Every January two of us drive cars down the west coast of Africa through Senegal. One of my favourite places is St Louis - the old French Colonial capital. A fascinating place, totally different to the "ants nest" that is modern day Dakar. I always have an enjoyable stay there - a bit of "R&R" after the desert. My vehicle is never a huge truck, but I usually have a bit of spare space. So what I would like to do is take a donation of "whatever" to a school or hospital in St Louis as a sort of "thank you" to the town. Any ideas anyone???
What do you do if you have breakdowns?
I had a stupid idea to buy a campervan in France (despite the fact that I am not there permanently yet (and wont be for at least a couple of years)) and have no garage - just felt like a good plan if you went somewhere and either wanted to stay a while or had imbibed too much and needed to sleep it off. If I get to the stage of actually doing it, I'll see if I can hire you as a consultant (as a mechanic, I make a good Accountant :-))
That's about the size of it - yes! Not Timbuktu though - Mali is a bit dodgy at the moment. Banjul (Gambia) is the destination. The first one - the Sierra - we bought at an auction in Manchester for 45 pounds. The Mondeo that I have for Jan 2013 I bought in Germany --- I ended up on a flight from Banjul to Frankfurt and bought it when I arrived there - 450 euros - and drove it back to France. It's like a perpetual motion machine! :-)
I actually got to read your page on the weekend - (cant do it at work and Internet is fairly dodgy at home).
Am I understanding correctly that you buy a couple of cheapish non 4WD cars, toddle off to the middle of nowhere, end up in Timbucktu (Spelling but in Oz that is slang for the end of the world) then sell the cars and fly back to France, then re-do the whole thing the next year
Stay safe! Watch out for those claymores!
Gas actually - part of building a gas processing plant in Soyo (border with DRC) to take gas that historically has been flared and commercialise it. Supposedly biggest project in Africa but I hope not classed as most efficient
Steve. As I have been known to say, it's the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
When I was living/working in S.Africa, many moons ago, they were anxious for me to take out citizenship so that I could go for a little "trip" to Angola. That was when I returned to the UK!
There is a guy up the road from me here that has been poking around in the ground in Angola recently, looking for oil - I presume that is what you are up to.
Going to the shop to buy a pint of milk is a "road trip" - this sounds somewhat bigger than that- in fact sounds like an incredible adventure -
I'm jealous as even though I live in Angola we are not permitted to drive and even our drivers can only go to very limited locations because of the land mines which are still fairly common
I agree with you on the direct delivery as I have seen too many donations get mis-used
Steve - it's just a "road trip" we do every year - see http://www.facebook.com/TheArtfulBodgers
We support a school in Banjul - but I would like to do something along the way as well. I long ago decided that the best way to provide aid was to hand over "the goods" to the person at the sharp end - I don't like the idea of paying someone "in charge" a fat salary. The stationery option is what we always do - hadn't thought of the glasses before - good idea!
Brian - I will follow up the Save the Children idea.
Steve, when I was back and forth to Peru, the school in the mountains valued stacks of English school exercise books I took each trip. They were valued and cared for, even when written full they were still pristine.
Sorry I didn't actually answer your question. Things I bring here, Vanuatu, Sri Lanka that were actually more valued than cash were pens, pencils and writing materials, primarily for the kids schooling (if there was any). I've always wondered if you could get a bulk buy on glasses (the cheapies you buy at $2 shops) and bring in heaps
Sounds fascinating - what's the connection/background to this (If I am not being too nosy).
I used to really enjoy aid work to Vanuatu but am a bit cynical here where average income is $2 per day but President is largest land owner in Brazil
Save the Children are there, they are now all countries combined rather than just UK, etc. I don't know anybody in the Dakar office nowadays but if you track down their email address with your question they should be able to advise you.