Another change of direction. Very embarrasing, but having made arrangements to go N to S the Sudanese embassy in London told us they were not issueing visas and to contact them in mid July. At the same time the ferry from Venice to Alexandria was withdrawn so we were in danger of getting to Italy and then having to turn around! So change again! The truck is now on a RORO ferry and due in Walvis Bay, Namibia today. Mandy and I leave on Sunday to collect it. This journey is an epic in itself, fly to Frankfurt, fly to Joburg, wait 4 hours, fly to Windhoek, pick up hire car and drive to Swapomund, stay overnight and then hopefully pick up truck next day. Then we have to drive 2000km south to Cape Town before we can start on the journey proper.
There are still a few last minute things need doing to both the truck and the landy like fitting CB radios and a 12v supply out of the back of the truck for our trailer. At least the drive from Walvis Bay to Cape Town will identify any problems and so we can try to fix before we start the journey proper. Sarah, Chris and children leave UK next week getting to Cape Town about the same time as us. Its all getting too hectic. In the 2 weeks since we returned from SA we have organised our sons wedding, entertained numerous visitors and in between times done a bit of organising for the trip. Currently I can't get our satelite phone to talk to my computer so we can send emails and I've lost our main sat nav, hopefully it got packed in the truck before it was shipped. The children are counting down the days although I dont think they quite understand how long it will be before they go back to school.
On the charities front we are still collecting funds, thanks again to everyone who has contributed. At least one of our charities is being seriously affected by the drought in East Africa. The Aquinoe Learning Centre in Kitale, Kenya emailed asking for funds to buy food rather than educational equipment. The centre was in danger of closing because they could not afford to buy food for the children. The price of maize and beans in the market had doubled in the last few weeks! If we do have to help with food supplies we need to be able to help for at least 6 months until reliable and affordable resources reach them, so we need MORE FUNDS please!
The drought is also concerning us as our route goes quite close to some of the affected areas although not of course Somalia. We do not want to become part of the problem by using up precious resources needed by the locals.
The picture is of the slightly premature leaving party with all Hooke Court staff and friends and no the dog isn't coming with us!