Thursday, September 14, 2006

Aids Walk 2006

As promised, here are photos of the AIDS Walk, which Husband and I took part in last Sunday, September 10.

Mama Alice led the walk again this year. She's my "African Grandmother" - she is everyone's African Grandmother in the multicultural community around here. She's very involved with both AIDS NB and the local African community, which is why she's deeply involved in the AIDS walk.

She's very much a public figure in the area and has been interviewed and photographed many times, which is why I don't mind sharing her photo with you. She is an incredible, remarkable spirit who came to Canada from Lesotho by way of South Africa and I adore her. One of my favourite stories about Mama Alice is that Husband and I were leaving the grocery store one day and we saw her with another older lady sitting with all her groceries. Husband noticed her and pulled up and I said, "Mama Alice, can we give you a lift home with your groceries?"

"No," she said, her grandson was coming to pick her up, "but here, you can give my friend a ride home," and she hustled her friend, a Russian immigrant who we'd never laid eyes on before, with her groceries, into our car (over the good lady's flustered protests) so that we could give this complete stranger a ride home. Which we didn't mind doing, of course - but it was just another example of Mama's generous spirit and the way she "thinks different".

Crowds were bigger this year than ever and we raised some money for AIDS/SIDA NB and some money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, working on AIDS in Africa. This year's focus was The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, a program in support of the large group of older African women who are raising an entire generation of children, many HIV-positive, because the intervening generation - the Grandmothers' children and the childrens' parents - have died of AIDS.

And here, for the record (specially for those of you who coughed up $dinero$ to sponsor Husband or I), is photo evidence of the tired but happy couple at the after-walk Bar-B-Que in Officer's Square. Thank you, everyone, and I'll repeat what I said about this last year - if people only knew the sneaky little secret that you feel incredibly good after doing something like this, they'd be beating volunteers away from the doors with field hockey sticks...




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