The drive of your life
Achill to Africa or Mayo to Malawi
There has always been a sense that Irish people are partly mad at least, although some of us are much madder than others.
I use the word mad instead of the more polite, different, strange, unique, alternatively challenged, differently abled or wild: (and what I like about us: we don’t like being told what to do or what can’t be done.) Horray for us!
Imagine trying to drive from Achill to Africa in a jeep, or three jeeps to be more precise. Well that’s what the people at Wells for Zoe are planning to do later this year.
The project is at the planning stage, and any ideas, offers of help,(be they physical, intellectual, monetary, logistic or other) from mad people preferably, would be greatly appreciated.
The story began, when Irish times Journalist and Author, John Waters, took a trip to Malawi, in April last, to report on a water project in some of the most remote and poorest areas on the globe.
The project funded and driven by fellow Rossies had intrigued him, and he wanted to see if two people could made any perceptible difference in a place with such obvious need. His, Irish Times article relates what he found in this almost forgotten backwood of our global community.
On his return he got in touch with the Irish Army and within a flash they had agreed, with the consent of the Department of Defence to donate 3 Army Jeeps to the project, granted 1997 models with zillions of miles on the clock.
If we had got them from the Air Corps, maybe the transport issue may be solved!!, but now we have to get them to Malawi, where they will be given a whole new lease of life. So, now, the real fun begins.
There are many options and this is where the mad people come in.
We could drive to Southampton, get a ferry to Durban and do a little toddle through, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and then just another little run of 1000Km up by lake Malawi.
We could do UK, France, Italy and cross to Tunis, then through Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Tanzania and a little downhill through Northern Malawi and have real fun and frolics
We could send them all the way to Dar Es Salaam and freewheel the 1200 km to Mzuzu, but where would be the fun in that.
Maybe the seriously mad people would skip Tunisia and head for Turkey, Syria, Jordan and back to Egypt.
It Looks like we will opt for the first, and “reasonably mad” route.
The only offer of help we have so far is from an English Shipping group, SAF.
They have given us a great rate for the transport from Southampton to Durban.
Of course, any help from perfectly sane people would be welcomed with open arms. Madness has its moments!!
There are a number of reasons for getting involved in this apparent madness:
• Raise awareness of how little it takes to get some of the world’s poorest on the way to self sufficiency
• Promote the idea that we are all, every one, involved here, get our act together and do something, other than giving money only when we are made to feel guilty
• Promote the Wells for Zoe philosophy , that a Hand Up without Handouts works in restoring dignity to a proud people
• Show the benefit of very focused, targeted and personal neighbourliness.
• Get a feel for Africa
• Bring the jeeps
• Raise money, even though the African problem is not about money.