If you read the post about Mark Eveleigh lying in a Spanish hospital with a nasty bout of malaria, you’ll know that we have just unleashed a new crew of volunteers on West Africa.
The new crew flanking Samuel and his team of roving mechanics in Accra, Ghana. Greg is on the left, with Chris behind him. Don is at the back on the right with Sebastian next to him.
They have a terrific mix of skills. Don cycled from Durban to meet with me in Cape Town (well perhaps not only for that), and when they talk about going kayaking, they mean down the Zambezi or something. I suspect they will need all that vigour to get them through what is proving to be a tricky leg.
Sebastian Schuhmann is a trauma surgeon from Berlin. He is travelling with full kite-surfing gear and, if our time together in Accra is anything to go by, will be the entertainments manager for this leg.
Don Tye and Chris Barichievy are old friends from Wits university in South Africa and clearly work together well. Don will deal with any technical problems on the trip and Chris is the guy you send in when there is a snake in your sleeping bag.
Greg Gearing was the dark horse of the crew; drafted in at the last moment, we were lucky to get him on board. He has already proved himself in Nigeria when he stripped the fuel system on a land cruiser which had been filled with tainted diesel.
Their job is to go back to Nigeria, to finish the job that the late rainy season stopped us from completing. Then they will head through northern Benin to Burkina Faso to map in the eastern parks. After dropping Don and Greg off in Ouaga, Chris and Sebastian will await the arrival of Peter Maynard and Gareth Griffiths from the UK, before heading off again. If Ivory Coast is calm they will go south, if not they will go west to Mali.
They’ll be posting soon.