Saturday, September 09, 2006

TRAVEL BLOG Johannesburg, Africa



Paul Moore Jr., Vice President of Citihope, Dr. Tanya Soldak, Medical Director, and I, serving as African Regional Director, left JFK today (9/8/06) at 6pm on a 17 hour flight to Johannesburg via Dakar. We will overnight at the downtown Hyatt before catching tomorrow morning's flight to Malawi (9/10/06) where we will be met by our hosts (Rev. and Mrs. Munthali), CitiHope Country Diretor (Ya-Mei Haung) and World Children's Fund representative (Doug Kendrick), one of our major funders.

In JoBurg we enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner at the Hyatt restaurant before settling in our most comfortable bed for the night. Thank God for Gold Club membership which got us a great discount in this ***** international hotel. It was to be our last great meal before two weeks of enduring the bland diet of available food in Mzuzu, Malawi--our mission destination.

Paul's mission is to monitor food security and distribution of the 75 metric tons of emergency food our staff has delivered in partnership with USAID's Food for Peace program. Dr. Tanya's mission objective is to secure a memoradum of understanding with the Minister of Health to continue our medical deliveries and systematize our pharmaceutical management programs in Malawi. My mission is to launch PACCT--our Pastoral and Congregational Care Training program to prevent the spread of AIDS.

A three-day curriculum development workshop for 40 pastors and NGO respresentatives is scheduled for next week which will result in a training resource manual for use in church-based AIDS education, behavior change interventions, and greater community protection of women and children at risk of infection.

The international sponsors of these programs are World Children's Fund, HopeGivers International, DaySpring, and Central Presbyterian Church of Summit, NJ. Together with CitiHope, we continue to large supplies of food and medicine to 36 institutions in northern Malawi.

I hope you will follow our steps for the next two weeks, pray for good success, and share this travel blog with others who may be interested in faith-based approaches to ending Poverty and AIDS in Africa.

9/10/06