God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

08.02.2010 Monday blues again…

Monday morning starts off with two doctors interested in the HOPE Cape Town project. Somehow an interesting dialogue between European and African thinking. For me amazing to see how people really try to get a grips on the HIV pandemic in Southern Africa and develop ideas how to minimise the transmission rate. Obviously also the stance of the Catholic Church is part of the discussion.

Thereafter a TV request and discussion with the producer what is possible on short notice. It is sometimes difficult to judge and see how we can get the legitimate request for information together with what we can render on possibilities to fulfill such requests. In the moment, lots of TV teams are searching for motives, interviews and stories around the soccer world cup 2010… People in South Africa are generally more sensitive about cameras in townships and I can understand it. For too long, townships have been used and sometimes abused to produce, what was requested, without really respecting the dignity of the people. Times have changed and I think it is good that they have changed.

CCMA next, the center for conciliation and arbitration has scheduled a meeting to discuss a case of dismissal, I have been involved with. Also here it is sometimes not easy to find a balance between the very different standpoints of view of the employee and the employer. But after an informal discussion a solution is found and the more legal ways avoided. I am quite relieved about it.

Then office work, emails – I think I did write about them a couple of days earlier – to answer takes time, a request for an interview tomorrow regarding Nelson Mandela and his release from prison has to be prepared, some phone calls and then it is time for a home visit with house mass. A good tradition to bring some families together to celebrate the Eucharist in their home and then to stay together for a decent meal and lots of chat and discussion. It is good to touch again the lives of people, talk about families, their joys and hard times, about any topic just coming up. I always find a house mass very intense as people are more participating, are more part of the celebration.

The evening ends with some preparation for tomorrow, some last emails to answer and reading the latest news on the internet.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Medical and Research, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , ,

01.12.2009 World AIDS Day..

It doesn’t matter where I look, it is obvious: it is World AIDS Day and it seems everybody is on this day aware of the pandemic and it’s consequences. Even our president Jacob Zuma – he will go for a test, he vows to treat all children tested positive from April next year, statistics are run up and down in all newspapers – every bit of good news are squized again and again – the challenges mentioned – and somehow I think it is every year the same for one day.. and then it ceases again – and the lives of the millions of people infected and affected is shelved again until next year same time. One could be cynical about it, if there wouldn’t be hope – or HOPE.. 🙂

Here in Cape Town, the FIFA draw on Friday overshadows anyhow the World AIDS Day – streets are closed, traffic jams, police helicopters all day long, a city preparing for another special day where the world will be watching what is happening at the convention centre of the mother city. All over the city workers trying to finish off for the big draw – and then, for the next half a year, soccer will rule South Africa and everything else has to wait until August 2010.

I am just coming back from a reception marking 100 years of South African – Japanese relationship – and one can see the typical Cape Town syndrome beginning of December: Everybody somehow tired from the rush of November – the hectic of all-has-to-be-done until the summer holidays arrive in a couple of days.  My little success today was just to get the internet up and running again – the second time in two weeks that the line collapses and the reason is clear now: Telkom sells an ADSL speed which are too fast for the old lines… 🙂 also a way to make business..  Now the speed is down again and the line stable and up again….

Also with HOPE Cape Town we are short before the holiday season starts for most of our employees. We still got some visitors on our list until mid December, so enough to prepare and time is flying. I must admit that I am also happy if it all slows down a bit for the festive season. This year was an amazing one and I have seen the best and the worst from church colleagues, I have been trapped in empty promises and saw myself almost at the end of my church career, my life has been turned up side down so many times at will of other people, and now, at the end it looks like the uneven lines of life are leading to a years end with the promise of meaningful work for the years to come. It almost sounds like a years end blog, but all the traffic and times of stop and go are ideal times for reflection of past and present times. The rest of my thoughts then at the year’s end blog.. but it might well be only in the new year… Then New Years Eve this year, I will celebrate in Thailand – and I am sure I  will be out of the streets to celebrate with the crowd on the streets of Bangkok.  It is one of the last festive times, I never had the time to celebrate in the East, so I am looking forward to it. But before still some hard work – and some sleep. 🙂

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

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