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Going Home to Africa

Follow my dream to return to the African country of my birth from the continent of my heritage and the adventure that will take from from Europe down the bulge of Africa into South Central Africa.

In the beginning there was Monty

The job of updating my own websites always falls to the bottom of the list but as I was limited to working in front of a wood burner (because it was freezing cold everywhere else) I thought it was an ideal time to do what was long overdue. As I found myself reading through the pages and updating them, I realised that some time ago I mentioned Monty on my About me page and promised to blog about him... but then never followed through on that so I thought this was a good time to do so.   In 2008, when...
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The Living and the Dead

There is this notion that that at this time of year there is a thinning of the separation between the world as we know it and the spirit world.  Whether this is true or not I cannot say but I do think that it is a noble thing to spend two days of each year thinking of the loved ones who have contributed to our lives and passed before us, as well as our ancestors who have paved this path for us to be where we are in the world today. So this All Saints and All Souls day I...
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Letz Cast Podcast

I had met Jessica Bauldry when she interviewed me on the phone for an article which she published in the Luxembourg magazine Delano.   She had been inspired by what I was aiming to do and wanted to take a different angle by interviewing me for her personal podcast.   I was, at the time, already in Barcelona and working on BlueBelle when she did the interview.  Technology enabling me to be sitting in the back of the van in the street in Barcelona while she was in Luxembourg.   Follow the link to hear the podcast  Many of may know her...
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Oh the heat!

After finishing BlueBelle and starting to take her out on some test drives I started to realise how hot it was becoming.  Not too much of a problem when you're parked up somewhere and can open doors and windows wide but it was getting too hot for comfort.  So what was next?  I wasn't planning to leave for Africa until the fall when the worst of the heat had passed ... not certain I wanted to face Morocco or Mauritania and the edge of the Sahara in the midst of Northern Hemisphere summer.  So finding a place to hide out...
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Magazine Interview - Celsona (Solsona Magazine)

In the summer of 2018 I spent several months in Solsona, Catalonia in Spain and was welcomed by the local community and made some life-long friends.  To me it was the first time in Europe that I felt at home.  Despite not speaking the language Catalan (a mixture of French and Spanish), or Spanish, yet whether they understood me or not they made me welcome and it remains a memorable time.   The people also embraced me by helping me raise funds for Kusasa and the local Language school (EOI Manresa and Solsona) remains a loyal supporter of our girls. Celsona...
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Welcome Home

At some stage once the structure of the internal build was done things started to move on at a better pace, or perhaps it was just that my muscles were better attuned and I was better skilled. There was the seating area, finishing the internal structure of the kitchen cabinet, installing the sink and water bottles, the secure storage areas and not to exclude the book shelves. Slowly I added some colour with plastic sticker tiles, my Africa map, the quotes and sayings that I like to have around, curtains were cut and sewn, cushion covers made and suddenly it...
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Let the building begin!

September arrived and the days were slightly cooler and less crowded than they had been and I started to take early morning walks around to see some of the sites and visit markets (ever seeking bargains). It was also time to buy the panels for the sides and walls that we had been waiting for before getting on with building and then the panels of pine to build the structure framework. My nephew’s business had not ceased or let up during the summer months and he was soon to depart for South Africa so knowing it was pointless waiting for...
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Barcelona ... (cue Freddy Mercury)

I had come to Barcelona to stay with my nephew who is a multi-talented man in the construction business. He has a workshop in the city where he has lived for 15+ years. I had come to build out the inside of BlueBelle into a home, my home on wheels that would make me independent and take me home to Zimbabwe on my drive through Africa. My nephew’s workshop was the ideal place to do this. Note that, like many in Barcelona, my nephew has made a living space in his workshop and there wasn’t really room for one more,...
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Lock, Stock and BlueBelle

Returning to Luxembourg was necessary to settle personal matters and put into play the registration for the non-profit I wanted to start for girl’s education as well as picking up the 35 boxes, chair, table and carpet I had left in storage in my friend’s garage. My intention to return to Africa is a one-way direction and without a location or destination at present in Zimbabwe it means that I have to either pay storage for my goods while I am away for an indeterminate period of time or reduce to a size where I can impose my things on...
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The Heroine's Journey

This was one of my first interviews, below is the link to the article and the text is below. The Heroine's Journey What is the best thing that I love about my work? My work for over a decade has been working with Entrepreneurs which I truly love. Entrepreneurship brings people such a feeling of independence and freedom. However, right now I am working on returning home to my country of birth, Zimbabwe. I am planning to drive home, through 20+ countries and 20000km, on my own. At the same time I plan to raise funds to help promising young...
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DELANO - Luxembourg - Interview

My first interview was with Delano Magazine in Luxembourg.  They had got to know me in my term as President of The Network, a women's organisation in Luxembourg.   Read the full article on their website  https://delano.lu/d/category/dot-bekker/85064  
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Life is on the other side of fear.

Leaving the UK after living in a friend’s loft during a cold and wet winter (two of my favourite things ... not!) left me with dual feelings. Firstly I was glad to get out of the UK, one of the reasons I left 9 years previously is that there are so many people then there is the big brother controls which are everywhere (leaving you feeling safer but at the same time without any privacy), additionally now (with Brexit fever) ever more than before an unsettling feeling within the country of rising intolerance and strife and of course the weather....
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First things first!

You've met BlueBelle, now it's the serious work of getting her ready to go.  I'm still a long way off setting out, especially because I still need to earn/raise a large sum of money to cover the costs of the journey.  But I've always believed that in order to get success you have to at least be on the path heading toward it.  Thus, I continue with 'the plan' despite not quite knowing if I can manifest it. First thing was to clean out the van and try to rid it of the disgusting smell of oil.  I think they...
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BlueBelle ... my new friend

Finally, here is an introduction to BlueBelle my new friend with whom I intend to drive home to Zimbabwe ... InShaAllah (god willing) as they say in Arabic. As per my last blog here are the details of the van, whom I have affectionately called BlueBelle. MAKE:       Ford MODEL:     Transit 190 LWB YEAR:        1998 ENGINE:     2496cc - Diesel (Heavy Oil) She started out life working for a church as a disability and community vehicle and at some time she was a general runabout van for someone who didn't really look after her.  She came to me from a dealer East...
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The Van ... unicorn or donkey

Finding the right vehicle has been a true challenge.  My earlier specifications were quite specific but getting all of those to fit into my within my budget meant that instead of a sparkling unicorn I probably settled for a very solid donkey, not too pretty but should do the job just as well. I've come to realise that not having paid any attention to vehicles, but for the basics, has been a disadvantage, however, I've done a lot of work to understand and learn more, hence I came up with the list that I published earlier.  I'm really grateful to...
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Alternative Living

In 2008 Monty (so called as he was a Ford Tioga Montego) was to be my new home for a while, at least on a journey around Europe to see some of the places never yet seen.  In hindsite he was too big but at the time it seemed a reasonable space to live in for 2 people and 2 dogs.  Monty, as I said was a Ford Tioga Montego RV.  He (he because he was a beast and not in the least bit she) had a V8 engine running on either Petrol or LPG and had long range tanks...
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Unexpected Inspiration

In planning this journey, it can be overwhelming and there are days when I wonder where or why I thought of it and then I sit quitely and it usually passes and my enthusiams is renewed by a message, kind word, post share, it can be anything at all.  The past few months have been challenging, there is no easy way to pass from one life into another without sadness and reflection.  Add to this the grey days (a whole new 50 shades of grey!) in UK, while I'm waiting for some things to resolve and looking for a vehicle...
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What I need is a Unicorn!

Any of you following me thus far will have noted my several and many promises to blog about vehicles and today I've decided to put all the confusing, conflicting and helpful information together into a blog.  It should be easy right, just get a camper and head out.  If ONLY!  It is one of the most difficult things thus far.  I guess it is only difficult because I'm doing this on a tight budget and if I had tens of thousands of € or £ the entire thing would be over and done with.  But as the saying goes "beggars...
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The cost of moving on ...

Two months since I last blogged ... what on earth have I been doing?? I have been doing a lot to move my life in a new direction but there is a cost that isn't just monetary when we make changes.  It is often said that moving house is one of the top stressors but I think that moving life from one stage to another may top that.  It is never easy to say goodbye to the people, places and even my lovely dog (who left at 17.5 years old). I've also realised that when you're moving on you need...
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Things to do ...

It has been great to meet so many people who are interested in my trip and have offered ideas and suggestions, given advise and sage wisdom, all of this has been appreciated.  However, the one question that I do get asked the most is "when are you going".  Some people believe that it's a bit like deciding to drive to Greece and all I need to do is get in my car and go. Regrettably the reality is that in order to do this trip well there are not only a lot of things that I need but many things...
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About Dot

Dot is Zimbabwean born and raised and after having lived in Europe for 20 years she decided to return home but uniquely she decided to drive  through Africa to get there.

She achieved her dream by driving 20,000kms through 18 West African countries over 8.5 months on her own for most of the journey.  Her book of the same title will soon be launched,and you can find out more about Dot or subscribe to the Blog for more.

 

THE BOOK

The book is being launched in phases ... if you are interested in an eBook or Kindle version of the book or if you are interested in the extended SPECIAL EDITION (which contains photos) please visit the book shop and order your download  https://goinghometoafrica.com/index.php/book-shop For the paperback edition see Amazon worldwide from end April 2021 or for a Zimbabwe/SA edition, please contact Dot for details of how to get your copy.

 

Kusasa Scholarship Fund

Alongside my journey I've decided to raise funds for scholarships for girl's education in Zimbabwe, find out more about that here, to contribute to the Scholarship Fund please do so here.