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.

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Comment by Gaston on September 22, 2009 at 2:39pm
Dear Caca,

I just came back from a week of leave (which I needed) and before checking my 300 emails in my inbox, I decided to read your blog first. And I smile. I agree with what you mention. Your fresh insights, your eagerness to learn, your inclusive way of thinking and working and the way you transfer them in a entertaining blog are striking. Thanks for letting me read the upcoming emails with a different mindset.

Comment by Caca Carillo on September 15, 2009 at 11:00am
BTW, The training I attended was a process oriented approach towards engaging the church, I was with myra from laguna during the 10 days. and I was the kid with the big wide eyes about everything they talk about, which is already second nature to them.
The love in there was pulsing.
And since you have been here and met the team, I know you know who among the team is so passionate about disliking resistors to the work that is being done. Why cant we have a second application of SALT among the team members FIRST, it would be interesting and a lot of fun to know how much everyone has gone towards the journey to competence, ( by that i mean, BEFORE we go out serving SALT to the church, as you have suggested, because there might be the same stigma amongst the team, that we see the church or faith groups have for MARPS)
Let spread the LOVE sistah, and be amazed at how it all comes back to us!
The world is truly WONDER- FULL, FULL of WONDER.
Comment by Caca Carillo on September 15, 2009 at 10:54am
hey laurence
I was talking about my waistline, I just came in from mla for the governor's presentation of the 5 year health investment plan of the province, from which i had been toiling away for the last 5 months. its a pain staking process, that got me wearing slippers, shedding of the face. shaving the hair and eating the stress away, its a constant parade of deadlines that cannot wait for eating or anything else.
In my so called life its NORMAL. People ask me what the PLAN would do for health in the province. I always say: it would drastically change the statistics, ( of which im referring to mine) So for now im doing the yoga for conditioning the light weights to combat gravity and LOOOOOOse skin when i do shed off the stress pounds and a lot of meditation walking. I have A LOT of free time now, (suddenly it feels a lot) after 14 hour days on the computer. and so. Im on my ways from 31-27 again. and a better me.
I KNOW that I flowed into this gigantic plan, because the universe is teaching me something I will need for the future and that keeps me leaping from my bed at 6:00 am excited and looking forward to " knowing" for what use I will put all the learnings in place.
And YES laurence. I have transcended names for GOD a long time ago, and I am in love with living and with everyone. and I am HAPPY and excited.
Namaste Gurl. Bless you!!!!!
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on September 14, 2009 at 10:46am
BTW why 27 - 31?
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on September 14, 2009 at 9:13am
Dear Caca,

What a deep insight on high heels! I love your blog and how you deliciously describe how you come to this realization.

I truly believe that we need each other to progress. The church needs the MARPS and the other way around. (MARPS: Most at Risk Populations) Because we all INTER-ARE. We are not separated from each other. If this MSM feels unhappy, lonely and excluded, then the whole society is affected by that. If the church is excluding people, that affects the whole society as well. If one church can open its heart and mind to all, that can have a big big impact, with a ripple effect.

We have so much to learn from each other. We have to go beyond 'forms'. It doesn't matter if someone if MSM, sex worker, or straight, or a nun or priest, or from another origin. It really doesn't matter. We all have something divine in us. We all have a heart and the capacity to love and spread this beautiful loving energy around us.
If only we could take some church members on a SALT visit and help them to open and soften their heart again... see the beauty and strengths in everyone...

Thank you for sharing :-) Keep up the good work. I wish you to find and be peaceful in this new challenge.




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