The Adventures of Rodrigus the Frog

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26 February 2011

Stroke Survivor's Walk of 2400km ends

Six months ago I met George Scola.

He was about to start a 2437 km walk from Beit Bridge, in the far north of South Africa, to Cape Point, in the far south.

Why? To raise awareness of the Stroke Survivors Foundation.

Two years before this George was released from hospital in a wheelchair, after suffering a stroke. And with perseverance, support and a huge desire to help other stroke survivors, George not only started the Stroke Survivors foundation with Charlene Murray but also decided to show what is possible for survivors of strokes, and so started this walk.

I joined him and Ray Chaplin (Adventurer, campaigner and educator), his support vehicle driver, and we headed off and started our walk.

Rods rest time with George

We went through diamond mining areas, where I checked out every tock possible go ensure I didn't miss any sparkling ones. I got to the border and saw Zimbabwe, illegal immigrants being arrested, monkeys, warthog, blesbok & possibly a leopard too!

It was hot out there, but the guys treated me well, keeping me hydrated and I enjoyed the aircon! My mate Cliff also joined us for a bit. After George’s first 100kms we had a great party in a place called Alldays, and I spent some time in the bush along the Limpopo River & Botswanan border

We got into the newspaper when George was interviewed by The Citizen!

Ray, George and Rod in the Citizen Newspaper

And then my life changed! In September I met my soul mate - Gerda Antoinette Koekemoer - at a braai! I'm in love! :) Sy's Afrikaans... so ek moet a bietkjie oefen! Sy boer langs die Limpopo Rivier [that is, she speaks Afrikaans, which I’ve got much better at, and she was farming next to the Limpopo River].

Gerda and Rod

Gerda joined us, and we chilled a bit at Kwa Maritane where had to hop lightly, as there were 14 [yes, 14!!!] elephants cruising by

We then caught up with the matchstick girl, Telana Simpson, in Johannesburg, as we attended FEAT and enjoyed hearing the adventure talks, especially Ray's!

At that event I was asked to go to Rocking the Gardens to support the World Wide Fund for Nature- which I did, and I wanted to see Telana dressed up as a Panda. It was so funny!

I got to catch up with the Ubuntu Girl, Sonja Kruse, and shortly after that though, we were "kidnapped" by the guys again, and joined them for another week, walking through more of the beautiful country side of South Africa.

Sonja and I then hitch-hiked back to Johannesburg to attend Africa's first SWARM party where we set a record for Africa!

Gerda and I then joined Telana on a trip to Cape Town to surprise George and walk with him and celebrate his reaching Cape Town. We walked on the N1 highway, through the harbour and Victoria Waterfront, and passed the Greenpoint Stadium!

Jonathan, George, Rod and Telana pass by Greenpoint Staium

We also got to attend Africa's first MP3 Experiment organised by improveverywhere while we were in Cape Town.

Today though is a day of celebration as George has finished his "Bring it on" Walk of 2400 km's! He has reached the Cape Point, and will be celebrating at a Banquet tonight!

The Stroke Survivors Foundation is playing a vital part in helping survivors with their recovery, adjusting to life and staying informed, motivated and positive. They are creating a national network that provides the much needed post-discharge rehabilitation and support for stroke survivors, their families and caregivers.

If you would like to support George, then get in touch!

Gerda and I salute you George! Well done on finishing your epic 6 month long walk of 2437 kms! Reebit! Reebit!

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