Until I was 22-years old, I was a small town girl. At heart, I still am. I’m also a traveller. My parents instilled in my sister and I a spirit of adventure and exploring. If there was a back road to take, we took it. Even better if the back road had an old cemetery or burial ground, so that we could see who’d lived there.
I’m also an information pharmacist at the national HIV hotline, and have been since its inception. I feel privileged to have a job that allows me to play a small role in fighting the scourge that is HIV.
It is because of these two things that my new role in (well out of, really) the Ivory Tower is so exciting. It combines them both. Over the next six months I’ll be travelling around South Africa, for a week to ten days a month, visiting clinics in all provinces, telling them what we do, encouraging health care workers (especially in areas with very little peer support) to use us, improving patient care in HIV and TB.
Six trips. Six itineraries. Eight provinces. Eleven flights. Six rental cars. 70 clinics and hospitals. 45 (different) places to stay. Countless small towns, thousands of kilometres, and hundreds of people to meet. That’s what I’ll be doing from now until the end of September.
I’m organising it all. And that’s why I’ve been so quiet on social media (and will be for a while, maybe) and in real life. Please forgive me for neglecting you all. The logistics involved are manymuchlotsenormous: the organising, the booking, the scheduling, the packing, and then, from the beginning of April: the travelling, the talking, the seeing, the exploring. So much to do. So much excitement.
And, hopefully, so many stories to tell (and write) from all the corners and back roads of this beautiful country.