Escape and Evade challenge completed: part 4

This is the final part of the Escape and Evade challenge, where we had to get as far as possible in 55 hours without spending any money on transport, food or accommodation.

We were in Bristol. Contacting my cousin was a great idea, we were definitely in need of some rest and food. When they picked us up from the busy train station, we drove, to our delight, through a McDonalds drive through. We hadn’t eaten since 9 in the morning. Full of appreciation, we scoffed the food down as quick as a flash.

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About an hour later, displayed on the dining room table, was an array of delicious, healthy buffet food. After tasting a bit of everything, I was completely full. And that was before the dessert came out – cheesecake and chocolate ice-cream. I thought it would be too rude to decline so I munched slowly through some. I was well and truly stuffed.

That evening, I curled up in bed pretty early due to the lack of sleep and the feeling of being exhausted.

The next day, I was so thankful to my cousins for sleep and food. When we got dropped off at the train station, we spoke to the lady at the barrier, who wouldn’t let us on so we headed for the coach station. On the way, we got given some Ritz biscuit, which we gave to a homeless person (one of our challenges). Once we had stepped through to the coach station, we found a coach to London that we wanted to get on. The driver was happy to have us on his bus, however, we had to speak to the managers and with pleading and persuading, he would not let us on. We got suggested to try Megabus. Our last hope.

When we arrived at the stop, we found that the only buses in the next hour were going to Plymouth or Birmingham: not where we wanted yo go. The next bus to London was in two hours time. Was it worth waiting two hours to get rejected. Maybe not but we had no other choice.

Walking around town, we got some free sample of food from Marks and Spencer’s. Then we decided to enjoyed our packed lunch that we were given. While eating, a man carrying a large, wooden cross was staggering around, telling people that ‘Jesus loved them’. Amazing.

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We also saw a bus that looked like it had been stolen from Brighton.

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Eventually, the Megabus came to a halt at the bus stop. There was a large queue and I was slightly worried that there wasn’t going to be any room, even if the driver did let us on. We spoke to one bus driver, who told us that he wasn’t the one who was going to drive to London so we had to wait for the actual driver. Departure time had passed, the driver still wasn’t there. Five minutes late, the driver turned up and was happy to have us on the bus. Great news.

The journey was uneventful and smooth. When we got into London Victoria coach station, we walked around the corner to the train station.

The last leg home. At the barrier, we spoke to several train workers. As the guy was shaking his head, he put his card down on the card reader and let us through. Finally we got a train to Brighton then onto Portslade. One the way back, we wrote a poem about our adventures (another one of our challenges). I will post it on my next post but I have to say I’m no poet. There was also a man, who kept leaning and falling on me. I was getting closer and closer to the window as he was having a nap.

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After three days, on an adventure, we got back to where we started.

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Final count: 737 miles, 55 hours, no money for transport, food or accommodation.

The reason for this challenge was to raise money for an amazing charity called Tearfund, who transform lives and poverty around the world. I am doing this, as I’m going to volunteer with them and lead a team in South Africa for three months.

I would love if you could sponsor me, anything small or big would be greatly appreciated. I also want to say a massive thank you to all those who have already donated and those people who were generous on our Escape and Evade challenge.

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Just click to sponsor me for this challenge.

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Mission work planning: Zimbabwe meeting

A few weeks ago, I attended a meeting about my adventure to Zimbabwe. It was quite intense as there was so much information but it just got me more passionate about this trip, the people I will be working with as well as the experiences I will encounter.

The purpose of the meeting was to get to know the people that are going on the mission (I knew most of them but not close to any of them) and the arrangement and information for the trip. The mission trip is going to consist of 11 people, ranging in ages, genders, interests and skills.

The agenda involved:
1. Travel arrangements – our flights, travelling to Heathrow, baggage, travel insurance and travel in Zimbabwe
2. Boarding and lodging – where we were staying, rooming and food arrangements
3. Money matters – the cost of the trip and what it covered plus any spending money
4. Medical matters – immunisation, medication to take, temperature and clothing
5. Mission activities – information and proposed courses, working with school, spiritual activities, practical work and repairs, working with children and youth, out in the community
6. Possible excursions
7. Items to take – food, clothing, gifts, laptops, cameras
8. Fundraising ideas
9. Further preparations – design of courses and certificates, training for prayer ministry, children activities and evangelistic outreach

I know that there are going to be many challenges out there (including lots of mosquito bites), but I also know that God will be there beside me, and I know that I want to challenge myself to do things that I may not feel comfortable with or have not done before. I was to become stronger in Christ, rely on him more in every situation and have faith to believe unexpected miracles.

Zimbabwe mission overview

In September, I will be going with a group to Zimbabwe for two weeks with Paraclete Christian Network International (PCNI) charity to do mission work.

Zimbabwe may be seen as a vibrant, beautiful country but this is far from reality. Over the last few years, due to political unrest, social destruction and economic decline, the country which was once the bread basket of Africa with a flourishing economy and a good social, educational and medical infrastructure has been brought to its knees. Inflation is now under control after the introduction of the US dollar but prices are very high – beyond the reach of most of the poor people. Life for many Zimbabweans is a desperate struggle for survival. The undoubted scenic beauty stands in stark contrast to the vast array of human need: poverty, malnutrition , widespread HIV/Aids, unemployment, political repression and more. Life expectancy now is a mere 37 years for men and a pitiful 34 for women!

In the midst of all this devastation, PCNI has been working in Kuwadzana, a Southern suburb of Harare since 1996. They have a training centre there which currently engages in the following activities: A Christian Training School for lay workers, a secondary school, a library/reading room, a pre school, a community hall, an HIV/Aids orphans feeding programme, a brick laying and welding project, a sewing project, a community hall and a church.

What will we be doing in Zimbabwe?

We will be working with people in the Kuwadzana township to do a variety of work activities including:
-Helping in Secondary School – teaching English, doing assemblies and after school sport clubs
-Practical work – decorating, repairing, constructing
-Providing practical training – electrics, ICT
-Leading bible school teaching sessions and staff morning devotions
-Helping church pre-school and children’s Sunday school
-Visits to women’s and youth meetings
-Prayer ministries at the centre, in church and homes

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