The Pozhet retreats are one of the most popular events on the Pozhet calendar. Sixteen Pozhet members participated in the most recent retreat at Myuna Bay. This was the second retreat for 2012 and the group included nine people who had never been to a Pozhet retreat.
Friday evening was spent settling in and getting to know each other over the evening meal. Most were up early on Saturday morning and after breakfast were straight out on the lake in kayaks and canoes. A couple of the guys were so keen that they went out again for a second run with the trainer.
After lunch many had a go on the giant swing which was great and afforded wonderful views as we swung out over the water! A bit tough for those who had to haul some of us up to the heights especially when many wanted a second go! Later in the afternoon Matt took a small group cycling while the rest sat around chatting. Two of the guys cooked up a storm on the BBQ while the camp fire honours went to one of the women.
All in all the weekend was great. Friendships were started and the group shared contact details and invites for the future. Many people stated that it was the first time that they have ever had the opportunity to speak to other heterosexual people with HIV. One person said that they “usually relied on medical staff for all their information” and they were ”surprised to hear how much knowledge other positive people had about medications and treatment”
A particular thanks to Richard Riley, a social worker from John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle who has been to all the Myuna Bay retreats. Richard ran an informative session on Sunday morning which looked at issues particular to heterosexual positive people. People were keen to find out how many other positive heterosexuals there were in NSW and Australia and to understand where they fitted into the overall picture.
Thanks to everyone who participated. Unfortunately we can only take a certain number on each retreat. We received over 40 applications for this retreat and could only take 18. Don’t be discouraged if you didn’t get to go this time. Keep applying because we try to make sure over half of the people attending have not attended previous retreats. We also try to include people who are more experienced and can play a peer support role for those who are new to Pozhet.