God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

Day 7: 23rd April 2011

Today we enter the Mexican plateau after climbing up and down with many curves, which take us up to 3000 m. The sun is burning on a very dry and brownish looking landscape, sometimes interrupted through very green spots between big lakes. A fascinating and partly breath taking landscape – but also an expensive one, as one toll gate is following the next with heavy rates on each mile to go.

And suddenly we thought about another bill as a police car is signaling us to stop on the right hand side of the road. Our bad conscience is immediately kicking in, as we did not follow exactly the speed limit. But Julian, our gifted Spanish speaking team member can clarify the situation: the policeman is just curious and with some information and the Spanish flyers he leaves us with a smile on his face.

Early evening we arrive in Mexico City while a thunderstorm is cooling down temperatures from 34 to 20 degrees Celsius: what a relief! But it also helps us to keep cool while finding our way through the centre of the mega city as the main motorway around the city is closed for traffic. And actually, we do a good job; a good rehearsal for other major cities still to come.

Our day ends in Puebla later that eve where we are expected by Katja and Stefan, previous employees of Volkswagen Puebla. They are on vacation right now and have organised a place to sleep on the factory grounds of VW. A very much guarded place for us to sleep without worries after being surprised by nachos, olives and sweets and for everybody a can of beer. What a treat!!

This also lifts the mood. In the last days the typical expedition interpersonal finding process with the usual up´s and down’s occurred, a consequence of a lack of sleep, an unusual rhythm of sleep, foreign food and the unusual closeness of people not knowing each other. This creates some tensions which could not be solved in the rush of the last days driving from one point to the next. This evening there is the opportunity to release tension and to clarify – a necessary exercise to grow together as a team.

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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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