Saturday, 29 December 2012

Mastering the art of camping...

video

Comfortable camping HOW TO... video clip... 

So it is true what they say, practice makes prefect, and because I don't want to look the fool in the beginning stages of  the Tour da Afrique 2013, by being the girl who cannot pitch a tent... I thought it's a good idea to master the art of setting up camp and to ensure that everything is in good working condition... During this tent pitching exercise I realized I haven't actually got a camping pillow yet... Ooops!!! Might seem like an difficult item to forget, but with so many things to organize (Cycling clothing, casual clothing, bicycle, medication, nutrition, bicycle spares, etc) in a short space of time, it's very easy to let something vital slip ones mind... So my advise is testing testing testing...

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing day... Day to play with presents...

The day after Christmas, is not only a time to eat and drink more, but also the best time to test out new toys, assuming you still receive gifts, but if like me your too "old" to get presents at Christmas I have started buying gifts for myself... Well, not quite presents for myself, but lately I'v been collecting all that I need and receiving heaps of cool equipment from sponsors for my up-and-coming trip, so I must admin I feel like a kid again, surrounded by new shiny toys. While my younger cousins all played with their new make-up bags, jewelry and toys, I got out my new tent and practiced setting it up, cause for the next 4 months this will be my shelter while I make my way across the African continent...





My new TOY!!! 

Christmas time...

Christmas time on the farm is the best time, hot summers day, filled with good food, drink and family fun. Unfortunately this year, I'm the one who's home in South Africa, while the rest of my immediate family are overseas. My parents are in London spending the first Christmas with my brother first born, Oliva. While my sister and her husband are near the Caribbean Island, St Maarten preparing the yacht for charter. But that's no problem, because the Melck's always have big families and so the farm house was still filled with laughter, food smells and warmth. As usual Grandad puts on his Father Christmas hat and hands out the gifts, while the table is set for the massive family lunch...
Time for presents
Time for food
After indulging into the rich Christmas feast I fell into, what can only be described as a Food Comma. I decided to lie outside and enjoy the view of the farm, a view I miss most when away from home...
Well, I relaxed and enjoyed this view until my brother, Justin and wife wife Georgina's, energetic dog, Olla, comes to play.



Merry Christmas to ALL!!!




Friday, 14 December 2012

MADness!!!!

MAD charity (Make A Difference)

My dear sister, Nina, as events unfolded with regards to my cross-continental cycle challenge, she couldn't help but call me absolutely MAD. Then with a bit of brainstorming, the incredibly creative Nina came up with the idea that I should try start a MAD brand or foundation if the path I'm on leads me into a career involving a life of adventure and activism, because she thinks I'm just plain MAD!!! The idea was good, but I'm a newcomer on the scene and one needs to be established before jumping into creating brands and charitable foundation.

However, this MAD idea stayed with me and since I didn't have a "Cause" to benefite, I started my google research... I studied every NGO established in Africa, contacted the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation and numerous charities to help represent. Unfortunately none stuck... I wanted to find something that would tick all my boxes, first and foremost, proundly South African. I am determined to make a difference in my country, because I truly believe in the future of our beautiful South Africa and the endless potentail it has. Then my charity of choice also had to be trustworthy in their goodwill projects and have legitemate proof of achieving their goals targeted at a serious social issue. Eventaully stressed and pressed for time I considered starting my own small project as Nina suggested called MAD, but before I focused my attention onto an individual project, I thought why not just google MAD and see whats out there... And I'm not sure how the universe works, but the PERFECT charity of choice found me. There it was MAD charity (Make A Difference) established and proudly South African... I studied their website and knew this was the foundation I wanted to represent as my beneficiary, everything about MAD was appropriate, not only because people many think I'm MAD for cycling through Africa, but the foundation strives to give academically talented but economically disadvantaged youth in South Africa an opportunity to reach their full potential as leaders and role models by providing exceptional educational and related opportunities. I immeaditely clicked on the Contact Us link and started my detailed e-mail to CEO Karien Winter at the MAD offices in Cape Town. Half-way through my e-mail I decided that e-mail isn't going to work, I leave for Cairo in 3 weeks and everything closes down for christmas holidays, I need to act fast... So I picked up the phone a called Karien directly, I ratteled off my story and I think I might have spoken non-stop for about 10min, and when I finally kept my mouth shut, the CEO of MAD in Cape Town said "That was one of the most inspiration phone calls I'v had in a long time, when can we meet???" And two days later I was in the MAD officers and all was organized. Hopefully I'll be the first of many MAD activist that are determined to Make A Difference in South Africa.

I strongly support the principles of MAD, because Nelson Mandela says it best "Education is the most powerful weapon, which can be used to change the world." And I fully agree with the peace-keeping legend. The lack of a proper eductaion is the root of most social issues such as poverty, unemployment and health problems, which are widely spread across South Africa.

Make A Difference (MAD) foundation was founded by Francios Pienaar and a group of friends in 2003. To date, MAD has supported in excess of 2 000 youngsters on the MAD Education Programmes and their eventual aim is to create alumni of MAD beneficiaries who will create positive change in an emerging democracy.

My contribution will be from people that support my Tour d' Afrique make a donation of a R10 minimum for each km I cycle from Cairo to Cape Town, thus raising a minimum of R120 000 for MAD in 4 months. The donation link will soon be available on my blog, but visit MAD's website www.madcharity.org to find out more and make a donation towards the future of South Africa, because the leaders of tomorrow need our leadership today.

Please Visit:
MAD charity