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South of the Equator Chapter Two

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Aaron's Gallery







Dispatch from Frank Leonard

One of the reasons I enjoy Africa is being able to see this continent's wildlife in their environment. Of course, the mammals are the main attraction and we've seen elephants, lions, zebra, giraffe, hippo, buffalo, impala, kudu. But the birds, reptiles, insects, trees, plants and flowers are just as spectacular and sometimes even more special. One of the riders, Sean, took some great photos of a lizard which was Harley orange and black called a Orange headed Agama. Birds like the Carmine Bee Eaters and Lilac Breasted Rollers were beautiful. Trees like the baobab and Jacaranda are striking. The vastness and diversity of this natural environment gives a perspective that does not come through unless you are here in person. The sights, sounds and smells have to be experienced.

In Malawi I was riding down a sandy section of the road leading to our lodge, which was located on the shore of Lake Malawi on Makuzi Beach, when a child jumped out from some bushes right in front of me. I hit my brakes in a panic, went down on my right side, landed on my shoulder and heard a familiar "crack". I knew right away I had broken my collarbone. I stood up, the kid came over with his friends and an old man to help me pick up my bike and I rode it the remaining kilometer down to the lodge where I took off my riding gear and verified the break. The lodge owner directed me to his doctor at a local clinic and Andy, our guide, drove me there where he gave me a referral to the hospital 1.5 hours away for an x-ray which was done the next day as we arrived just when that section of the hospital was closed for cleaning. The x-ray confirmed it was broken. The staff and I celebrated that it was not more complicated as you can see in the photo in my gallery. I left with an arm sling and instructions to not ride for 3 to 6 weeks.

So, the Harley is now being transported to Arusha, Tanzania while I ride in the chase vehicle. Not too bad as I actually have enjoyed the leisurely pace and ability to take more photos as well as talk with the guides. The best riding is behind us so nothing lost there and I'm still able to enjoy the extracurricular activities. Everyone in this group has been very helpful and supportive. I am very fortunate at experiencing a broken collarbone in Africa with such good people



Frank's Gallery






Tom's Gallery







Dispatch from Bill Whitacre

Bandawe School for the Hearing Impairment

Everyone is developing their story and this means everyone. It is ultimately our responsibility to help others develop their own story. The Bandawe School for the Hearing Impaired plays a huge role in the development of these children.

Imagine being a child in one of the poorest countries in the world - and being deaf. I think that “highly functioning” is probably a relative term for all children depending on their environment. The environment for these children is incredibly challenging no matter their capacity.

It was somewhat disappointing to find that there weren’t going to be any children there due to vacation time. It only took a few minutes visiting after arriving at the boarding school, we were greeted by leaders and began the tour. These are fantastic individuals that are committed to helping these kids develop their story.

The motto of the school is, “Educating, exploring and promoting talents in learners with hearing impairment”.

Areas of learning are: life skills, English language skills, agriculture, science, arts, carpentry, knitting, animal husbandry and audiology. Then you include the bonding with other students that are similar in sports and recreation and each student develops a different story than what was available to them without the school.

One of the highlights was to experience Helge with the instructors from previous visits. As we sat in a circle under a shade tree, I experienced the mutual admiration and compassion from the six instructors and Helge with conversation. It was so wonderful to be a quiet part of watching the t-shirt presentation and the related contribution of money for the school. I think the headmaster put two shirts on!

There is a certain morality to helping others with their story. No doubt it’s huge with these kids at The Bandawe School!


Our answer: Just do it!



Bill's Gallery





Helge's Photo Gallery



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