It may not seem a lot has been happening with the project, but it is quite the opposite in fact. Fervent planning has been going on in the background over the past few months, getting ready to take on the Balkans and East Africa. The project will start again on the 23rd of April.
The original plan was to travel the Balkans last November, but after some weather research and talking to locals, it became apparent that weather probably wouldn’t be suitable then, hence the reason for joining both the Balkans and African legs together. All going well, (and if the truck behaves), it will take until the end of October to complete both legs.
We have interesting and exotic places to visit on the route, such as Prishtina, Kosovo and Luxor, Egypt and Gulu, Uganda and Blantyre, Malawi, to name a few. We hope to inspire thousands of kids to follow their dreams over the course of our travels.
One exciting development has been teaming up with Children in the Wilderness, (CITW), a non-profit organisation supported by Wilderness Safaris. It is an environmental and life skills educational programme which focuses on the next generation of rural decision makers, developing environmental leaders who are inspired to care for their natural heritage so that they become the custodians of these areas in the future. By exposing children to their wildlife heritage, CITW aims to create a network of learning sanctuaries that uplifts and cares for our children and conserves our planet.
We will be visiting different schools and villages throughout Africa in co-operation with CITW, and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
We also have plans with UNICEF offices in Kosovo, Montenegro and Egypt. I have taken a back-step with UNICEF in Africa as it gives me more flexibility and freedom with the overall project.
I’m looking forward to getting into the project again. It has felt like quite a while since the project’s European leg last Summer. I’ve been flying commercially in Dubai over the Winter and saving money to continue with the next part of the project. A big thanks for the continued support from Kubicek Balloons, DB Schenker, Alma Capital, Platinum Heritage and Balloon Adventures Emirates.
I also owe a big thanks to Bhavna Bhikajee and Wendy Jorgensen who are helping with PR, communications and logistics. The African leg in particular is a huge logistical operation and I am happy to receive their support.