Thursday, 23 July 2009


I know that we are no longer on the road but old habits die hard so i
decided to post a little update. And also to apologise for the delay.
We've been home for over a month but still we haven't edited or
uploaded the final videos, we haven't had a party, in fact I'm not
even sure that we wrapped it up properly. So over the next couple of
weeks the last few videos will go up, and it will be tied up.
A few of you who have signed up to blogger will get reminders on your
email that our blog is being used but the majority won't. And we all
know how quickly word gets around, especially in Zim, so if you see
anyone who has dropped off could you just tell them that we're not
quite finished.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Some more thank yous!!

A little addition  from Nicky  to Mands' last blog entry: We were all very grateful to Majdi and his family in Wadi Halfa, N. Sudan who put us up on our way up and down to Egypt. Robert and I had a convivial evening with David Snelson and Alisha Ryu in Nairobi - thanks so muc h and dinner's on us next time! We'd like to thank Heinrich von Pezold's colleagues Antoine Millerioux and Rogerio Lopes Henriques who arranged for us to stay in Ilha and Quelimane respectively, and my colleague Filipe Charles in Maputo who made the Global Health Communication (GHC) office available to the Jambanja team to stay in for a night. Thanks too go to Leeann and Pricey in Durban - great to see you guys again! -- who hosted Alexander and arranged for the rest of us to stay at the delightful Virginia Forest Lodge which was truly a home from home.  After  leaving our wonderful hosts  in Cape Town, Loki and Lucy  ( when we split forces with Mahali), Jambanja turned up on Charlotte Bracken's doorstep in Jo'burg where we had a very happy lunchtime celebrating  her birthday. We stayed a night with our dear friends Caro Valette and Johnny, Julien, Hugo and Tom Landry, who are coming back to Zimbabwe next month!  Then on to Gaborone where after a five year gap Sarah, Tomo, Emma, David and James Thomas made us incredibly welcome and persuaded us to spend an extra night with them (Sarah's sister Alex and brother-in-law Angus kindly housed us in their guest room). And finally back home where heartfelt thanks go to Robin Powles for managing our household while we were away, to our neighbours (especially Grace Danana, Lindsay and Paul Franklin and Conor and Emma O'Beirne) for their support and to our staff, Media, Shingi and Lovemore who looked after the house, garden and menagerie for us.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

And our Special Thanks Go To...


We have been so grateful to everyone for your support over these past 6 months – whether by phone, physical presence, e-mail, the Blog, prayers or thought. It has been a fantastic comfort and encouragement to us all.

A special thanks however, must go to the wonderful friends upon whom we have prevailed in eight of the 14 countries we’ve travelled through on our Overland trip. So without further ado, we would like to publicly say a heart-felt thank you to our following friends...

Zambia - Hugo & Alice, Zoe, Ivan & Dima FIRX

Kenya -  Matthew & Alice, Ruby & Guy OWEN

                Chris & Karen, Daisy, Barnaby & Jasper STEPHENSON

                Tony & Adrienne MILLS

Ethiopia - Ali & Johnathan & Holly NAPIER

                     Gavin & Lizzie, Isabella & Amalie COOK      

Sudan - Amy & Shaun, Noah & Oscar HUGHES

Egypt - Kate & Rick, Anna, Joe & Sam PHILLIPS

Burundi - Val & Charles, Sam, Matthew & John CARR

Mozambique -  Heinrich VON PETZEL

                              Clare & Tim, Jonathan & Zea COLE

South Africa - Colleen MEYBURG, James, Tristan & Sophie EGREMONT-LEE

                               Lucy WELFORD, Loki, Felix & Scarlett OSBORN

                               Sussi & Steve (Darling) GALLEY, Holly & Ben BEATON

                               Dibs & Rog, Jazzy, Monty & Gabes HAWKINS

                               Mush & Jannie & Jakers VAN GEMARK


Finally, to our team mates, JAMBANJA: Robert, Nicky, Max & Xander, without whom there wouldn’t have been Jangano 2009. Thanks guys, it has been an amazing, wonderful and unique journey travelling the African continent with you!


The MAHALI team,

Gus, Mands, Jake, Ben & Little Max x x x x x

Thursday, 2 July 2009

In Sickness and In Health...

After a blessed six months on the road, we are so grateful that by and large, we have remained relatively healthy.  At least, there have been no hospitalisations and apart from only four independent visits to local doctors (in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique & RSA), we have managed to rely on our trustworthy in-house medical advisor, Rob Adams! We were superbly prepared for all eventualities, however, should we have had any need for any of the highly specialised equipment we carried, ranging from basic dentistry to blood transfusions to sutures!

The trip began with one patient already on board: that was Little Max with his grossly swollen mumps face, followed timely by Ben on Christmas Day, in Tanzania. Minor aliments such as coughs and colds have been par for the course, as indeed has been the odd upset tummy. The young boys have been unfailingly predictable in their various collections of cuts, scratches and bruises. Xander wins first prize here, in his astounding ability to gather such a sum of said trophies!

In the more interesting category of ailments, there have been cracked-heels and wind-cracked skin Gus & Little Max) in the Western desert, coral-sliced feet (Big Max & Jake), a marauding wart invasion over Xander’s elbow and fingers, which – when ‘burnt off’ – changed form into vast bulbous blisters (not unlike something out of Dr Who!); infected bites and suspected jiggers in the feet (Robert), a recurring earlobe cyst (Benedict) and a painful trio of armpit boils (the patient of which shall remain anonymous, to be saved from embarrassment !)

But the final category contains The Best (or is it The Worst?) of Jangano 2009’s medical afflictions...the most bloody prize goes to Little Max, who managed to put his hand through a glass door in Cairo. He sustained a very impressive cut that sliced deeply along one of his fingers – thankfully, the slice didn’t go through the finger totally and it remains fixed firmly to his hand. Even more thankfully, we were staying at the time with Dr Kate, who fixed Max up beautifully! The most conventional (and only) disease award goes to Gus, who picked up malaria in Malawi. Unfortunately, he shivered his feverish way all through Mozambique and into RSA before confirming it was indeed malaria. In the meantime, he had been consistently mis-diagnosed with bilharzia, tick-bite fever and a lung infection! Finally, Ben wins the Most Gruesome prize. When in Tanzania, as the local doctor was lancing a “boil” on his scalp just above his ear, it wasn’t pus that emerged from the sore swelling, but a fat, squirming putzi-fly grub! Yes indeed, a grim sight to behold, but one of those sickeningly fascinating moments, too, when one cannot take ones eyes away from the sheer disbelief of such a thing!

So all in all, we have been incredibly blessed in health and safety. Much has to be said in favour of our simple diet for our good health during these months, however frugal and plain it sometimes was! Though now we are about to reintroduce the ‘naughty but nice’ stuff, such as red wine and dairy back into our diet, I don’t foresee any resistance! Our final quandary is What To Do with our unused, massive box of medical kit?

Maybe we’ll just hold onto it for the next trip...?!