Exploring a field of giant sunflowers
(Images: 1 000 Traveling Names blog)
• Shannon Davis
1 000 Traveling Names and a Donkey
+27 74 107 5550
Three South African women who set off on a daring expedition six weeks ago to cross Europe in the 16 000km Mongol Rally from the UK to Mongolia to raise money for charity, have successfully completed their journey.
The goal was an ambitious one: to travel through up to 14 countries (depending on the route) and cross four mountain ranges and three deserts without any support vehicles.
The local team, consisting of Joanne Theron, Shannon Davis and Gene Arundel, started their adventure on 23 July 2011 in London. Their goal was to raise money for two charities: the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation and the Pink Drive Campaign.
The South African team went all out to represent South Africa on their journey. They distributed scarves and flags supplied by Brand SA and they even branded their vehicle “SA”.
Everything about the team was unusual, from their name to their chosen mode of transport. The team was officially known as 1 000 Travelling Names and a Donkey (a reference to their mascot), and was sponsored by Brand South Africa, among others.
To add more excitement to the trip, the local team decided to undertake their journey using an ambulance as their mode of transport. They decided to donate the vehicle to the people of Mongolia as a contribution towards the creation of a national ambulance service in the country.
Mongolia’s poor economic status and lack of funds for public services has left the country short of emergency vehicles. A large number of Mongolian citizens live a traditional, nomadic lifestyle, which means they have to travel long distances to get to a hospital.
An improved ambulance service would help to save many lives and improve the quality of life of the residents of the country.
Along the way, the trio met many interesting people, experienced many random acts of kindness and made happy memories: a Russian lady they met in a bar who took it upon herself to ensure they had the correct maps so that they didn’t get lost on route to their next destination; a run-in with Ukrainian police; playing in a field of sunflowers in Prague; and attending a Kazakh wedding in Kazakhstan.
They were first class ambassadors for their country while on their travels, spreading South African generosity, warmth and cheer to whomever they met along the way.
“We were extremely proud to fly our flag high for South Africa and to be ambassadors for our country. Thanks again for all your support,” says Team South Africa.