papers will be stamped by the Mexican authorities. They on their side are interested to see one of our roof tents being erected; and then we are invited to enter Mexico. No talk about any papers or carnets de passage. Well, let’s wait and see…

At 8 am we meet the local VW dealer and it looks like a big event: Room for all our 5 cars to stand in the show room around the tables and chairs for the press conference, and a buffet is also waiting to be served. After the usual 1.5 hours waiting period for guests to arrive, journalists and TV crews are present. Knowing that it is Easter holiday time, we appreciate that Rodolfo Calixto Medoza, the representative of Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge for Mexico, has arrived from Puebla to welcome us and make sure that we feel at home in the VW family. We do indeed: a well attended press conference, a delicious Mexican meal and some presents change hands: Joachim Franz receives a painting called the „Woman of independence“ and for all other team members there is Tequila (no, not to be drunken before driving again) and some cultural goodies. Songs are presented by workers of VW and Roberto Gonzales Garcia, el chefe of the VW representation of Tijuana, promises 1 Euro from every employee of the company. And he reveals that he also has been affected of AIDS: his cousin died as a consequence of HIV.

But despite the great time we have had at the dealership: we must leave at a certain point. And as a last gesture of hospitality, Rodolfo Calixto Mendoza brings us back to immigration to sort out all our carnets de passage and passports. Otherwise we would have been hold up a bit later at one of the check points of police and military – and Mexico can be an expensive country in that way getting paperwork done afterwards.

At 4pm we drive in direction Mexcali, We have to go further. As our hosts describe there is a part of the motorway, a stretch of 800km around Mazathlan, which is extremely dangerous  because of drug trafficking incidents and car hijacking possibilities at night.  Therefore: only to be tackled during day time and with caution.

So we drive through a mild night in direction Caborca and Hermosillo.

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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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