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Week 29

After the excitement of having three contributors last week it’s back to just me, I’m afraid. We have an expression in Scotland that after the excitement of something different it’s ‘back to old clothes and porridge‘ – same old same old, in other words! Sorry about that, but I’ll try to at least add some spices to the porridge!

backatoploafcLet’s begin with our tigers, who have made great strides this week, crossing from Hungary into Serbia and now racing south. Tonight, they’re in the town of Backa Topola and I wonder if they got there early enough to take in a game of football? it’s a Cathedral city and very pretty, but it’s also football mad – the town’s football team, FK TSC, are currently 4th in the Serbian super league, so they’re a good side. Sadly though, if the tigers went to see them play today they’d have been disappointed – they lost at home 3-1 to FK Partizan, the current league leaders.

Backa Topola is also a market town – historically and to the present day as well, and it has no fewer than 5 different museums, so if football is not your thing, then history and culture may well be. For any horse-lovers among our readers, this is the place to visit in September – the nearby village of Zobnatica has a world-class horse show in the grounds of Zobnatica Castle. So a nice place to visit, for sure.

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Haggis

The tigers might need a few fast horses to catch up with their closest neighbours, the snow leopards and wee monkeys. Both teams are currently making their way through Iran, making good progress towards Tehran. They’re not far apart – the snow leopards are outside the city of Zanjan and the wee monkeys are outside Qazvin. Zanjan has a population of over half a million people, three universities, plenty of museums and an amazing market called the Grand Bazaar. They say you can find anything there but I bet you’ll not get haggis! Please prove me wrong!

Up the road the wee monkeys just left Quazvin, just a bit smaller than Zanjan but still with a number of universities and packed with culture. Founded in the year 250 CE it’s got a long history and was at one time, in the 16th century, the capital of the  mighty Persian Empire. Like Zanjan, the city has a fabulous bazaar or caravanserai, and one it more unusual attractions is the largest domed water cistern in the world! It’s an important feature of the city, still in use today, a place to store the snow melt off the mountains to be used in the dry summer months.

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Bam Castle

Further south in Iran the peacocks have reached the desert city of Kerman. There seems to be so much to see and do in this desert oasis. Being such, it won’t come as a surprise that one main attraction is the fabulous Fath-Abad Garden, which would be stunning in any location but in a desert, it seems particularly so. Like so many others, it’s a city with a fabulous bazaar, the second oldest in Iran. And as it’s a city of great strategic importance its medieval fortifications are vast and well preserved. The most famous of these is the sand castle at Bam. Devastated by an earthquake in 2003 experts have lovingly restored it to its former glory. A stunning sight.

So a week of many sights and sounds – the footie, the market, the horses, the water and the stillness of the desert, to name a few. At the time of writing no one has recorded miles for today, Sunday, though I’m sure many miles have been trod, so the figures we have are from yesterday. In total, Monday to Saturday has seen us add 427 miles, which is great. Well done everyone.

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Judith Blair

This is when I usually make a pathetic plea to get busy with fundraising but tonight I’m able to change my tune… I’m able to say a massive and fabulous THANK YOU to Judith, who has added a phenomenal £2120 to the fundraising total! Thank you Jude!! She did this by donating what she recently earned giving an acupuncture workshop. We’re very touched and grateful for such a generous gift. In addition to this, Barbara and Batul also made wonderful contributions, so now our fundraising has reached an amazing £4692. Wow!

Please don’t be complacent, though, and of course our work in Chaparda and elsewhere will be better the more we are able to support it. So please keep giving and asking. It’s not for you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

For those who missed the notice about The Great Glencoe Challenge, please think about taking part and follow the instructions for signing on that are in our WhatsApp group. You’ll have the chance to come and stay in my lovely home, pictured at the top of the page today, and to watch Emma as she flies into the distance on what for her will be a wee stroll…!

Gary Carvill
Gary Carvill

One other piece of news – we have a new Trustee, Gary Carvill, a veteran of the Chaparda clinic, whom you can read about on our Trustee page on the website. Welcome Gary, and thank you for giving such important service to World Medicine.

Thanks to everyone for another great effort, and enjoy the last week of the longer days… clocks change on Saturday!