A few weeks ago I went down to Curacao to attend my friends’ wedding. Below are the pictures. Felicitaciones Jennefer y Fernando!
For Eastern weekend I went to Amsterdam to visit friends and tour the sites. The visit included usual sights such as the Van Gough Museum, Anna Frank‘s house and a canal tour. We also walked around the Jordaan neighborhood, which we liked a lot (reminded us of NYC a little bit). Seeing old friends was great and we shared stories from days in Curacao.
However, I must say that one surprisingly great part of my trip was my discovery of the Crocs. Yes, the weird-looking sandals. I stopped by a Crocs store in Amsterdam and after trying a few pairs decided to go for a brand new pair. Now I can’t stop wearing them! They are really nice! See picture below:
These past two days have been filled with intense activities and sessions at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. On Tuesday, I spent a lot of time at the global village. I might already talked about this, but the global village is a space at the IAC 2008 where community groups from around the world are sharing their work and creating opportunities for networking. I hope to be able to share video on this soon.
I also attended sessions on funding gaps and opportunities relating to HIV/AIDS and one on the current state of the pandemic in Latin America. This one was very instructive and brought together activists with leaders from international agencies like UNAIDS and the Global Fund working in the region.
On Wednesday, I attended a plenary on sexual workers, which for the first time had them discussing their own issues. It was very interesting! I also attended sessions on the linkage between human security and HIV (this one with Mary Robinson) and one on the effect of global trade and bilateral agreements on universal access to treatment. The one on human security was particularly interesting as it presented associative (but not causative) data from UNHCR which links low prevalence levels to high levels of conflict. This would mean that wars keep HIV low, and this rapidly expands in post-conflict zones. This was highly controversial, but the speaker tried to focus on the need to invest heavily on post-conflict areas, instead of speaking about when and/or how the data may more directly link low HIV prevalence to conflict.
I finished Wednesday with a session on young people, including youth speakers from India and Guyana who explained youth-friendly programs in their regions and ways that youth-related commitments in the UNGASS declaration are being implemented (or not).
Tomorrow and Friday are the last days of the conference! I’ll keep you posted!l
Last week I spent a few nights at an amazing beach called La Boquita near Huatulco, Mexico. We stayed at a very eco-friendly hotel called Bahia de la Luna. The staff was super friendly and the prices were very affordable.
Most of my stay at Bahia de la Luna was spent hanging out at this beautiful Pacific coast beach. I did take some time to check out some of the reservations in the area holding crocodiles and different types of birds. See the following Youtube videos for details of my stay!
Now, I’m at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. More postings on that soon!