This is an advice from me to everyone, it also applies to myself. If you want to go on a week long camping trip, lose 20 pounds or perform a meaningful speech do you just wing it, rely on your instincts or do nothing? All of the above will set you up for failure. Success stories have a backbone no matter how trivial.
Vision, preparation and action are the 3 fundamental stages one most go through in order to accomplish anything well in life. These are based on my own experiences, research and observations of other people who have accomplished success in their lives follow their dreams, or simply just want to try out something new.
At the border my Visa was expired by one day, so the conclusion for them (particularly a woman working there who can't speak English) decided to confiscate my passport without explanation. You can imagine how livid one might become at this moment. I nearly lost it, all the harassment, all the authorities without brains telling me what to do wrong, I just couldn't handle it anymore. However strong my efforts nothing changed. A few hours later a man came to my rescue who knows a little English and he explained to me that my passport is to be mailed back to Addis Ababa to immigration there. I thought why the hell couldn't they have made an easy phone call or done it like every other country in the world where you pay a late fee at the border. This made life incredibly difficult. I had to take a bus back to Addis to retrieve my passport and pay a late fee.
I’m in Ethiopia and it’s beautiful here. My time in Kenya however felt too short and fast. Charlotte and I covered roughly 1000km in 1 month. I climbed Mount Kenya, walked with Massai warriors and enjoyed the vastness of scenic lands. I will write a blog on my experience of Kenya on my website http://www.mariorigby.com
Ethiopia, although I’ve only been here a few days has great coffee, delicious foods and a very diverse background of African tribes who live along the Great Rift Valley. I will hang out in Addis for 2 weeks where I try to find funds to continue my walk across this cuntry, then begin my Ethiopia to North Sudan walk. I’m really excited to explore this incredibly vibrant and rich country.
On the sad news my most trusting companion Charlotte will be heading back to Berlin for school. She has joined me solidly from Iringa, Tanzania to Moyale, Kenya (border between Kenya and Ethiopia). It won’t be the same without her, the bravest person you could ever meet.
I had the honor of joining Futbol Mas in Kibera, Kenya for a fun football practice session with the local children. It was an eye-opening experience just to walk through Kibera to get to the football pitch. The region is Africa’s largest and the world’s 3rd largest slum consisting of roughly 1.5 million people and home to dump sites that hold foundations for homes in the country. The problem is that the garbage along with human waste is scattered throughout Kibera making it very inhospitable for living conditions. River waters have been contaminated by overflowing garbage.
Fútbol Más help the children of Kibera region forget about the hard conditions surrounding them if even for a split moment. They are introduced to team work, organizational skills, mentorship and most importantly having fun.
To learn more about the organization please follow their Facebook page Futbol Mas Kenya or visit http://www.futbolmas.org/pais-kenia/
Today was the day I was suppose to catch a ride with Lilli Molitor to the border of Namanga region, which splits Tanzania and Kenya apart. This is the area I ended my last walk. Our plan was to walk from the border to Nairobi via the A104 road but before we would leave our bags behind at my buddy Neil’s house. I met Neil the year before in Vilanculos, Mozambique during my journey. Once we met up with Neil he was prepping to climb Mt. Kenya with his friend Lucy, they had just an hour before they had to depart. They both asked if we’d be keen to join, after some back and forth talks with Lilli we decided to climb the mountain with them. That was probably the most last minute mountain climbing decision ever made. However the days ahead of us would tell us it was well worth it.
I’m 31 today and this time last year I celebrated my 30th birthday on a flight to South Africa. With no clue as to what to expect, I had only my faith in humanity and my 10 month long preparations for this 2 year journey. It is now year 1 and it has been a really tough road. I make it appear easy, believe me it is not. The shootings with rebel tribes in Mozambique, the arrests in South Africa, jailed in Malawi, threatened by elephants, hippos and snakes, nearly drowning trying to cross rivers or drowning in the middle of Lake Malawi. I desperately would like to be in a dark quiet room and do nothing for 1 more month.
It’s been hectic, pushing 30 to 50km per day to make up lost time in Nkhata Bay. Impossible to sleep anywhere without children, sometimes of the hundreds bombarding. You want to stay sane and smiling but the tiredness gets to you.
In each village (or random beach) I have to meet with the chief (the guy in the white shirt) and he decides whether I stay or not. Some of these people along this massive lake have never seen a foreigner, so for me to speak English with a black face is completely alien to them.
Today I had some problems with the kayak, where it nearly went sinking 2km out in the lake. That was the scariest moment, forget the 3 – 4 metre high waves, they’re fun. But having your boat sink while adrift can really get your nerves going. I managed to swim ashore (along some rocks) which had me scraped up head to toe, however I survived and managed to save the kayak as well. Lesson well learned.
The biggest obstacles aren’t: nearly drowning in a river, falling off a long board at high speed, drag racing, getting shot at by rebels or dying from heat exhaustion, just to name a few things that have happened. The biggest obstacle has been dealing with people. I had to dance over lava just to receive a kayak that a week ago seemed like an impossible dream, but here I am with the perfect kayak and all because of the generosity of a few amazing people who believed in my cause. I am incredibly grateful for Myburgh and Willie to have given me their kayak to use for the one month it takes to cross the Lake as well as Kay De Silva and Bernie who have helped connect me with these guys and of course everyone else who was a part of this mission. They trusted not only my capabilities but also my spirit of adventure and exploration. It is only through exploration and rugged adventure that you will discover humanity. After a week of hustling and getting turned down at every corner I am now ready to row.
Why is it always the poorest people who have nothing to give but give everything and ask for nothing in return? The answer is for you to discover.
Tomorrow is the first day of a brand new voyage where I will kayak from the bottom to the top of Lake Malawi, eventually arriving in Tanzania. This is an exciting adventure, though I’ve been given many warnings about the grave dangers the lake can throw at me, sudden freak waves that reach 4 to 5 metres, hippos and crocs that lurke along the coasts. These things don’t scare me, it will be a beautiful challenge.
I’ve climbed Mt. Mulanje and I have never felt more haenged before in my life than the last 3 days. My friend Flora I met through Couchsurfing decided to join me last minute and missions climbing and hiking up 3002 metres high. This mountain might seem small compared to the massive 5000m to 8000m mountains but the change of rock climbing and vertical walls made this a fantastic challenge. I’ve made some wonderful videos which I’ll post up soon.
Mario is an explorer currently embarking on a voyage to walk across Africa by foot.