Our Big5Hike took place this past weekend and we had almost 100 hikers summit the 5 peaks surrounding The Cavern. It was a weekend of incredible sunshine and was such a success with R1m raised to go towards educating the children from our rural amaZizi Village.
We gathered on Saturday evening for our Home Coming Party and we shared our thoughts from the day…
2019 – The Year of the Feather Duster
There have been days when the tickle of the feather duster has just been an annoyance. There have been days when the feather duster flaps completely over the face and there is no clear vision or way forward. There have been days when the feather duster seems buried in the brain and every neurological pathway seems to be interrupted and names and places and arrangements just fly from memory. And then there are days when the feather duster does its job and the cobwebs and the dust are all cleared. These are the sparkly moments. How do we hang onto the sparkle and let this rather define us.
Well, in my mind it begins with gratitude and a deep appreciation for what is. So today, I’m grateful:
For the most gorgeous sunshine. For each person that has committed to this Big5Hike.
To each individual on our Cavern and Royal Drak team that has supported, slogged and made today happen.
I am indebted to the friends that are there to pick up the pieces, and to those of you who are so incredibly gracious when things go wrong.
I am thankful to each of you that raised funds so that we can keep the access to quality education available to children from our amaZizi Village.
A few mentions; Our youngest big5hiker for today – Amelia at just 7 years; Our top individual fundraisers – Jess Hilburn aged 11 years who only needed to raise R2500 raised an astounding R16000 and Liam King who couldn’t join us because of UCT exams raised R18000 and will hike in July. And, special mention, Alison Curtis almost hit the target of R15000 but also managed to organise a wonderful Duplo donation for our school.
I am grateful …..
To the families who do things together. To the corporates and the individuals that commit.
Melville Douglas and Total Gateway for support and for championing so passionately for our cause.
To Hollard for the unwavering support.
To INCE thank you, and Robert Smith who at the 11th hour arranged this sponsorship.
To the cousins in Holland of Out In Africa Tours who gather support through their local school and sponsor Sugar Loaf.
To ClucasGray and Paul Carter who have a team, a peak and a t-shirt.
To Mooney Ford who have spread our message far and wide and for sponsoring Cannibal Cavern plus more.
To the Watt-Pringles, who we miss this year, but who make sure we are well fed and watered with Mugg & Bean, Wimpy & Sparkle Treats.
To Georg & Gerti, our Austrian friends, whose organisation SORO have sponsored Camels Hump.
To the wine merchants – Meander Fine Wines, Vinimark & VDP Distributors – you have been incredibly generous.
To Colenbrander for the beanies, caps & hats over the years and the swish beanie buffs this year. It’s lovely to have Steve and his family here with us.
To the photographers – Anton & Matt – who captured the moments and will help tell our story.
To the paramedic on the ground, Lizelle, who gave us complete peace of mind.
We have much to be thankful for. To our Cavern family which extends to Montusi that is committed to gathering, helping & doing…
In 1941 Bill Carte arrived here with the dream of building a farm and a life. He had 13 short years in this pristine valley but today I think he’s smiling down on seeing his vision still working its way out through the Cavern family and all its people – the vision of leaving the world a little bit better.
So thank you all. Watch that feather duster, be aware of the cobwebs and keep focused on what sparkles.
And then, a short piece from a wonderful friend and Big5Hike supporter:
We huffed and we puffed and we Hollard up Hlolela.
Ince it nice to be Out in Africa on a gorgeous day like today.
Not a cloud in the sky. No black or Clucas Gray.
A half Mooney Ford this morning as we made our way, traversing the 5 peaks all the way to the cave.
Wimpy burgers and Spier bubbles fortified our resolve to summit Camels Hump and swallow our pride. Through the stables we trudged and up the other side, to drown our Soros with Rawdons lager and Crispy fries.
Our 5 peak sponsors, we thank you; our hikers and guides. To all the Cavern Team who enable us to fulfil our dream;
Of providing Education, and the chance of a Vocation.
To the children of Amazizi and the future youth of our Nation.
So we wish you a good night and from your beds tomorrow may you alight.
As our president once said, when there is a challenge…..ask me. When there is a need….ask me. When there is a cause….ask me. And so we asked and you all said yes!
Thank you for being here. Thank you for raising the funds. Thank you for saying yes.