God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

Day 19: 5th May 2011

It is early in the morning and we are standing on top of the Andes – somehow chilling with 13 degrees Celsius and the serpentine road leading to Medellin, a very populated area of 3.3 million people.  Small little houses of the shanty towns cover the surrounding hills while the city itself is a mixture of historical and modern structures as you can see it in the major cities of Spain.

10 am on the dot we arrive at the “Germania” Volkswagen Centre of the city, where an hour later a well-attended press conference takes place. Even the national TV station has sent a camera team.  The German Honorary Consul Alejandro Tieck as well as the marketing director of VW Colombia, Oscar Franco – flown in from Bogotá – are also present.

Once again on the road, six policemen on motorbikes accompany us, forcing others to stop and make way for our 5 Amaroks. Even road works have to take a break for us – we almost fly through this part of the Andes, in between breath-taking views when there is only the road and nothing on the right and left hand side but a beautiful scenery quite some steep meters below you. Then we cross the rainforest again, changing between the forest and banana and coffee crops. And when we pass through villages, the people seem to know us: yes indeed, they saw us on TV.

Via Cali we head to the border of Ecuador, where we are expected tomorrow morning. But there is once again an obstacle: the last 200 km before passing into Ecuador is FARC guerrilla area and night drives are not recommended. The danger to be taken hostage or become a victim of crime is too high.  But we are under the protection of the national security and hope they will make sure we arrive safely when we continue our journey.

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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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