Taking on the Joburg2Kili Expedition for Qhubeka powered by Tarsus has certainly taught me a lot about the power of making a difference. The past few days of riding here in Zambia have been really tough with a lot of climbing and headwind to contend with. Having no gears just means you work so hard and the kilometres just seem to take forever to clock over.
During these tough moments, I have found myself thinking why am I doing this? And the answer really is simple – I am cycling 4630km to help make a difference in children’s lives back in South Africa. How we are doing this is by raising funds for the charity Qhubeka who produce bicycles that they give to children to help mobilise them by increasing their attendance at school and overall performance. It really is incredibly empowering to know that we have so far raised enough money to put at least 43 children on bicycles (approximately R125 000) and we really hope to increase this number throughout the rest of our journey. For more information on how you can support us by donating to Qhubeka, please click here.
Knowing that we are doing this cycle for a purpose has definitely made the adventure so much more meaningful. I have also really come to appreciate how little things seem to make such a difference in people’s lives. Whilst riding past small rural villages on our way from Lusaka to Chipata in Zambia all the children would come sprinting out of their huts screaming “How are you?” and waving their hands at us. Just a simple wave back brings a big smile to their faces and they seem to be overjoyed which is so special.
Having previously worked at the wonderful Blue Horizon Licensing, which is Mattel’s licensing agency in South Africa, I was very pleased to be given a box of Mattel toys to distribute out to children along our way. Although I wish we could giveaway toys for all the hundreds of children we have seen on the side of the road logistically it was not possible but for the few that we have been able to give out toys to so far I have found it incredibly humbling and I really do hope that they bring joy to their lives. A lot of the children have been a bit nervous of me when I come to them with a Barbie blanket or Hot Wheels car especially as they don’t speak English but as soon as I pass it over to them you see their eyes open wide and they smile. I demonstrated to a small group of children how to make bubbles with a Barbie bubble wand and they all started to laugh and try to catch the bubbles which was great to see and when I cycled away they were making their own bubbles too.
I am feeling very blessed today to have been able to have the courage to step out of my comfort zone of life at home with a secure job, routine etc to take on this journey with my husband and the rest of the Joburg2Kili Team. We are now over halfway on our adventure and will be crossing into our next African country, Malawi, tomorrow. I am really looking forward to exploring and hopefully meeting more wonderful, friendly people along the way in Malawi. My parents will also be joining us at Lake Malawi, which will be great to have them experience part of this journey with us.