God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Thoughts, inside, comments of a Catholic priest

Day 22: 8th May 2011

After a very stormy night we follow the legendary Panamericana via Sullana, Piura, Chidaya, Trujillo, Chimbote until we arrive at the outer suburbs from Lima. Between all these major villages there are only a couple of green places, mainly used to grow sugar cane; the rest is desert. Even looking south of Chiclayo, where one can see the Pacific Ocean, there is only desert and beach; no tree or bushes.

But when you thought that the desert’s colour is monotone, you are wrong: amazing changes between black, grey, brown and greenish colours and all the shades in between.  Not to forget the amazing dunes of sand in this kaleidoscope of colours, rising high into the deep blue sky.

Beside the road we see many crosses, signs of remembrance for those drivers, who did not make it.  So we achieve more than 1000 km and we still have time to fulfil our photographer Uwe´s, dream to catch an Amarok on photo while driving through sand and mud and cover the photographer himself in the yellow dust of the dessert – taking a sand shower so to speak. Wishful thinking becomes reality.

Our guests from the Provinzial Insurance Company Oliver and Mocca use the day to hop from car to car to get to know all the team members. And of course they can’t wait to sit behind the steering wheel, which means fun for them and more recovery time for us. At our team meeting at night, Mocca tries to summarize their experiences: “Already after one day we feel part of the team. For that we want to say thank you.” Which triggers the spontaneous answer: “You get what you put in, and that was openness and friendliness.”

Later that eve we rest in the north of Lima on a dusty place next to a red light establishment. And surely in our dreams we will once again be back in the beautiful desert with the burning sun creating so much diversity in colours, never boring at all.

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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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