Friday, March 13, 2009

Time Away

Okay, okay, I know I haven’t posted for a LONG time. For those of you who don’t know, I was in Australia for two months catching up with family and friends, raising awareness of (and some funds for) EBCAIDS – oh, yeah, and having a bit of a holiday! We nearly didn’t get there due to problems getting Australian visas for Jimmy and the girls because of a mistake in Samara’s brand new passport, and then a courier company that shall remain nameless (but can be identified by 3 capital letters…) LOSING their passports between the High Commission in Pretoria and Windhoek…all in the week before we were supposed to leave! Well thankfully we got there in the end, just over 24 hours later than planned. Jimmy could only be there with the girls and me for two weeks before he had to fly back to Namibia to do some work on his farm and then go back to work.
What's Australia without kangaroos?
(with Jimmy, Samara & Caietta)

or sun, sea and sand?!!
(Caietta and Samara with my good friend Kat)

I spoke at five churches and three other meetings about EBCAIDS, and there was a lot of interest in the work we are doing. The aim of my talks was to relay the difference of context there is of HIV-AIDS in a country like Namibia, compared to a country like Australia. Facts like everyone in Namibia knows someone who’s HIV-positive or living with AIDS; how HIV-AIDS affects families, communities and the country as a whole, but also what its effect is on individuals. It was great to see the concern expressed by individuals as well as the churches, and a big thank you to those who gave funds during my time in Australia, that’s really helped us with our planning for this year!

With my former primary school Principal and Deputy Principal, the Sutcliffes,
who attended the Gateway Presbyterian Church prayer breakfast I spoke at.

Of course it wasn’t all work, I got to catch up with a lot of ‘old’ friends, some of whom I hadn’t
seen for a few years, some for more than 10! A lot of great family time, including celebrating my, niece Annabel’s, Caietta’s and Mum’s birthdays. A good excuse to eat a lot of cake…

All the family at Christmas

All the cousins at Caietta's birthday party

Another highlight was that the international launch of the 10th book in ‘The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ series was in Australia and my sister, Vikki, and I attended the Brisbane leg and got to chat to the author, Alexander McCall Smith. For those of you who’ve never heard of the books, they’re set in Botswana and are well worth the read if you want to learn about everyday African life.

While I was away Jogbeth made sure that the Home Based Care carried on with visiting their clients, and Absalom, Mercia and Tangee had the responsibility of getting After School Program up and running for the year on 2 February. Everyone did a great job…and you’ll be hearing more about what’s happening in the Programs.

Thanks for your prayers during this time and it was great to catch up with those of you I saw or spoke to while in Aus!

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