Having arrived home after more than 17 000 km and through 18 countries one has to thank so many people who contributed in so many ways. It is not only a ‘thank you’ to my friends in South Africa and Germany, the many donors, schools and our ex-FSA participants who contributed in some or other way, it is also a ‘thank you’ to those many people in the 18 different countries that did something for me without expecting anything back.
First of all I have to mention my colleagues Suzanne Baker and Bronley Gover. Ladies, I salute you! Thank you for sharing my passion for young people and helping me in raising the funds for 15 children.
Then my thoughts wander to faraway countries and places …
I think of the guy in Egypt who gave me grapes and a cross for the bike.
The manager at Paradise Hotel in Aswan, Egypt, who got my passport from Luxor back and gave me a new horn (hooter) for the KLR.
Those four guys who carried my passport from Luxor to Aswan without knowing how important it was to me.
Andrew and his lovely family in Haifa, Israel.
Makkie, Herbert and Martie from 6th City in Egypt.
The Philosophy lecturer from Egypt who sat with me under the trees and shared his hatred of foreigners with me,
The Egyptian family in Wadi Halfa, Sudan, for the most wonderful baklava when I was dying for something sweet.
Frank and Stina from the Netherlands for wonderful conversations on the ferry, in Wadi Halfa, Khartoum and Gonder. Have a safe trip!
The Sudanese gent who replaced my torn Ten Sudanese Pound with one of his own.
The people in the Sudanese oasis village who invited me with to the mosque for food and to share in a wedding ceremony,
The Sudanese farmers where I stayed a third time for their friendship and the wonderful food.
The many wonderful Sudanese people who shared their food and fruit with me.
“Mr Simpson”, the waiter of Gonder, Ethiopia, for his kind nature and the gifts to me and the two ladies of last year’s Africa our Home-project.
Sene and her family in Addis Ababa for the invitation to their home, the coffee, the wonderful food.
The Police and Custom officials of Moyale, Ethiopia, who got back my video camera. They were brilliant guys.
Clara of Turbi, Kenya, for her Christianity and prayers, and for what she is doing for her parents.
Mohamed of Marsabit in Kenya, one of the 2008 angels, that his problems and poverty will find a soon end.
Chris and Jeremia of Nairobi, for servicing the KLR and providing wonderful accommodation at Jungle Junction.
Markus, also on a KLR, go well my friend, and reach your home in Canada safely!
Colin living on the banks of the Pangani river in Northern Tanzania, thanks for the Leg of Goat that you two prepared for me, and for the pepper cheese. I miss the days there on the banks of the river. Are the mountains still so blue, and do the crocodiles still come out of the water to lie in the sun on your lawn?
The four wonderful Kenyans whom I met at Pangani River, and for their prayer before I left south. If there were more Christians like them …
The people where I stayed the last night in Tanzania, for their kindness and for killing the last two of their three chickens although I didn’t want any meat. I hope the last one is still alive.
The lady in Nkhata Bay, Malawi,who walked so far to buy me bread and honey, that she had found a better job at the lodge.
Nali and the church members near Mondi, Zambia, may your prayers and worshipping be heard across Africa!
Die Greeffs van Otavi vir die lekker kuier en aandete.
Joseph and Rensie Lewis, Marlinda and John Lucas, Hoffie and Johnnie, The day I spent with you was one of the best1
The Blankestijns from Mariental, Namibia, and from Bothaville. The time I spent with you was too short. Thank you so much for the help after the crash.
Eeton from Kenhardt for the riding on beautiful tracks on the way down to Cape Town.
All the riders from all over South Africa who joined in riding, who stopped for a chat, who waved when we passed each other. Safe riding to all of you!
Elmie for the good food and washing and the friendship, even though it was a sad time after the death of a friend.
George and Bev from Swellendam. You did Africa proud!
Tanja from Bloemfontein, for the HUGE Operation Smile support. I understand your love for Namibia.
Our ex-FSA participants who did so much at their schools to help us raising funds. You are stars!
Aney, your love for Africa and its people and the way how you live your principles, will make you a winner. Go girl go!
The many subscribers to the blog postings and that I’ve never met before, thank you so much for your support and interest. The world is a town, and the chances are so good that some day we will meet.
A few months ago I didn’t even know of the existence of most of these people. Now they are permanently part of my memories of a wonderful journey.
Like in 2008 I have to mention Ray and Donovan Muller of CyTech, Johannesburg. Their advice on and preparing of the KLR way back in 2008 paid out even on this trip. When I needed help with a filter Ray and Donovan had it with me in Addis within days. Ray, Don, thank you thank you thank you!!! I know your 2011 tour across Africa will be a huge success!
It would be unfair to single out any of my family or friends here in South Africa or in Germany. Your friendship and love was the fuel to get me going. I will always love and respect you for that.
Contrary to the end of the long ride of 2008 I now feel content. I am happy to be back. The circle has been closed. This is not the end, however. I have the gut feeling that it is only the beginning of something else.
PS Remember our final dinner for Operation Smile on Saturday 18 September!