Apologies for the long no speak. It’s been 7 weeks since our Zanzibar Tour and I’ve been off the bike a lot, getting over eye operation number 9.
For the sake of those who can’t leave Zimbabwe, like our beleaguered pensioners, we have to carry on peddling hope in Zimbabwe, not despair. And that job was made easy for me early this morning when I opened an e-mail from best friends living in California, informing me they have made the Old Legs Tour Trust beneficiaries in their living will. Wow. I was almost moved to tears that Zimbabwe remains a village, even though this government has scattered us to the far corners of the world.
I am very happy to report that the Old Legs Medical Fund continues to save lives and change lives. Please accept my sincere apologies for not providing more regular feedback on all the good work that we are able to do with your help. If you saw the state of my sock drawer, you might understand. But like the Twickenham ref, that is a pathetic excuse and going forward, starting today, we will post regular updates of the work we do on www.oldlegstour.com.
In the interim please know that through our partner charities, Old Legs helps hundreds of pensioners with their monthly medicines, with their medical aid payments.
With huge help from Bruce Hobson, our Welfare Fund was able to buy the Salvation Army a new 46” flat screen television, unfortunately (if you are an All Blacks supporter!) in time for them to watch the rugby. Previously, the men there would just sit watching nothing, like Hamerkops on a dry riverbed.
Thanks to the kind people at Vaitive Distribution, we distribute monthly food and goodie packs to a long list of needy pensioners, mostly living outside of care facilities. Our Medical Fund continues to be especially busy. In the last 2 months, we’ve helped with numerous medical emergencies, including two heart ops, and remain on track to assist with 24 hip and knee replacements this year, more than double the number of procedures last year, including a new knee for an ex RAR soldier who lost a leg in a contact towards the end of the war.
I love all the good stuff that we are able to do, but our hip and knee replacement program is truly lifechanging for the people we help. Last year, we scrambled to pay for last month’s operation. This year, with your help and the help of valued service provider partners, we’re bulk buying implants through to December and beyond.
Thank you and God bless to Bruce Hobson, Trevor and Rachael Austin, to Revelo Bike Barn for their donation of the warmest blankets ever, and to Penny Brown in Zambia, Andrew Bowen, and the Reimer family for helping us help others, and others too numerous to mention. RIP Jack Walker, you fought such a brave fight, and Cheryl Saint Byrne, the nicest, kindest lady.
In closing, please be invited to join us in Harare in October for the official Zanzibar Tour wrap, details to follow. It will be epic, the seating will be limited, so get ready to book now.
And please also be invited to join us on our next Old Legs adventures coming soon to a town near you, provided you live in either New Zealand or Angola. Because our waiting list for medical help is longer than one of my blogs, the Old Legs Tour will be riding 2 Tours next year.
In March we will ride New Zealand from top to bottom, including the Southern Alps and 32000 meters of climb, plus our drum roll main event in July when we tackle Angola, via the Kalahari and Zambia’s Barotse Plains, the source of the Zambezi, and the very scary Serra Pass, which is the main reason why the Tour de France never routes via Angola. NB Please note that all participants pay their own way on Tour and not a donated cent is diverted away from the charity.
Until my next blog, Have Fun, Do Good and Do Epic if you can
Eric Chicken Legs de Jong.
* Names and images may have been changed for privacy reasons
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Any assistance is greatly appreciated and goes a long way to giving our pensioners a better quality of life and lift the pressure of money worries which is very debilitating emotionally.
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