Friday, July 9
The Shirt is proudly hanging in Brightwater Shopping Mall, Joburg. It's a fantastic sight.
While I've been roadtripping it around South Africa these past three weeks, Bjorn and Marianne have been hard at work in Joburg continually spreading the word to the international press. Bjorn has even been featured on Costa Rican TV.
Catch all his latest news here
Truthfully, I'd be very happy to fly home today, but I am hoping to spend my last full day with Bjorn catching up on the past few weeks and reminiscing back over the adventure from Kenya to Kopfontein.
It turns out though that Bjorn is booked up with shirt commitments around the Gauteng area and, as I don't have transport, I can't meet him.
Later on friday he also has to pull out of our planned 'last night on the beers':
"Sorry mate. I'm with Nelson Mandela's photographer and Morgan Freeman. Catch you tomorrow lunchtime in the pub."
Blown out for Morgan Freeman! I suppose I can forgive him on this occasion :)
Instead, Blackburn and I spend my last evening in South Africa in the Nigerian gangster pub over the road from our guesthouse. This is where I first found Blackburn stumbling around all those weeks ago, before the World Cup had even begun.
It's Castle and Klipdrift, then time to pack my bags...
Sunday, April 18
We are up early as it is time to hit the road and for me to do my first long-distance cycling.
We take the Mombasa Ferry to the south shore and begin the journey towards Tanzania. I feel stressed but relieved to finally get going. I don't know how far I am capable of cycling.
To be honest, I did not train for this before I came to Africa. I like cycling around Riga in the summer but a cycling holiday would be my idea of hell.
After a kilometre or two it starts raining. It rains hard like it usually rains near the Equator this time of year. The cycling is tough but I surprise myself with my initial staying power. That said, the road is generally good. Having set off around 7.30am we call it a day 5 hours later with about 60kms on the clock.
Home for the night is a Muslim family's house in a village named "mangrove" in Swahili. Rafiki Kenia (a Dutch Foundation) have put money into the village providing an excellent medical centre, electricity and clean water.
We walk to the local mangrove and afterwards enjoy dinner with some family members of the Dingo Tribe.
Friday, April 16
We got up at 5am and watched a couple of the young lads prepare tea for all the boys in the home. After a breakfast of tea and bread we left Shamak and the other lads to meet the guys who are still living and sleeping on the street.
We arrived at an otherwise deserted field to find 25 boys stood around a temporary fire burning tyres and flip flops to get high. At least half were sniffing glue, dogs snarling and fighting all around them. Glue is the cheapest thing to get high on and, like any addiction, screws up the boys' lives.
We came to meet the boys and play football with them. A couple of them were edgy and slightly confrontational with us, but the vast majority welcomed us in. Two Norwegians (both ex-professionals) and one Englishman joined 20 or so street boys in torrential rain on a pitch that consisted of sand, huge puddles and rock. It resembled pictures of the terrain in the trenches of World War I
I have played in thousands of football matches in my life but this was perhaps my favourite. The boys, despite their problems, showed discipline, team spirit, a desire to win and played fairly.
The right winger on my side could dribble and cross the ball like a pro. How good would he be if he could get off the street?
My side lost the game 6-4. I scored two, including the goal of the game - a spectacular volley :) I also provided the biggest laugh of the day when I slipped in an almighty puddle, flew up in the air and landed horizontally in the water. Even the most drugged up of the boys laughed aloud.
I will always remember my time with the glue boys of Mombasa. I hope they make it off the street.
Had a meeting with the Norwegian Refugee Council today. They talked us through the crisis in Somalia. There are now 3.2 million affected by the humanitarian crisis. The country is in a complete state of anarchy.
The people can try to escape by boat to Yemen or risk their lives to get to the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. Dadaab is the world's biggest refugee camp with 270,000 currently 'living' there.
It is 80km from the Kenya/Somalia border - a border that is officially closed.
Bjorn flies in there tomorrow. The NRC couldn't find me a place on the flight in because it is full with UN personnel and relief equipment. It would have been an amazing experience but understandably other people are needed there more than me.
Bjorn will be my eyes and ears...and yours
Spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon in an orphanage in Nairobi. It is very well run and the kids are being given another chance in life. But I did find the whole experience a little upsetting and very humbling. When you hold a tiny 8-month old kid in your arms and feed it and you know young Carl has no parents, you are bound to feel upsetI guess.
But truthfully I felt like running away. It was just another of those obvious reminders of how good my life is and how crap most people's are.
looks like Bjorn will be back in Nairobi on sunday. So I am sitting tight in the city getting over the jet lag and planning ahead for the coming weeks. Hope to make it to watch local side Gor play in the Kenyan Premier League tonight. Will also try to get a shirt and publicity for the project from them
Sat having a beer in MiliMani Backpackers in Nairobi after arriving mid-afternoon. Good flight over, stopping off in Dubai. Enough time to see the world's highest building.
Bjorn is up north in a huge refugee camp. Big media presence. He's been told one of the press crews will show the film in 48 countries with approximately 20 million likely to see the story.