Sunday, October 29, 2006

blogging September 2006

I admire those (non-professional) bloggers who manage to update their sites daily or even weekly. Even once a month seems to be quite a feat for me. Anyway, I'm starting to rely on the dates on the photos saved in my camera photo gallery to reconstruct the events of the past few months.

Cat on a Mac, Sept 6, 06: This smoky grey/black kitten sprang out at me from underneath a parked car near my office, and began rubbing himself against my ankles and purring loudly. I had no option but to take him in. He stayed with me for a few days, greeting me noisily every evening and complaining about being left behind all alone while I was away at work. My colleague, Vilasini, was kind enough to adopt him, and he seems to be having a great time at her home in Velachery, with a garden and other felines and humans for company.

Delhi - Sept 17-20, 2006: My colleagues Subha, Pawan, Kaveesher, Vilasini, and I participated in a Visioning workshop being organized by Dr. M. Rafique and colleagues from the AIDS community Solution Exchange initiative of UNAIDS-India. The idea behind the workshop was to bring together individuals who had posted messages in the AIDS forum of SE, and get them to brainstorm on various issues such as care and support for HIV-positive people, tackling stigma, and discrimination, etc.

While in Delhi we got to stay, courtesy UN, at The Imperial, which was so plush that I couldn't help but feel guilty. Scents from aromatherapy candles suffusing the corridors, exquisite statues and figurines on display, comforters that made one want to stay in bed all day....

Besant Nagar, Sept 24, 2006: On one of those many pre-departure evenings before Felix left for Tiruvananthapuram, a few of us - Ram, Felix, Rahul, Adarsh (not in pic), Aniruddh(n.i.p.) and I, met up for icecream at Cool Cats. Tres sinful!

DLCC Training Needs Assessment, Salem, Sept 26-28, 2006: In preparation for the District-Level Communication Campaign on HIV/AIDS being carried out in Salem, Erode and Karur, the organizing agency APAC-VHS had requested SAATHII to carry out a training needs assessment for the NGO staff, peer-educators, and advocacy partners from these districts who were to be involved in the DLCC. The TNA was organized at Salem by YWCA, with chief functionary Mrs. Ruby Thiagarajan, coordinator Mrs. Kirube Jingle and team being perfect hosts. The SAATHII team tried to assess their training needs with respect to documentation, basic facts of HIV/AIDS, myths and misconception.

While at Salem, we also had a planning meeting with recruits from SAATHII's new field office in Salem - in my hotel room!

And, on the 28th of Sept, we managed to visit Yercaud, the hill station in Salem district with its troups of bonnet macaques on the way, and the Nagalur primary health care centre. The Salem project of SAATHII, which has just taken off, aims to train doctors and paramedical staff from primary (PHC), secondary (taluk) and tertiary (district headquarters and medical college) hospitals in the government sector. Shown is Dr. Parthiban, coordinator for the new project, termed SAATHII-CSS (Care and Support, Salem)