Tom Benyon OBE walks for Zimbabwe … it’s hot

June day at Stonehenge, England

This might give an idea of how hot it is – Stonehenge, England

Today one man and his wife start their walk to raise money for strangers many miles away.

It’s hot and it’s humid in England – the Istanbul side of warm – but that won’t stop them. As the rest of us flop in the shade they are off on their 142 mile walk. The route is from one side of the country to the other, and the aim is to raise money for those upturned by Zimbabwe’s waves of chaos.

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Zimbabwe: to Bulawayo and back (not for the birthday)

Our approach into Bulawayo in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

Our approach into Bulawayo in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

I was born in this country, and lived here for a quarter of a century … yet, because our focus was our farm many miles away to the north, its second city is new to me.

Below are acres of wet, green trees.  Bulawayo’s drought has broken.

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Five days in the suburbs of Harare, capital of Zimbabwe

Coming in to land at Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe

Coming in to land at Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe

We fly in to the land where I was born and raised.  She is green from the recent rains and dusted with small white clouds.

I have not been back for fourteen years.

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A young artist’s first impressions of Naples, Italy

Impressions of Naples (2015) by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie

Impressions of Naples (2015) by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie

This blog post is based around an image of Naples captured by a young artist, Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie, born and raised in Zimbabwe.

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Update: Zimbabwe’s wild-born elephants flown to China

A baby elephant and family

“… But there was one Elephant–a new Elephant–an Elephant’s Child–who was full of ‘satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions. And he lived in Africa, and he filled all Africa with his ‘satiable curiosities …”
(Rudyard Kipling’s ‘ The Elephant’s Child’)

A deal has been done – a sale has been agreed and the animals delivered … but not everyone is happy. The animals sold are young, wild-born Zimbabwean elephants, and the buyer is China.

Zimbabwe is selling not just the family jewels, it’s selling family.  It is exporting them as though they were goods, to a remote land that has little experience of the needs of this great, intelligent species.

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African charity ZANE founder returns from visit to Zimbabwe

Rest point on a ZANE fundraising walk

Rest point on a ZANE fundraising walk

Tom Benyon OBE has returned from a trip to Zimbabwe where he met many of those who work for, and who support, the charity he founded –  ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency).

He describes his recent trip as mixture of sadness and joy.

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African charity ZANE: Tom Benyon OBE and his team set off again to raise money

Ambleside - Adrian Warren & Dae Sasitorn/www.lastrefuge.co.uk

Ambleside – Adrian Warren & Dae Sasitorn/www.lastrefuge.co.uk

(March 2015: Relaunch of a piece about ZANE’s 2014 walk.)

Tom Benyon OBE has decided it’s the perfect time to strike out on another walk to raise money for the charity ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency).

England is all sunshine and has been for a while.  Half the population is draped across greenery under the nearest available sunbeam.

It’s the sensible thing to do … unless you’re Tom.

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