Ive shaved my hair in january so this is not new, ive just kept the hair short, blow drying and worrying about the next "do" is taking up so much of my life, ive decided i can do better with my time.... and so with the hair went the make-up (some) and the high heels, (now this is a different story), but i figured out balancing on 3 inch heels could be fun if i didnt have anything elese to do. but between balancing my sanity and balancing on heels. i chose the former.
so now, 4 inches more on my waist and every where else. I went back to my blog to tell the world that as a true butterfly, I have again morphed into a slob.
I still do my yoga and I have also incorporated some light weights to counter the effects of gravity on advancing age....
Anyways, I would like to share an experience working with faith groups. I have to admit that coming in that 10 day training of facilitators, I was asking myself "why woiuld i want to be there?" I have for the longest time, not called my GOD any names. and though i keep my opinions about religion to myself. I cant help asking why "the personal friend/ force" would have to have names, it just creates a devide. I told myself that by training I am to look at people as people irregardless of whatever background they may have, whoever they maybe. They are, like me, just human and share the same universal language of feelings. To say that I am skeptical of what this group can do for HIV is an understatement.
Into the training, I heard stories (AND JUDGEMENTS) from my co-participants, I also thought that they lived perfect,happy lives. (i also heard some pastors telling a gay man, that the only way to have sex is to marry, now this wasnt told to me directly, and I wouldnt know if i could sit still as participant is I was told so) ( FIY: for those unaware sexual orientation is NOT a choice if it was i would have chosen to be a straight FEMALE for now ( i think) I am) And though much of what was discussed wasnt new to me (the course included HIV 101) there were some DRIVING POINTS i found just FABULOUS, ( I wanted to teach the pastors say "FABULOUS" ) The bottom lesson was: its we/US not them-referring to MARPS or those practicing "UNLAWFUL" activities. For that rwealization from my co-participants, I could fall on my knees and cry.
Anyways, I was told that there's a reason why I was chosen to attend the training, and that GOD knows. ( i took me 2 weeks after to process it)
20 days later, I got it: I have been working for the longest time for MARPS and groups working with MARPS. (nothing wrong with that) but not much (atleast in my province) is done for groups who are not MARPS (and are righteous). Now donors would ofcourse say work should be done for MARPS, because MARPS drive the epidemic, but I also learned that groups like the church who exclude those who are "UNLAWFUL" also need to get some HIV work in their system for 3 important reasons:
1. Members of the church (whatever church could be HIV infected or is at risk or could be at risk)
2. It is the church's attitude of excluding (THEM) that drives away the MARPS from whatever support (spiritual/moral) they could get that could help protect themselves from HIV. (During the course I was thinking, if all those who equate SEX with LOVE: Sex Workers, MSM,blah,blah,blahANYONE, could feel the love and community that is there in the community of the church, then this LOOKING for LOVE might be filled, by this community love and so lessen the search for it= lessen the risks)
3. I have a lot of freinds working on HIV who are very passionate about their dislike of the church's reaction to MARPS to Reproductive Health to other issues that resonate well in our spirit. and have seen faith groups as resistors to the changes that we THINK will work for the best. It is with this VERY same exclusion of the faith groups of the people that we work with (MARPS) that we exclude faith groups in our work.
Now I have to resolved to work more with these groups. Now i wouldnt know how they would react to me, being a MARP and all, What they think of me is not my business anyway. so for now, I got that straight: We need to work with Faith Groups and other groups that consciously and as a system EXCLUDE the MARPS. It would take me double the effort, as compared to working with MARPS where I feel at home. But then again this might be the cross I am called on to carry.
I hope and pray, I dont turn righteous and a slob. (not saying that all of them are)
On second thoughts, ive ALREADY turned into a SLOB .
Im loving myself because of the love i feel all around.
Life is good.