Who: L U C I E, L A C H L A N, and B O W W O W.
Their occupations: Gypsy, Slick Suit in Finance, Dog
The trip: Crossing Africa by 4×4, helping communities through trade.
We’ve cut our teeth on over 25,000km of dirt roads across Southern Africa with our dog, Bow Wow, sourcing wonderful, handmade treasures… Think Summer of Love! Here are our highlights so far…
I think it’s safe to say that Bow Wow is loving life in the UK. It’s certainly a far cry from the existence that he could have had as a township stray, surviving amongst the rainbow warrens of shacks in his birthplace, Imizamo Yethu in Cape Town, South Africa.
While we were in Australia over New Year 2012, we enjoyed a week soaking up the sun with friends on the Gold Coast and then road tripping to Byron Bay and Nimbin in New South Wales.
WOMAD is a most embracing festival with all age groups and races dancing together and appreciating great world music. As we gathered hopes, we could hear diverse talent from every corner of the globe. If only our national radio stations would take note!
The Tree4Hope survived the mud at The Secret Garden Party & we have never known such an abundance of beautiful hopes. Everyone should experience the secrets of the garden!
Hop Farm festival was brimming over with great music, eccentric characters and a whole lotta fresh hope. The stand out performance came from Damien Rice who we were honoured to meet the following day. We were fascinated to hear that, despite his success, he chooses to live a gypsy life, always on the move and with few possessions, just as we do.
After a stormy ferry crossing, we reached Guernsey for a festival filled with unforgettable moments including a blessing from pop wonder, King Charles!
Here are some snapshots of our time at Glade Festival with the Tree4Hope. What a weekend!
Lula, the Landy in which we explored over 30,000 km of Africa, has been shipped back to Britain. Lula has had a makeover as The Hope Truck (for The Band4Hope Project) and will be our home on wheels again over the next few months as we attend the coolest festivals across the UK.
Our wild African hound is at last here with us in the UK. As I type, his furry head rests on my feet, tired out after an intensive ball throwing and pond dipping session (those poor tadpoles!). It’s the best feeling to be together again.
On 1st January 2012, the rules for bringing dogs into the UK changed! The new pet immigration laws mean that Bow Wow won’t have to be put in quarantine. Instead quarantine is avoided by having a blood test three months in advance. We wonder what he’ll make of London’s stylish mutts!
Leaving Zimbabwe, poor Bow Wow becomes seriously ill with biliary and Lachlan is accused of trying to murder Mugabe.
Wanderlust For Life
Some people go on holiday. Others, however, go on awfully big adventures…
This is your mobile home on wheels with everything you need. We’re including a complete package as detailed below.
After wearing these special copper and zinc bands for a few days, inspiration struck. We came up with an idea which has the potential to spread hope, not just in Zimbabwe but across the globe.
Even though Bow Wow promised not to lift his leg against the statue of David Livingstone, no dogs are allowed at the Victoria Falls. Not even adventure hounds sponsored by Hill’s pet Nutrition.
The Tonga tribe were forced to move from where they’d lived and fished for centuries so that the power of the Zambezi could be harnessed for electricity and yet 50 years on and they still go without electricity or running water. No wonder they smoke dagga.
We discover why Lake Kariba’s southern shores are less travelled and live to tell the tale.
At the Chinhoyi Caves in Zimbabwe, we visit a crystal clear pool which is home to the souls of captured travellers and some lucky gold fish.
So much of Zimbabwe’s once productive farmland lies dormant since Mugabe’s redistribution of land. (An incredible documentary to watch is Mugabe and the White African – it is a story of moral courage about a family who stand up against the Zimbabwean government, refusing to leave their farm or desert their workforce.)
However, not only has an organic farm near Harare managed to keep going, they are also employing farm workers’ wives and sisters to make beautiful jewellery by recycling old magazines and catalogues.
We visited the farm and watched the women deftly create this unusual jewellery and made an order for Vagabond Van.
In Purros we visited Himba women whose fine jewellery made of metal, bone and skin would not look out of place strutting down an Alexander McQueen runway.
This shop owner in Sesfontein is from the Herero tribe whose most valued commodity is cattle. Herero women wear Victorian style full length dresses with hats made from rolled cloth that represent the horns of a cow.
On a South African highway, we passed hundreds of Communal Weaver bird nests on top of electricity pylons. We likened these to condos in the sky.
We returned to Harare and stayed with our Zimbabwean friends, Bruce and Nicola. It was fascinating to hear about how people coped during the desperate days of hyperinflation, when the enormously devalued Zimbabwean dollar was not even worth the paper that it was printed on. We joined them for extreme sundowners on a granite outcrop until a nearby lightning bolt caused our hair to stick right up on end (not a good sign!) and visited their sun filled factory called Copperwares.