Day 3 of Steffi's blog (July 20): Networking and a heatwave

This morning I headed out to the conference quite early. I had an exciting meeting with a representative from IPPF and was happy to meet with her at the Youth Pavilion. We had a lovely meeting, that was hopefully the beginning of a sustainable partnership with IHAEC. I walked around the Global Village, visited a lot of the booths and ran into a couple of acquaintances such as Patrick from Belgian NGO Sensoa and Bongani, the Media Manager for Soulcity South Africa - I met him during my trip to SA for the filming of Voices. The Global Village is such a nice space! I'm really happy to be part of it. There are tons of workshops, discussions, screenings of films, booths -and not to forget, tons of free condoms. It's nice to meet and talk to people who have the same ideas and who are fighting for the same cause. Some stories are heartbreaking, while others are inspiring and motivating. After my tour I attended a Y-peer workshop at the Youth Pavilion. Y-peer is a very cool network of youngsters who believe in peer education. Check out their website (see 'Links') to learn more about them. The workshop was all about the role of media and celebrities in HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns. A lot of people attended it so there was a good vibe in the room-not boring and formal at all! We had a couple of discussions and saw two short movies that the Y-peer trainers use when they go to visit rural areas or schools. During this workshop a couple of local celebs where there to participate to. Dani, a famous Macedonian singer and Sammy Sheik, a Hollywood actor who has roots in the Middle East. He is actually the most recent Y-peer ambassador and he was in one of the short movies. After this intensive morning I was starving and met up with a wonderful woman called Jessica Withbread. She's from Canada and part of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS. She would love to be part of the IHAEC and give trainings to our IHAEC students and I can't wait for this to happen! She was kind enough to introduce me to a couple of Y-peer people she met at a previous conference. After lunch I did another tour at the Global Village and then decided to go back to my hostel to have a powernap. Unfortunately a heat wave is approaching Vienna - to me it feels like it's already here- so I wasn't able to have that nap so I worked on my blog instead. I'm gonna get ready now to go to an MTV Staying Alive event for my final meeting of today. As you can see, lots of talking, meeting, observing and networking going on in Vienna! Talk to you later!X Steffi