30 days to lift off!

In 30 days time I will be flying out to Zambia, via South Africa, to take up a month-long placement on  the Book Bus!

The Book Bus charity ( www.thebookbus.org ) provides a mobile children’s library and book distribution service for communities in need in Zambia. With the aid of volunteers , such as myself , the aim is to share with children the pleasure and value that books can bring and to inspire them to want to read. By using art, music and play to stimulate children’s imaginations, and encouraging them to associate books with enjoyment and creativity, hopefully the seeds of a life-long love of reading will be sown, that will benefit both the children and their communities.

Home for me during the month of May will be  Grubby’s Grotto on the outskirts of  Livingstone. I’ll be living under canvas, undertaking campsite  chores and travelling out to a different school each day.    

The Book Bus, a Leyland Tiger, was built-in the UK in 1980 and formerly in public service. In 2006, publisher and founder of the Booker Prize, Tom Maschler purchased the bus. The seats have been replaced with library shelves and storage space for books and resources. It has also been made ‘Africa-proof’ with the addition of rough terrain tyres and a tropical engine cooling system!

The most striking part of the refit, however, was the decoration of the bus by Quentin Blake, one of Britain’s best-loved children’s artists. Many of you will be familiar with his illustrations in Roald Dahl’s books.

Apparently Quentin has also designed a limited edition book bag which can currently be purchased from Waterstones, with proceeds to the Book Bus charity – so if you would like to help in some small way, why not  go out and buy one!

I have been very fortunate that this adventure I am about to embark upon has been made possible by the generous donations to my ‘retirement fund’, made by the children, parents and staff of Naunton Park Primary school in Cheltenham, when I left at Christmas.

The main reason I have set up this blog is to allow them, and anybody else who may be interested, to follow my exploits in Africa. I will be adding to it over the next 30 days to  let you know how my preparations are  going and more importantly to get into the blogging habit!

Once I arrive in Zambia, I understand there are internet cafes in Livingstone where I will try to make postings as and when time allows.


4 Responses

  1. Sounds like a terriffic cause. I will treat K and J to a Quentin Blake book bag. Good luck !

  2. Thanks for taking time to read it. I’m sure my journalistic style will improve with time! Top tip from my journalist daughter Gemma – It’s good Dad but blog shorter & more frequently!

  3. We’ll miss you at Wembley, but I’m sure you’ll get more satisfaction out of what you’re doing than watching the Trickies play away!
    I await your next instalment with relish and envy!

    • I’ll be relying on you to keep me posted by text or email! The Tricky Trees are featured in todays blog – ‘The Beautiful Game’.

      Take care!

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