Sunday, 31 July 2011

Good Samaritans, friendly goats and reaching Angola

26 July 2011

I have been cycling for 11 days solid now. No rest days. I just simply can't afford to take a rest day. The time limit on my Angolan visa puts me under enormous pressure. So I simply have to push on.

We (Hanret and I) have worked out that I have to maintain a minimum daily average of 70km, and I can only afford 3 rest days! That's only 3 rest days from Windhoek all the way to the DRC!!!

On my way from Windhoek to the Angolan border, I have experienced immense kindness! FNB Namibia has helped, not only financially (by sponsoring the Namibia leg of my trip), but the staff at branches on my way North have welcomed me with open arms! Helping me with organising sponsored accommodation, taking me out to dinner, making me feel welcome!

I have also experienced kindness from strangers on the road. Like Terry, who I met on my way to Otjiwarongo. Terry drove 70km that evening to fetch me so that I wouldn't have to sleep next to the road! And then there's the family who gave me N$100 at a picnic spot on my way to Oshivelo! Strangers who have given me shelter and even offered their own beds for me to sleep in!

I have given motivational talks at a number of schools in Namibia, as well as to FNB staff at some of the branches on my route going North! The responses have been amazing and I feel so priviledged for the opportunities given to me to share my story!

From Oshivelo onward it became a very different ball game! I had been told that 80% of Namibia's population resides in the North. Meaning: that I would now start to see more and more people! At Oshivelo I went through a control post. Here I got shouted at for attempting to take a photo! Then I had a group of kids surround me and chant: "Miss, miss, give me one dollar".

After that things got better though. I did see more and more people! Mostly friendly. People would wave and greet me with big smiles as I pass them by. Some would just stare with confusion written all over their faces.
Even the goats would run up to the road and bleat at me in greeting!! (I kid you not!!) Halfway between Oshivelo and Ondangwa I spent the night sleeping next to the road. No problems whatsoever!

And now I find myself sitting just a few hundred meters from the Angolan border! Oshikango is a chaotic town! I picked up a tail about 10km from town (local boys riding in my slip stream). In return for my hard work, one of them had to guide me around. I cannot adequitely describe what it is like riding into this town on a bicycle! People shouting at you from all directions in Portuguese, English, Afrikaans, and other local dialects. It feels like there are millions of people here! Even had my first Portuguese conversation! Yay!
Staying at Piscas tonight, for free! Had pizza as my last meal in Namibia!

Tomorrow morning I cross the border and say: BOM DIA ANGOLA! :-)

Last night in Namibia!!!

A Paypal button is now available for donations or sponsoring a country – check out the SPONSOR A COUNTRY page!! So, if you, your friends or your company want to sponsor her for one of the countries on her journey, check it out. Otherwise, mail Jolandie or Hanret!! Next up is Angola – who will we be promoting for a whole month?

Written by Jolandie, posted by La Domestique

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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Tomorrow is Jolandie’s day!!!!

Today Jolandie recorded her update interview with Jacaranda FM, so be sure to listen to the news (top of the hour) on Thursday 21 July for updates on Jolandie’s remarkable journey.

A big thank you to FNB Namibia for sponsoring the Namibia leg of the trip!!!

Created and posted by La Domestique

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Monday, 18 July 2011

Leaving Okahandja behind

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Heading to the border is an uphill business. In more ways than one. Jolandie is pressed for time to get to the border to make sure she has a full 30 days available to her in Angola. But, geographically, to get to the border is a steady uphill climb.

When I spoke to her earlier, she was convinced that she had conquered a couple of Category 2 climbs on Sunday. A Cat 2 climb is in simplest terms a climb of 500-800 meters. So, in Tour de France parlance, Jolandie was definitely wearing the Polka Dot jersey at the end of Sunday’s 62 km stage!! Well done!!

Home for the night was a shelter rigged with some of the many grass bales at the side of road. Clever girl!

No warthogs were sighted, but the signs were!

Leaving Okahandja behind – way in the distance. The steady climb to the border has started!

The soft afternoon light makes the road seem a lot more gentle.

Some grass bales provide shelter for Jolandie and Luna!

Climbing the mountains to the Angola border Jolandie relied on U2’s I still haven’t found what I’m looking for for some pedal power on Sunday. Could it be that it is Table Mountain in the Mother City that she’s after? What do you guys think?

A Paypal button will be available soon on Jolandie’s Sponsor a Country page. So, if you, your friends or your company want to sponsor her for one of the countries on her journey, check it out. Otherwise, mail Jolandie or myself!! Next up is Angola – who will we be promoting for a whole month?

A big thank you to FNB Namibia for sponsoring the Namibia leg of the trip!!!

Created and posted by La Domestique

Ups, Downs and Going Again!!!

Having to return home to sort out my visas, panned out to be a blessing in disguise. I so enjoyed being home! But now it's time to get busy again! I arrived back in Windhoek on Monday evening. It was like I had never left. The only thing that changed was that it's a bit warmer now. Which is a good thing for me. I can handle heat, to extremes. But not cold.

Having to go back and forth, and the struggle with sorting my visas and funding issues and having to say goodbye to the people I love all over again, has been pretty stressful. The aftermath of which only hit me on my return to Windhoek. I hit an emotional low. But I knew I had no time to waste. So with the love and support of my friends, and after I gave myself a good pep talk, I got over it in no time.

I gave two motivational talks at two primary schools in Windhoek on Thursday and Friday. FNB Namibia is sponsoring the Namibia leg of my trip and in return I am giving motivational talks at schools on my route.

The talks were just what I needed! It was so uplifting being surrounded by such positivity and excitement. To see those kids light up like that and be so receptive, was really amazing. They were so eager to interact, ask questions and willing to learn. Their enthusiasm gave me a renewed will not to give up.

The kids at AS Steenkamp Primary School

Friday’s talk was at MH Greeff Primary School. About 200 12-13 year olds packed into the Assembly Hall and pelted me with questions after my talk – this was really an awesome experience. After my talk, the principal thanked me and wished me a safe journey. She handed me an envelope and said: ‘It's from the teachers and these naughty kids’, and smiled. Inside the envelope: N$400. It was so touching! A group of about 20 or 30 kids stayed behind after we had finished. They wanted to know whether they could come and greet me? Of course! I had no problem with that! But they didn't want to talk. They all wanted to give me a hug! I had to hug each and every one of them. It was such a sweet and special moment!

Luna and me inspiring the kids at MH Greeff Primary School!!

The two of us with some of the eager and enthusiastic kids. So sweet!!

And so now, I am back on the road! Luna is going like a dream! I'm not doing too bad either. Saturday’s leg was from Windhoek to Okahandja - 73km. A fine day on the road. Though my butt is not happy with me, all over again! I camped out, at the Kings Highway Rest Camp next to the road. Luna is happily sleeping next to me. It's all back to 'normal'. :-) Really looking forward to crossing into Angola!!

Luna with her new Namibian flag and the road ahead.

A giraffe came out to greet me and wish me well!

Arriving in Okahandja.

Camping out again!!

Be sure to listen to the news on JacarandaFM every Thursday top of the hour for updates!

If you, a group of your friends or your company want to sponsor my journey through a country, please have a look at my Sponsor a Country page and contact myself or Hanret!! I’m desperate for a sponsor for Angola!!

A big thank you to FNB Namibia for sponsoring the Namibia leg of my trip!!!

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Monday, 11 July 2011

Farewell My South Africa - Again!

The road calls! And so I go.

I will be back in Namibia by tonight!
The time I have had to spend with my nearest and dearest at home, has been a true blessing.
But now I really need to get a move on. The time restrictions that my visas for Angola, DRC and Congo place on me, will force me to have to push really hard for the next few months. I have to uphold a daily average of at least 75 kilometers, or else I won't make it to each border in time.

Whilst on the road, it is not always possible for me to update my blog on a regular basis.

Hanret Snyman, one of my nearest and dearest friends, has been my 'ground control' support whilst on the road and the person who I am in constant contact with. (Also the person that puts in an amazing amount of effort behind the scenes in helping me live my dream). She will be posting regular updates when I am not able to.

So be on the lookout for updates from "La Domestique". :)

Be sure to listen in on JacarandaFM every Thursday for LIVE updates! (I will send out a notification as to what time)

And if you'd like to get involved and sponsor a country: Click here for more information.

A big thank you to FNB Namibia for sponsoring the Namibia leg of my trip!!!

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Saturday, 09 July 2011

I'm The Huffington Post's "Greatest Person Of The Day"!

So there I was, sitting in theatre, minding my own business and watching the International Ballet Gala with Hanret. On exiting the theatre I check my phone (as we all do nowadays, heaven forbid we miss a call or that all important sms). It just so happened that I did receive an all important message.

A rather frantic Miguel Martim, Founder and CEO of Iduka, the charity organization I support, is trying to get hold of me with great urgency!

"The Huffington Post wants to do an interview with you...NOW" - he says over the phone from his home in the USA. We have a quick chat, and then I wait for the call.

Today, as I do a Google search, I find the article.

I am The Huffington Post's "Greatest Person of the Day"!
Yay!! What an honor.
I am delighted!! Thank you Miguel!!

And thank you to The Huffington Post! :)

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Wednesday, 06 July 2011

Back to Windhoek!!


I will be flying back to Windhoek on Tuesday, 12 July!
I hope to be back on the road, officially, by latest Friday - 15 July.
That gives me little over a week to make it to the Angolan border, then a month to get through Angola.

So you can expect more 'exciting' updates pretty soon!!

"The road calls"

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Article on Jacaranda FM + Audio Interview

Check out the article on Jacaranda FM!! There's an audio interview as well that you can listen to. :)

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Monday, 04 July 2011

Listen to me LIVE every week!!

Exciting News:

I had a meeting with Managing Editor, Denzil Taylor, this morning at Jacaranda FM.
I'm very happy to announce that Jacaranda FM has come on board in a big way!
So now you'll be able to read up on updates on their website and News Page, as well as listen in LIVE for weekly updates. I'll be chatting to the team every week to keep you all updated on where I am and how things are going.

A big thank you and a very warm welcome to the Jacaranda FM team!

I'll post an update as soon as we've sorted out the more 'nitty-gritty' details.

In the meantime: Check out their Website, and 'Like' their Facebook Page.

"Jacaranda FM - Playing Life's Greatest Hits"

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