God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

In between: holidays

The reader might wonder why the blog was so quiet the last days. Well, everybody deserves some holidays, so also the writer of this blog. 8 days in Thailand, one of my favorite holiday destinations.  But in the last 10 years the country is changing and it looks that stability is not one of the characteristics of Thailand in the next years to come.

In the last years, the battle between the “red-shirts” and the “yellow-shirts” rages on – some years ago the red shirts brought down the government with demonstrations and the occupation of the airport. Like thousands of holiday makers, I also had to prolong my stay for another 4 weeks till I got out of the country. Then Bangkok saw the siege of the red-shirts, blocking for months the financial and business hub of Bangkok – until the military and police brought the drama to an end –  bloodshed included.

Now the sister of convicted criminal and ex-premier Thaksin Shinowatra, who was ousted by a military coup and fled the country, is the new premier of Thailand. And one can see how fast the new lady and her friends in power move to get her brother back into the country and overturning the conviction. A royal pardon should do the trick and it is argued, that a pardon can be given even if somebody never saw one day in prison but fled the scene.

Inflation is a matter of fact and life is now more expensive in Thailand. The unstable political situation, the worries about the to age coming most revert king of Thailand, the unclear stance of the military adds up and one does not need to be a prophet to know that this situation will boil over again.

Thailand, the land of the smile is continuing to live on the brink of another bloody event – and like in so many other instances it is the political elite which does not care for the country but for themselves.

Self made millionaires turning politicians and running the country as their company with benefits (like Thaksin or Berlusconi)  – I guess those are as deadly for the running and the future of a democracy like politicians who never have learned to work in a proper job or see politics as a field of a life-long career than service to the population of a country.

Trouble in politics, unrest, bad governance always has also an impact on those who are depending of state services. In most countries the health services are state services – which brings the topic of HIV and AIDS right in the spotlight.

In Thailand during the siege of the red-shirts in Bangkok, a hospital was stormed and had to be evacuated. the use of weapons and explosive devices caused that some hospitals were stretched to the limits. Which also always impact on the usual services. Whatever happens in a country impacts on the most dependent ones.

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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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