Wheely long honeymoon

Cape to Cape โœ…

Cape Wrath to Cape Muhuru. Not quite our original plan, but weโ€˜ve learnt that the best adventures take their own path, and for now itโ€™s time to say goodbye to Africa.

We made a difficult decision in Khartoum to shorten our time on the continent before we turn into a case study for antibiotic resistance ๐Ÿ˜‚ (We kept a few unpublished stories to ourselves so we donโ€™t worry anyone at home…more amusement coming your way soon). It took a leap of faith to set out on this trip, but it has undoubtably been the best thing either of us have ever done. Even at the end of our toughest days, we always ask ourselves whether weโ€™d rather be here or back in our normal routine. This always makes us smile, as the answer is never the latter. Sat on the edge of lake Victoria, Tanzania just a few pedal strokes away, we feel a little sad and not quite ready to end our time in Africa, but thatโ€™s the way we want this to end – on a high and wishing we had a little longer. We will definitely be back one day to finish our ride to Cape Town.

The stretch to Muhuru is the only part of our trip that has reminded us of Cape Wrath – truly dire roads, tiny remote fishing communities, and a group of friendly faces to celebrate with us.

Itโ€™s not quite time to hang our helmets up just yet though….watch this space.

The Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley; a stunning place to ride. Sunrises that we can barely believe are real; Maasai walking their cows alongside us on the road; and endless rolling hills making our legs burn.

Give Directly

GiveDirectly is a charity based on the simple premise of sending one-off unconditional cash transfers to very poor households.

Sounds crazy doesnโ€™t it? A chunk of money is handed out with no control over what happens to it. Surely people will jump at the opportunity to buy a new pair of Nike trainers? Rigorous research done by both GiveDirectly and external assessors shows that giving recipients the freedom to do what they want with the money has a much higher impact than other approaches to reduce poverty.

As well as visiting the Nairobi HQ, we spent a day with the field team in Bomet, visiting past recipients and watching the enrolment process.

It was touching to see how several years on, people had turned their lives around from the GiveDirectly transfer. In many cases people used the money to invest & generate an income. For example, one family used the money to develop a shop/cafe (serving 3 villages), meaning they no longer have to work in harsh conditions to earn $1 a day, and now their kids can go to school. With the recipient taking full responsibility for the construction of the cafe, they boosted local employment and kept costs very low. Costing just $350, it would probably have cost $3,500 if managed by a charity. The business is now so profitable ($70/month) that the family are extending to create a barber shop.

Watching the charity in the field was quite something. The end-to-end process is so simple and slick, that a team of 50 are part of an operation handing out over $15m a year, including visiting every participant individually and following up with them several times.

GiveDirectly is not solely about cash transfers, they are running several other programmes, including one concerning Universal Basic Income.

There are a million and one things we could tell you about our visit, but there isnโ€™t space to do so here. We are very happy to talk to anyone in detail about our experience.

January on a page

January and our running totals: 15 countries ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น; 8403km ๐Ÿšต๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ; 702km other transport ๐Ÿšข; 4 punctures ๐Ÿ˜” (we knew it couldnโ€™t last forever); 31 kind hosts โ˜บ๏ธ; 37 nights wild camping ๐Ÿ•; 22 at campsites โ›บ๏ธ; 47 indoors ๐Ÿ ; 21kg of pasta ๐Ÿ!

World Thinking Day

We made it to Nairobi just in time for Girl Guiding World Thinking Day, and weโ€™re invited along to a regional celebration. This was a vibrant occasion, with a personal highlight for us being that of watching the First Lady dance to Baby Shark.

Kenya has the fifth largest participation in Girl Guiding globally, with the work that it carries out stretching far beyond the stereotypical knot tying and flag carrying. Informal education is used to give young women the skills and knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their life, and which they may not get at school or home. One area is health; the association is working across the country to stop school drop-outs due to pregnancy and menstruation, and reduce HIV/AIDS rates.

We were luckily to meet Jayne Wachira from the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), the second charity which we are supporting (link to our giving site is on our support page).

Our own private safari

Kenya has satisfied all our dreams about what we imagined cycling through Africa would be like – in particular the wildlife. From day one weโ€™ve been on our own private cycling safari, without even entering a game park. Weโ€™ve have baby giraffe run alongside us, chased ostrich down the road, and witnessed a real life zebra crossing.

Paxtu Lodge

Taking the back roads meant we could visit Paxtu lodge, the home of Olive and Baden Powell, the founders of the Scout and Girl Guide movements. A special place to visit for us, and a fascinating little snapshot into their lives.