God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

28.10.2009 Lions Club

A talk at the Lions Club in my hometown Bitburg concludes the day – for 90 minutes I am telling them about life in South Africa, HOPE Cape Town and the situation in my country of residence and work. It is amazingly silent in the room, the people follow in a way which is amazing for me, questions are asked afterwards and I go home with the feeling that people were genuine interested to hear what I had to tell them.

This is a night, were I feel I can be the bridge between people of different cultural background, where bridging is done successfully and were I guess we all go home somehow touched. Now I still have to prepare for this morning, the church service and all the encounters with the students a whole morning before heading to Aachen for an evening talk.

It is tiring but rewarding to be able to touch peoples life and I am grateful to be able to do this work.  I know that a piece of Africa will stay for the time being in the Eifel.

Reading this blog again, I just realise the word amazing twice in one sentence. But I guess it describes my feeling the best – it is always a challenge to be able to touch people’s heart and mind at the same time – and for me, it is always a little miracle when it happens during an encounter of such sort. It gives a sense of meaning to what one is trying to do, it is the spice in the soup of the life of an activist.

Filed under: Networking, Reflection, , , ,

26.10.2009 Travel slivers of a Monday…

Early up – Germany decided to change the clock and the body reacts with confusion.  Early breakfast before heading to the airport. Why does the blackberry not function along the way – especially when you need to send some messages?

At the airport: check in is on one end, the waiting area on the others.. miles to run because for security reasons one should directly enter the holding area for passengers..

Frankfurt in fog – that is the first explanation for the delay – after boarding another announcement: There is another 20 minutes to wait until the plane is allowed to move… some chocolate is used to calm down nervous passengers, fearing about their connection flights…

Final we fly – quite delayed and while descending to Frankfurt the stewardess announces all connections flights, which have been already gone.. Please contact our ground staff for further information…

Another delay at Frankfurt airport, we have to wait another 10 minutes until we are allowed to cross a runway.. did I mention that behind me the kid is crying since “hours” and it seems that except the parents  all other passengers care…

Arriving to late to my meeting, but thanks God they all have time to sit and work through our topics – all only here for this one meeting. 2nd Ecumenical Church Day in Munich and the Vienna World Aids Conference are topics amongst others.  A good meeting and with that, the better part of the day starts:

My rented car has the number plate BIT – which stands for Bitburg, my hometown – a lucky one – and tomorrow I will go to Bitburg to give some talks.

The hotel, I check in, is quite booked and with an apology, that my booked room is not available they upgrade me..  I hope that my luck continues throughout the evening. I deserve it… do I?? 🙂 Well, we all deserve it sometimes…. 🙂

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , ,

26.10.09 new week, new ventures

While this post is coming alive, I am on my way to Frankfurt to meet with representatives of the AIDS action alliance to discuss possible involvement at the 2nd ecumenical church day in Munich in May 2010 and the World AIDS Conference in Vienna. Mid November we have our annual planing meeting with HOPE Cape Town and then most travel arrangements must be decided on. Monday Frankfurt, Tuesday/Wednesday Bitburg and Wednesday eve Aachen are the next stations of my travel – Bitburg with a talk @ the Lion’s Club and various encounters and talks with the students and teachers of the St. Willibrord Gymnasium regarding the work of HOPE Cape Town and obviously touches the general situation in South Africa.  In Aachen I will talk about “HIV and AIDS as sign of the times” and discuss a possible theology of HIV and AIDS for our days.  All encounters create the opportunity to function as a bridge between South Africa and Europe. This becomes more and more important. In my talks in Berlin I once again realised how necessary it is that information is floating freely and honestly between South Africa and Germany to foster the development of relationships between the two countries which are helpful to the people and not only to the ruling class. Sometimes the European or German partners are very quick with solutions to our problems between Cape Town and Johannesburg – forgetting the different way, people in the South experience their realities. South Africa has a lot still to learn and to develop, be it that politicians are team player and not lone warriors trying to gain as much as possible as long as they are in office. But also the cooperation between NGO’s and government needs improvement and also here, the working mechanism developed in Germany between those parties, could have an assisting factor for us at the bottom of Africa.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Networking, Politics and Society, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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