Day 8 – and halfway through the entire tour! – we were in Dundee, or ‘fundee’ as our wonderful host, and president of their Student Stop Aids society, James, enlightened us! Having Ben, the Director of Stop Aids campaigning with us on the Speaker Tour adventure was great: he donned the wig and made the most convincing member of the Balding Men’s association! In fact he was so believable as an angry older gentleman – very distressed about the potential reduction of funding to help find a cure to his bald head – some unsuspecting students asked if they would be hearing his story in the evening too! Later on Juliana and Cristian shared their stories once more to another 25 enthralled students. James said afterwards that “it was so powerful to listen to the stories of such determined and empowered advocates. They provided real insight into the barriers that exist in access to medicines, and an exciting alternative research model!” After a very successful Q&A session, we went back for some delicious homemade dinner, great company and probably too much chatting and giggles!
Day 9 and it was only a short trip to the scenically stunning St Andrews to be hosted by the society Medsin, and their passionate President Hannah. Juliana was very excited to see the sea and a beach walk was began as soon as we parked the car…Unfortunately the beach was not how Juliana had imagined, and very far from anything she’d experienced back home in Kenya! It was very windy and about 5 layers/thermals were needed to fully enjoy it – but we definitely had a great time!
Post-beach it was straight back into campaigning with the Medsin team, Ben back in his wig (he really didn’t need any convincing…), and the rest of us ready to catch the confused new converts to the Hair’s Fair campaign and get them on team Missing Medicines! After a cracking Mexican feast we were off to yet another speaker event, this time 3 PPCs sat among the students too! It was really encouraging to see representatives from three political parties listen to Juliana and Cristian’s story and witness their determination to fight for a more just pharmaceutical system – let’s hope they go back and tell their members/superiors to join us!!