Sunday, December 02, 2007

Travelogue: Healthlink’s 30th Anniversary in London

In October, Healthlink Worldwide, invited HAIN to participate at their global partners meeting which coincided with the celebration of their 30th founding anniversary. It was my first viist to London so I was excited! With some problems with my passport and visa, I had to re-book my flight one day later which mean I missed the first meeting in London held at the House of Parliaments.

Days 2 and 3 of the meeting were held in a Baptist Church. There, I got to see old friends again like David, Luc, Shaidul, James, Kuhu, etc. Then there were many new acquaintances from Africa, India and from Healthlink. The meeting was interesting, inspiring and I like the new people I have met (I couldn’t remember their names unless I would look at the directory). Shampa and Stephanie of Healthlink were also nice and it’s good to finally see them in person.

Healthlink also organized a cocktail party wherein friends of the organization also attended to celebrate the 30th year. We all came in our national costumes (I wasn’t exactly wearing a Filipino dress) and I like the dresses of the Africans. Healthlink is one of the NGOs I really admire and I am glad it has become part of my career. It was heart-warming to see David and the rest of the staff in their turf.

Then finally, after three days meeting, Delen and I were free to go around the city. We first visited the Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards. We enjoyed strolling at St. James Park down to The Big Ben, House of Parliaments and the Westminster Abbey. It was tiring to become a tourist in a very interesting city but I really enjoyed going to The London Eye, Harrods and Oxford street. The Tower Bridge, National Gallery and Covent Garden also became part of our itenerary. But I was more thrilled when we went to King’s Cross station. It was all I wanted so that I could somehow feel Harry Potter mania! I was all smiles when I had my picture taken at Platform 93/4

After the Healthlink meeting, Delen and I spent extra days at the Ockelford’s manor. Jane who used to work with HAIN a long time ago and is now married to Jeremy Ockelford, was a very dear to host us. I love my pictures from this trip and I cherish every moment I was there. I wish I could go back again to Europe!

by Joyce P. Valbuena, HAIN Research and Publications Coordinator

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