Chris Baer's Humanitarian / Paddling Mission to Africa

Chris Baer
Africa from Chris Baer on Vimeo. The less you have the easier it is to find joy? I was recently invited on a trip to Africa, what else could I say, YES. Here is the catch, it wasn’t for paddling… Traveling is always entertaining and since I wasn’t dragging a boat with me, I was up for a mission. 30 minute drive in a car to the train station, 12 hours on the train from Thermond, WV to New York, a few more trains and shuttles and get to the airport for a 14 hour flight to arrive in South Africa, back on another plane for 2 hours and, presto, I’m in Mozambique. The team slowly arrived and introductions where interesting the team had came from all walks of life. We did have one common goal, to build some houses for the truly less fortunate. Most of the families that we were to build for were “broken” in some way, a father had died, a grandchild was added. There was a family that consisted of two elderly ladies that were raising their grandchildren, the parents had died from AIDS long ago. The AIDS epidemic really struck hard here, there are few people between the ages of 20-40, they have all died. Now there children are being raised by neighbors and grandparents. The need for sustainable housing is huge. Our small team made the tiniest change in a community that is so stricken. Now I have a second opportunity to help… to spread the word to you. HELP, whether it is in your local community or world wide, we as “Americans” have it super well, as we are marching on capitals asking for more financial freedom we need to really open our eyes and realize we have it amazingly well. If you are not pissed off about greed at every level you are simply not paying attention. Go and help how ever you can. As we finished the emotional task of handing the homes over to there new owners my head started to spin with anticipation. Africa is not stark or barren, it is lush and beautiful. Our groups next destination was a whirlwind two day “safari”, We drove from Mozambique through South Africa and made a loop through Swazi Land back up to Mozambique. The wild life and plant life was simply stunning. After the safari I figured it was due time for a little kayaking. I headed to a small river known as the Zambezi, It has this little water fall called Victoria Falls, and is home to some supper fun kayaking. I was greeted with 30 thousand cfs and a very fun loving group of paddlers.
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