One Sunday afternoon May 6th my family and I went to meet some of my Dad's-Baba's-friends. We were meeting up with them so we could run a garage sale. All of the funds that we made that day went to disabled kids in Nepal, to help them get wheelchairs. Plus all the stuff we didn't sell went to the Salvation Army.
After Tanzania, on 25th April, I headed to Kasumulu border towards the northern Malawi- 82nd country I stepped. The Lake Malawi previously known as Nyasa Lake was nicknamed as “Lake of Stars” by David Livingstone, is the third largest lake in Africa and touches 3 countries- Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique and also known as the Calendar Lake ( 365 miles long and 52 miles wide). I cycled 403 Kilometers along the edge of the Lake Malawi. The blue color of water and nice beaches reminded me of the cycling along the sea shore in Chile, the only difference here was all greenery along the road whereas it was all desert along the way. It was a wonderful experience in Karonga moving in a highway at the western shore of the Lake Malawi. The Lake Malawi has the highest number of species of fish among all the freshwater lakes in the world and provides a living for many people living around. I was impressed by the fishermen who went for fishing very early in the morning and came back with fish for sale at 6 am, when the others including myself have just woken up.
As always, I am fortunate and blessed to meet fellow countrymen like Mr. Bharat Rijal, a Nepali who has been working with a newly established Tanzanian mobile company as the Country Manager. He shares his experiences this way - "When I first came to Tanzania in September 2010, there was only one Nepali and he also worked in my company. We used to think that we were the only Nepalese in the coutnry until we ran into Mr. Binod Patel, Mr. Arjun and Mr. Ramesh Paudel. Soon the circle of Nepalese grew and a community was established as each one of us introduced other Nepalese we knew.”
After leaving Serengeti, I reached Arusha region on 29th February and Mr. Prem Grurung received me there happily. I had a wonderful time dining at Mr. Sushil Gurung’s home that night. Every time I spend my time in such a family environment, I miss my family a lot. Both Mr. Prem and Mr. Sushil work with the United Nations and have been living in Arusha since last 13 years.
The next day, on 1st March, I visited the office of the Mayor of Arusha and I also gave an interview to Arusha Times and visited United Nation’s office. It was a great time of honor and pride for me. On the 2nd I reached Moshi region where Mount Kilimanjaro is situated. Mt. Kilimanjaro stands 5,895 meters tall and is the highest peak of Africa. It is the most favoured tourist destination of Tanzania. 7500 tourists from all over the world visit Mt. Kilimanjaro every year.
On April 3rd 2012, I had the honor to meet Honorable Dr. Terezya Huvisa, Minister of State for Environment at the Vice President’s office at Dar es Salaam and convey my message for world peace, social harmony and environmental protection.
It is said that during 21st century, humankind and its negligence of the environment poses a biggest threat to its own existence. It is because of this threat, I try to reach out to the children whenever I get chance to explain to them my mission to spread the message of peace and protection of our environment. I believe each one of us must take the responsibility to love, inspire and educate our future generation of leaders to become aware of their environment and teach them how to create a sustainable world.
I had an opportunity to visit theInternational School of Tanganyika (IST) in Dar es Salaam on 30th March 2012. IST is a leading international school in Africa founded in 1963 and has teachers and students representing more than 50 countries. I am very grateful to Mr. Arun Raj Joshi, of the World Bank Office in Tanzania and Ms. Mike Connors whose precious efforts made it possible for me to be there.Ms. Ilana Locker, the librarian at IST nicely arranged the program and I had the opportunity to interact with many students and attend their assembly with over 500 students, teachers, and some parents.
Last Dec of 2011, with a friend’s help, we provided ten wheelchairs as a Christmas gift to children with limited mobility in Nepal. Sadly, there are many more children with physical disabilities in Nepal that needs a wheelchair. One of my goals this year is continue the project which I like to call “The Gift of Mobility” to raise enough funds to provide hundred more wheelchairs to the children that needs one.
I was excited to reach the Serengeti National Park on 27th Feb at 10:30am in the morning. The park is Tanzania'a oldest and famous national park known for its annual migration of over one and half million of white bearded wildebeest. The park is critical component of Tanzania's economy and is helping sustain the country's tourism industry. The trip to the park was indeed the most expensive event which costed $700. It was worth every cents. Because of dangers from the roaming animals, cycling inside the park is prohibited. Along with $50 fee per day, I had to rent a car and hire a guide. The natural beauty of the park and sight of the animals dwelling are breath-taking and I am limited in my vocabulary to describe the park's true beauty. The park reminded me of the animation film "Lion King". I kept visualizing the scenes and the characters from the film as I watched the different animals going about their business.
I entered Kabanga border on February 16th and stayed at Gara that day. Gara is almost 40 kms away from the border. It wasn't possible for me to exchange dollars in banks at Gara since they didn't have any dollar account. But fortunately I got help from a lady working at the immigration office, Ms. Sophia. I am really thankful to her for such a great help. After getting my money exchanged, I pedaled through Nyakahora, Rusahonga, Yakanazi, Vere, Bwanga, Geita and finally reached Mwanza city, which is also Tanzania's second largest city. Mwanza populary known for the Bismarck rocks just at bay in Lake Victoria which where the city gets its title as "the Rock City". If you look at the rocks, it seems like they were stacked up by man but actually the formation occurred naturally.
Lawerence Anthony is a great loss to the conservation world who died March 6 at age 61. He is known as The Elephant Whisperer and gained worldwide respect for his amazing rescue of the animals in distress at the Baghdad Zoo during Iraqi invasion in 2003. His human friends are not the only people mourning the loss. At Thula Thula, the private wildlife park in South Africa where he was the director of conservation, the entire herd of elephants who knew him and loved him, came to his home to say farewell.
His wife Francoise wrote On the Facebook page of Thula Thula: "Tonight at Thula Thula, the whole herd arrived at the main house, home to Lawrence and I. We had not seen them here for a very long time. Extraordinary proof of animal sensitivity and awareness that only a few human can perceive. And Lawrence was one of them."
His son Dylan went on to say that there are two elephant herds at Thula Thula reserve. They were all his father's beloved elephants which both herds arrived at the house after his death. They had not visited the house for a year-and-a-half and it must have taken them about 12 hours to make the journey. They all hung around for about two days before making their way back into the bush."