The best Christmas present!

24 Dec

Can you imagine being an orphan in remote sub-Saharan Africa and opening a sea container full of 400 bikes? If not then check out the photo below which sums it up. The little fella in the centre at the front was so excited he got his peace sign around the wrong way, PRICELESS!

The last blog post was of us and the Bicycle for Humanity’s (B4H) volunteers packing a sea container full of bikes. In this blog post I want to share with you what the Bicycle Empowerment Network, Namibia (BEN) does with the sea containers when they receive them at the other end in Africa. The photos below are of the B4H Melbourne container that was sent to Zambia at the start of the year. (Thank you to Ylva for sharing her photos with me)

The container has landed!

 

Preparing the foundation for the concrete pad. Having a concrete surface to repair bikes on as opposed to picking up nuts and bolts out of the red dirt adds real benefit to the Bicycle Empowerment Centre (bike shop).

 

Everything coming together.

 

Making the house a home, or should I say making the sea container a Bicycle Empowerment Centre.

 

BEN, Namibia founder Michael Linke fixing a buckled wheel in the new bike workshop. Michael said this container was one of the best set-up workshops he had been a part of. This was due to the Bicycle for Humanity volunteers that organised $8000 worth of building materials to be placed in the container and them having the time and skills to go to Africa and co-ordinate the construction.

 

The hard working volunteers that made the trip over and organised all the building materials that enabled the construction of the best implemented sea container bike workshop out of the current 40 workshops that are operating.

 

Training the locals.  This is what I love about the charity, the bikes aren’t just given to locals and forgotten about, they are trained as bike mechanics and in how to run the bike shop as an ongoing sustainable business. Any profits go straight back into bike shop. It’s run by locals, for locals!

 

This is what it is all about, smiling African orphans with bikes that would have otherwise been landfill or still cluttering up someone’s garden shed collecting dust.

 

To all that have donated to the B4H charity, helped out/been a part of/follwed the Final Continent expedition, I can’t wait to be posting these photos from our container!

And on the fundraising front, GREAT NEWS, we received the best Christmas present as well, another $2,500 donation! This takes our total funds raised to just over $8000! Now only $4000 more to go before we reach the $12,000 target, which covers the transportation costs of sending the sea container to Africa (you can check out our progress at our charity fundraising page http://www.everydayhero.com.au/hapworkingtheworld).

A big THANK YOU to our recent donors: Leah and Craig, Nicola, Nic and Amy, Andy, Matt and Linnley at the Beer Library, Richard Inglis, Jacky and Trev and Julie Thorpe.

Currently I’m back home in NZ for Xmas/NY, and really looking forward to chilling out, no writing, no expedition, no rocks (I work with rocks), just family, friends and sunshine (maybe a few beers). So I hope everyone has an AWESOME Chrissy and NY, and I will catch you next year.

Nuthin but Love, Hap

PS Another great Christmas present would be if my lost baggage would turn up (been lost a week now1). So, if anyone from Jetstar is reading this (even if it’s at your call centre in India I’ve been dealing with) I would really appreciate if you would call me back. Luckily mum allowed me to open my Chrissy present early – gotta love fresh smelling Christmas undies!

PPS MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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