July 14, 2010

Final Thoughts

On 9 June 2010, I reached Cairo, just a few hours before sunset. My quest had lasted 14 weeks and taken me through 10 countries and kingdoms: South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. By my daily GPS record, I have traveled over 14,000 kilometers. I fought through rain, hail, thunderstorms, sandstorms, extreme heat and fatigue to be able to finally say that I have conquered this continent.

The last few days of the trip were emblematic of the entire expedition, with highs and lows, solitude and joy, and encounters with both the natural wonders and teeming societies of the ancient and modern day African life. Over my quest, I learned that it was necessary for me to avoid fighting against the elements that make Africa what it is, but instead to embrace them, because the immeasurable power of the continent and its people will always win. Thus, I was able to save my energy to enjoy this truly humbling experience.

Whether it was encounters with the Kikuyu people of Kenya or strolling through the wondrous Pyramids of Giza, the experiences endure. The lands I have visited mixed natural beauty with the harshest living conditions that Africans, through the centuries, have managed to endure. If they can endure this, they can endure anything. I have experienced the beauty of the Mozambican coastline, the mouth-dropping setting of Lake Malawi, the open plains of the Serengeti, the majestic Kilimanjaro, the abundant Kenyan wildlife, the thunderous source of the Nile, the solitude of the 'Road to Hell', the dramatic Ethiopian highlands, the unrelenting heat of the Sahara, the life-giving Nile Valley and the overwhelming chaos of Cairo. Every location along the way provided its own challenges and held a unique reward that is embedded forever in my heart.

This has not only been a journey through Africa but it has also been a journey deep into my soul. I left expecting to only discover Africa, but have returned having also discovered myself. I have become my own best friend.

And now the trip has concluded.

Success? Bloody oath.

Life-changing? Definitely

Incredible? Maybe

Possible? Yes

More than ever, I am committed to the African land and its people that I have come to know and love. The international community, ever embarrassed about Africa, has turned its eye away from this wonderful continent. Hopefully my story will help in some small way to prove that Africa and its people will succeed. We dont need help, we just need time …

Thanks again for the support. Until next time.

Lots of love,
Gareth ‘ Bok’ Davey

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bloody Oath! Spoken like a true legend! Nobody else can challenge the impossible like you! Congrats, Gogs! What's next?

Love
Stuyv

Anonymous said...

Your final chapter puts your long and often difficult journey through Africa and the hike within yourself, so into perspective. Life, after all is ultimately about coming to terms with oneself and to reach this state, it often takes such demands or sacrifices, such as the one you have just completed, to realize it.

Well done Gareth...and you are so right about Africa!

John

Timothy Johnston said...

"More than ever, I am committed to the African land and its people that I have come to know and love." Seems weird to have had the operation then huh?

But it is a super awesome continent, and here's hoping the op is reversible.

Gareth 'Bok' Davey said...

Tim, ever heard of dual-citizenship? I would never give up who I am! Just because you don't live with your folks doesn't mean you don't love them.

Donna said...

Exactly, Bok. :)
You write soo well and I have loved reading all about your adventures and seeing the beautiful pictures. Well done on an amazing accomplishment.

Brad said...

Congrats Bok.....
Ever thought of doing this as a career? You write very well as I am sure everyone who has read your blog will agree and I think you have a burning desire to prove yourself as a journalist. Sometimes I did find your writing at odds with the Bokkie I thought i knew, but that is ok as most of your readership wont know you to start with.
Brad

Scott Parker said...

Well put Mr. Davey. A fitting last post. Thanks for being a good guy to meet out there.

Sean said...

Well done Bok, you quest and story has severed as an inspiration in my life. Having the privilege of spending a few days with you in Cairo was really special and to re-unite old friendships was awesome, thank you for that. Good luck for future excursions. Stay in touch big man

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sentiment dad...

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