Week 15

Sir Harry Lauder

Our weekly diary is a way to keep track of where our teams have reached on their way to Chaparda, and hopefully a way to encourage everyone, as the Scottish music hall entertainer Sir Harry Lauder famously sang, to “Keep right on to the end of the road…”. It’s a wonderful song – have a listen and pay attention to the words… It’s a song of encouragement and companionship ‘we’ll be there at the end of the road…’. That’s the beauty of teamwork, and of a project like the Chaparda Challenge, where everyone encourages everyone else. So keep on doing just that!

Emma pointed out that this week we passed the 100 day mark of our Challenge, having left York on Easter Sunday, April 4th, and to date our four teams have covered a total distance of 6,379 miles. That’s amazing! The distance from York to the Jay Ambe hospital is only 5,686 miles so in one sense we’ve already achieved our goal of covering the miles. Take a bow, everyone!

But we didn’t want to do it the easy way as one single team, and we’re pushing on in our own smaller teams, so let’s take a look at progress this week.

Having kept pace for so much of the challenge the snow leopards and monkeys are putting a bit of daylight between each other as they make their way through Serbia. The wee monkeys end the week close to the Monastery of St Stephen in Koporinska, our feature image at the top of this week’s diary, while the snow leopards are further to the south in the beautiful Serbian mountains, close to the town of Pirot. If you’re hungry, Pirot is the town for you. The Serbian Tourist Board want you to know that “This is the town in which you can try the tastiest homemade hard cheese and the “Pirotska peglana” sausage” – so there you go, Serbia is a nourishing place for both our teams: spiritual nourishment for the wee monkeys, and hard cheese for the snow leopards!

Serbian Tiger at Schmiding Zoo

The tigers continue to prowl the road, and are now well inside Austria, close to the town of Wels. What do you know, Wels has not one, but two zoo’s, and one of them is famous for their TIGERS! Not Indian, but the rare Siberian Tiger. You’ll enjoy meeting your kindred spirits!

The peacocks meanwhile carry on the long route across Turkey and have passed through Istanbul, crossed the Bosphorous Strait and are now reaching the end of a long section that saw them follow the shore of the Marmara Sea. The Marmara Sea is Turkey’s enormous  inland sea, which is linked by narrow straits to the Black Sea to the east and the Aegean Sea to the west.

Never given to stick around in one place for long the peacocks didn’t spend any time in Istanbul, so we’ll save our description of that amazing city for another day and the visit of another team. They end the week in the port city of Korfez. Looks like they made it just in time for the wrestling championship, so I hope they all enjoyed that – some fine physiques there…

Tea and Chocolate!

We couldn’t publish the diary this week without a special word of thanks to the kind hearts that sent tea and chocolate to everyone – judging by the WhatsApp messages both were much appreciated by all. Thank you to the World Medicine Trustees for that act of kindness.

So there we are, another amazing week. Our teams have covered 595 miles since last Sunday – to do that in the baking sun that most have been experiencing is wonderful, and thank you everyone for getting out there. Thanks too for all the lovey photographs that were posted of where people are dong their walking. It’s great to get a context for our real, as opposed to our virtual, walking. So keep posting them with a description of where you are!

For anyone using the ‘My Virtual Mission’ App on their phone it appears that a new update is causing some problems. Here’s a link to a help page on the Mission website which might help to get over any issues. If not, Emma has sussed it out so get in touch with her via WhatsApp for some help.

We added £35 to the fundraising total so it’s creeping up, but of course we would welcome more. Please do what you can to encourage donors and don’t forget you each have a personal fundraising page.

Don’t forget the good advice of Sir Harry Lauder – and have a listen to his beautiful song, written in tribute to his son, his only child, who died in the battle of the Somme in 1916.

Next week, all being well, we’ll mark a very special milestone… tune in then to find out what!