Hi Everyone! It’s Caitlin, and I would like to welcome all of you avid readers to our 2009 internship blog… I hope you enjoy reading it! Right now I’m distracted by the hussle and bussle of finishing up school and packing, but the anticipation for the trip is building. Jean Paul Sartre once said, “For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient to recount it.” I will be recounting my different experiences here as a way to process them and keep you updated.

For starters, here is a brief introduction to my summer internship. I will be working at this incredible place in George, South Africa, called the CMSR, “Christian Medical Service and Relief.” It’s tagline is “taking hands with communities to combat HIV/AIDS and poverty.” CMSR operates the Bethesda Centre (a hospice for destitute cancer and AIDS patients) as well as St. Mary’s Children’s Home (provides care for terminally ill, traumatized, abused, and AIDS orphaned children). In South Africa, almost 1 in 5 adults is infected with HIV, and at the end of 2007 nearly 1000 AIDS-related deaths were occurring daily. Approximately 1.4 million AIDS orphans are living in South Africa. (Statistic taken from the South African Department of Health Study, 2007.) CMSR serves this incredible need in George, a city of about 200,000 inhabitants. Tourism is an important industry to the area since George is situated midway on the Garden Route and  between the coast and the Outeniqua Mountains.

I am afraid of becoming too wordy so I will write again later. Also feel free to ask any questions if you’d like more information.