Thursday, September 25, 2008

UPDATE August 16, 2008

1. Name a type of food where you would normally find Durum?
2. Which of the following is not an onion? Leek Fennel Spring Onion
3. What is the youngest country in the world?
4. In which country would you find a smorgasbord?
5. Name 11 countries with oil.
6. If you could only learn 3 languages, which 3 languages would take you the farthest across the world without needing a translator?
7. What is the basic ingredient used to make hummus?
8. Out of turkey, chicken, goose, and gammon which
9. Which one doesn’t belong in the group?
Omelette pancakes soufflé fondue
10. Botulism is a rare form of what?
11. Champignon is the French word for what?
12. Which one doesn’t belong in the group?
Lasagna risotto fettuccine ravioli

August 15, 2008

As always I have things to correct. I was told I should note Rachael’s spelling of her name. But I thought I did spell it correctly. So perhaps since I wrote her name a few times I did not spell it correctly every time. It’s R-a-c-h-a-e-l. And if you go to her home country in the Caribbean they don’t even pronounce it how you would pronounce Rachel (different spelling).

My great theatre friend Birte who I know solely because she took the initiative to reach out to me after seeing me perform somewhere which opened up a great e-mail friendship (she was an exchange student who now is back studying in Germany) told me about another group similar to couch surfing. She didn’t give a website but they are called hospitality groups. So you can also look for them, as well.

Let’s see. Oh, I do not live in the same city as Haley. Some people still think that.

And about development—I will respond to that next time.

I received a wonderful call from friend Peter (lawyer-pastor and college roommate who is a passionate man who likes to dominate in a game called Zang).
Let’s see. Interesting week involving AIDS.
First, I passed my final aural exam and am now a certified HIV/AIDS pre and post test counselor!!! Yay. So now I get to go back to work on Wednesdays and not feel like I need to make it up on the weekend. My church will open up a counseling center for HIV/AIDS and crisis pregnancy counseling. The crisis pregnancy counseling certification requires more work, but this is done at home on your own time, so it’s much better!! They have been praying for male counselors, so here I go. Perhaps it will open in late Spring (Octo-Novemb). We shall see.

Second, UCT had its semesterly HIV/AIDS testing on campus. Like I said, there are two things you should never have to pay for in South Africa—normal condoms and HIV tests. Now, even though the business school is down by the water and the fine arts/drama campus is in town (downtown) and the medical/health sciences is a few kilometers away closer to town and the college of music and dance is slightly downhill, UCT has 20,000.
The testing place had seats for (I’m estimating) 150. If you add people who are sitting with pre-test counselors plus those being tested plus sitting with post-test counselors in booths, you could handle 170. And the event went from 9-4 for three days, Tuesday-Thursday. Guess what? You’re right you guessed it. It was never filled or packed. Stigma.

Even I thought “What if someone sees me going in?” Once I went in I felt better. It was a normal and a good thing. The pre-test counselor scared me because she said you could have HIV without engaging in risky sexual behavior, just accidentally bumped into someone with cut and sores and you had an opening, etc. It’s interesting because in the US, no one would ever suggest that you could have HIV and you should get tested because you might have gotten accidentally be touching blood or being in an accident. So now, even though I haven’t engaged in extramarital sex and saved it for marriage, I’m freaking out. Do I have it, do I not have it (remember just the day before I had to pretend to be a client for my fellow counselors-in-training and I was crying as they delivered the news to me twice [confirmation test] that I was HIV-positive). And so it was interesting now to be on the opposite side or to be the client again but now in a real situation and not acting. I was fine. I’m HIV-negative. But it let me know the anxiety you can feel. The course really overdid the rigor or standard of the training. The counseling is much easier, relaxed, and natural then they made it to be. And we were held to a much higher standard. For instance, if your pre-test counseling session ended before 40 minutes, you lost points. We had to dive into the client’s full sexual history, frequency of partners, children, life story, emotional lives, etc. These people didn’t do that though they did go over basics (window period, difference between HIV and AIDS, modes of transmission, etc.). My pre-test counselor finished with me in 15 minutes. I told my post-test counselor that I was just certified to do the same thing. She looked into my eyes and told me I would make a good counselor because I have great eye contact. I wondered if she would buy me lunch because I didn’t have money on me. We had a good conversation, and she knew my church. I only told her I was certified because she started those same questions again that you get in pre-test counseling—do you know modes of safe sex, modes of transmission, difference between AIDS and HIV.

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