"Dear Marjan and InAxtion,
Flew back to Amsterdam from Johannesburg on Sunday after an incredible experience. It was a very intense week in many ways, emotionally as well as physically. Clocking up the miles in South Africa in temperatures of 42 Celsius, on gravelly and sandy roads, climbing 830 metres in the process, is a very different proposition from training in the Netherlands. But we were cheered on by people along the way and lifted by the stunning surroundings and the excellent Orange Babies coaching.
We camped in really unusual places, we were welcomed by African dancers, we saw the Big 5 in the Kruger Park, we slept in beautiful African lodges and exchanged wonderful stories under the light of the moon by a campfire underneath the biggest Baobab Tree in South Africa. Visiting the Orange Babies projects was the most special event of all - the warm welcome, the children, the hospitality, the joy and gratitude we felt there are indescribable. Wonderful to get the chance to do this together as mother and daughter.... Great organisation, Orange Babies!
We visited Sparrow Ministries, an institution which houses abandoned and terminally ill children with HIV/Aids. On Wednesday, we visited the Family Free Health Unit project on our bikes. This Unit offers mobile health care to people who have poor access to health care, either because of distance or because practices are overcrowded. On the last day, we got to see the Mount Olive project in Johannesburg. The project is aimed at community development in relation to people who have problems as a result of HIV/Aids. We were welcomed by 300 children in beautiful costumes who performed dances they had learned. We danced with them, helped to serve their lunch and had our own meal there. A really special experience.
In the afternoon we completed the trip by cycling in Soweto (South West Township in Johannesburg), an experience that really makes you appreciate having been born in the Netherlands. Orange Babies raised EUR 80,000 in sponsorship money, enabling them to sustain their projects into the future. Your donation was part of that! And we've seen for ourselves that the money is incredibly well spent.
Thanks again and next year we'll let you know about the Orange Babies Sponsor Tour again! (destination likely to be Cape Town!)
Love, Jacqueline and Chiara"
More information about this wonderful foundation: Orange Babies