God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

18.03.2010 Why has a day only 24 hours..?

This is a question, I often ask me, but then again, maybe I am the workaholic some people see in me. Be it as it may be, very often one wishes for more time to finalize matters, get the email box empty and all those nice things letting one feel satisfied in the evening when at home.

On the other hand one has to learn to limit oneself – life is more than just work. Only the balance between work and recreation makes life worth living. I guess sometimes my ying and yang are not in balance in this matter. 🙂

Today was filled with an interview, looking for a team secretary for our Ithemba ward and a meeting with the person responsible for the PR work of Tygerberg Academic Health Complex. It is important to keep in touch with her and also to discuss how we want to strive a balance now during the world cup year between the interest of visitors and journalists to learn first hand about the situation and the smooth running of a hospital ward. But I am confident that we are able to find the right balance. We also discussed the promotion of the  hospital itself – the fundraising efforts are – compared with other hospitals – still quite in the beginning of full blossoming and I offered my expertise to the lady if need be.

Rotary in the middle of the day – I needed some signatures to get a matching grant into motion. HOPE Cape Town needs urgently a second vehicle and we are grateful that some Rotary Clubs under the guidance of Michael Eisenmenger from the St. Wendel Club is taking it into their hands to organise the funding of such a vehicle. Rotary is a wonderful organisation, not only because of this, but after 13 years of being a Rotarian I am convinced that this big organisation is able to change a lot of the face of this earth.

Office work in the afternoon is part of almost every days life – sometimes I feel that emails are a curse rather than a blessing. But on the other hand quick communication is of essence in our days and so I try to keep up with it. Besides all the work in the fields of HIV and AIDS I am getting also more and more involved in the fields of renewable energy. Beginning of April we will constitute in Johannesburg a national working task force on renewable energy / energy efficiency under the umbrella of the Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and I will be part of it as vice chair of the Regional Council of the Chamber. A lot new stuff to learn for me, but an exciting field and very much necessary in our days and specially also in South Africa. To learn new things also keeps an old mind going again.. good for my brain cells… 🙂

Evening – dinner with friends on a lighter note and with lots of laughter and chatter. Good so. A nice end to another 24 hours…

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

03.02.10 emails

Emails can be a blessing and a curse.  I spend half of my day answering them being behind it a bit through the travel last weekend. It is amazing how fast an email box can fill itself up – and it is amazing how fast people can answer emails once in a while. It seems to me that everybody is just sitting and waiting to press the “reply” button whenever I send one out.  That are the so-called sisyphos days where the box is as full as the end of the day as it has been earlier in the morning.
Luncheon with a friend of mine and once again it is good to chat and exchange ideas from person to person – no email can replace this personal word, this looking in each other eyes and reading the expression of body and face.
Surely, communicating via internet is easy because it seems so anonymous and chat rooms are full of people exchanging all sorts of secretes and personal details because not seeing a person means to them to be anonymous. But we all know meanwhile that this is not true and that all footsteps on the internet are recorded almost for eternity somewhere and somehow.

At the end of such an office day one looks back and asks oneself: “What have you done the whole day?”  Good question – next question…. 🙂

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , ,

22.08.2009 Saturday blues… and the spirit house

Saturday, in the morning shopping – in the afternoon working. A sermon to prepare, emails to answer, a future to be developed… so much to do and so little time sometimes. A wonderful and sunny day so far – winter in Cape Town can be like summer in Europe – so beautiful and relaxing. It is indeed a gift to live at the end of Africa – such a beautiful spot, unique and full of atmosphere.

And yes, my spirit house has arrived in Cape Town and hopefully customs will be so friendly to release it soonest. A spirit house is a traditional small house mainly used in Thailand. It houses the spirits of a house and one must give eating and drinking and not to forget some joss sticks on important days. Can a priest believe in such things? Well, I can.. 🙂 at least I love that idea of being reminded every day that this world is so much more than we can feel and touch and hear and see…. And believing in the community of living and death, as we do as Christians, why not manifesting this thought in a Thai tradition. The part of my soul which is surely Thai origin is so excited and I am sure, my Buddha statues at home will be happy to be in company of a spirit house. Feels more home for them… 🙂

I am excited and can’t wait to see the spirit house – and hope it will be done as ordered. Otherwise another reason to go back to Thailand..  but I guess, I am never too short of reasons to visit my beloved Thailand. 🙂

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

06.08.2009 amazing and difficult

Sometimes looking up the lists of sponsors and donors or reading through emails I am amazed to read and sense how much people, whom I  never have seen in person, are close and well connected to my own life and work.  The work in the fields of HIV and AIDS, the somehow upstream battle with being able to hold on your own conviction in your own church, it leaves one often exhausted and down. But then, somehow and from somewhere, an uplifting email arrives, a much needed donation is done, an to me unknown person dedicates times and thoughts to be with me in spirit and thoughts.

For me, this is the most amazing part of working with HOPE Cape Town and advocating a measured and meaningful response to the pandemic. Even if the conflict potential within the church sometimes brings me down, there is always a light coming from somewhere. Be it a person, I am dealing with in my work, be it a totally stranger from the other end of the world.

For me, this is the miracle of life and the most amazing experience I have made in the last years. And the warm feeling it creates is worth all the pain and suffering while trying to develop a way in the minefield of HIV and AIDS and all the moral implications, when some of our church leaders are to afraid to tackle them.
It is so endless difficult to have my voice heard in my own church and to be respected for what I am going through and experiencing while doing this work. It is breathtaking how fast one is corned and in effect put in a corner and labeled and sidelined from individuals within the church, who think that their own limited (office) experience represent the whole world.

But once again reading through the encouraging emails, listening to voices of strangers on the phone just wanting to say their appreciation of what you are doing – they are like angels and they do more for the good course than they can ever imagine.

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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