I am finally back in the UK after travelling east with various stops for both work and catching up with friends and family. Thanks to all who have given me a home and welcome on the way. I have met friends from as long as 20 years ago as well as made new friendships and colleagues.
It was great to meet up with Dr Rosalie Shaw and Dr Cynthia Goh again in Singapore. Over a wonderful Chinese meal we had some very interesting discussions re possible areas of future work. Please look at the Asia Pacific Hospice Network's very good website for more information. http://www.aphn.org/
The temperature change from Delhi at 46 degrees C to Sydney and Auckland at 13 was a real shock; necessitating the purchase of thermals!! Katherine is a Cairdeas Trustee and treasurer and we had time for work - but she is also Mum to wee Ruari who is also my godson. Here is Mum and Dad (Rich) with Ruari in the Blue Mountains. I also had great fun with my niece Naama. Kitty (my sister) and Pat are presently in Auckland studying and falling in love with New Zealand all over again. It is such a beautiful country.
Farther east I was introduced to the 'biggest of everything' in Texas and was delighted to accept an invitation from Dr Suresh Redddy to visit the MD Anderson palliative care service in Houston and led by Dr Eduardo Bruera. Not only are they a leading model for palliative care in the USA but also committed to supporting sustainable palliative care across the world. The IAHPC is also based in Houston and it was a pleasure to meet Liliana De Lima, who is the Executive Director. This is an excellent organisation which does much to support palliative care in many parts of the developing world. Please check out the website. http://www.hospicecare.com/
My niece's name, Naama, means Grace in Arabic; and this is such an amazing concept. How do we know the reality of grace in our own lives? I watched the current film about the UK struggle to abolish the slave trade, Amazing Grace, on my transatlantic flight. If you have not seen it please do and tell me what you think. The words of the title song are so powerful, here is a link to remind you. http://www.amazinggracethemovie.co.uk/song.php I found the film a powerful reminder of our responsibility to seek justice in our world. What can we do to make this world a better place - to see justice in the midst of such injustice?
There is a verse in the book of Micah that says 'He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. For Cairdeas we seek to challenge the injustice that so many are without the most basic access to palliative care. We work with many inspirational people - and there is great need. Thankyou for your support in this vision. What will your challenge be?