On the morning of 1 October, undeterred by heavy rain, lead walker Matthew Sleap began to set up the course, dividing it into four different stops, each representing a country where Farm Africa works.
With the flags of Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda flying high, each stop was equipped with maps, information about Farm Africa’s work, and some welcome refreshments. Happily the sun then shone as Matthew and James Pulford led walkers on the way to ‘Kenya’, the first stop.
Deb Wright and Sharon Pilling were among those who, fuelled by chocolate, carried on through the ‘Great Rift Valley’ (better known as the M3 pedestrian motorway crossing) up ‘Kilimanjaro’ and on to ‘Ethiopia’, a tent equipped with information about Farm Africa and water – by now the sun was shining and the walk had become thirsty work.
The walkers then had a choice of two routes. The shorter route took them through ‘Tsavo national Park’ and the longer through ‘the Serengeti’ (or Frimley Fuel allotments as it is known locally).
The Johnson family and Mike Harris took ‘the Serengeti’ option and are pictured here among the pines looking remarkably worry free. No problems, it seems, from any of ‘The Big Five’ along the way.
Refreshed again with cake and sherry at the ‘Tanzania’ stop sponsored by Stuart Parr and Nicky Cole, the walkers continued on the final leg, just a little slower, to reach ‘Uganda’ via ‘Lake Victoria’.
At the end of the course there was a quiz organised at the local church where those who had the stamina were tested on their knowledge of eastern Africa and the work that Farm Africa carries out in the region.
Mike told us why he considered the walk such a success:
“Despite the early portents of dire stay-at-home weather, the actuality rewarded the brave for a good 4.3 mile stride round parts of Frimley we may never have known existed.… We achieved the aim of raising the profile of the needs of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia and Farm Africa’s role in ameliorating the situation.”
Farm Africa wants to say a huge thank you to all those who took part and to all the local shops and businesses of Frimley who generously donated prizes for the event.
Farm Africa’s Community Fundraising Manager, Sarah Goddard, said:
“We’re so grateful to everyone involved in the Harvest Festival in Frimley for raising such a significant sum of money to support our work in eastern Africa. Thank you to you all, and congratulations on completing such a lengthy walk even in torrential rain!”
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