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Wijk bij Duurstede (NL), Newsletter April 2011

Dear readers,

The trip from Kenia to Zimbabwe was a great adventure and all went well. After crossing Kenia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and finally Zimbabwe, I now understand the passion and preference of Martin for Zimbabwe. Compared to the other mentioned countries it is an even more beautiful place in terms of nature, diversity of the green environment, space and quietness. In the other countries we could not drive for 250 metres without seeing human beings, whilst in Zimbabwe I immediately noticed the less dense population, the friendliness and hospitality of the people.

First we went to the Vumba (eastern side of Zimbabwe) to visit the anti-poaching team Martin has trained in November 2010. The team is very successful and really appreciated our visit and took the opportunity to talk to him and asking questions.
I had seen pictures and heard stories about this area but it was far more mountain like and rougher than I expected. If people told me I was in the Scottish Highlands, I would have believed it. Because the area is high up in the mountains it was a lot colder then lower down the slopes of the mountains. During our visit it was very cold, wet and misty. Although this felt very ‘un African’ I have very much enjoyed this wonderful and fairy-tail like area.

After this we went to Harare were we met up with Charlene Hewat (Environment Africa) and Lisa Hywood (Tikki Hywood Trust).
Both fantastic women and extremely active and dedicated in wildlife and nature conservation in Zimbabwe. Harare itself was a relief after the other busy and chaotic cities I have visited in the other African countries.

In Harare, we also visited Dr. Willie Nduku of Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe (WEZ) and discussed the application of extending Martins work permit. As our project is under WEZ we always keep in touch with this ‘base’.
In the meantime Martin has returned to Holland again (the ALL4AP team in Hwange is still operating under supervision of the Lion project and on this short notice it was not possible to organise additional trainings before the expiration date of the work permit). Therefore he has a ‘holiday’ now until July to do necessary maintenance on his house (which he rents out) and taking care of other important private issues in Holland.

In the meantime he will be busy with fundraising and the regular meeting with the ALL4AP board. One of the items on the agenda will be organising the
‘Open garden days’ on June 25th and 26th 2011 in Langbroek.
A friend of ours and his wife own a wonderful and exclusive garden and expose this garden during this weekend for visitors. They have offered to donate the revenue to ALL4AP which is wonderful! Of course we (the board of ALL4AP) will be present these days and friends and family have already offered to assist with selling coffee/tea/cake and drinks. We will do our utmost to make this a wonderful event, as well for the owners of the garden, the visitors and ALL4AP.
Please keep your fingers crossed for sunny weather. Beginning of June we will inform you about further details.

With this, my ALL4AP-Africa adventure has finished. I am sorry that Kenia did not work out the way we planned but it is good that we have tried. It sure has brought us more wisdom and experience.

I would like to inform you that all the costs I have made (flights, stay and everything else) were on my own, private, account. My bank account has decreased dramatically but my life-experience and view on the world have increased tremendously and that is of much more value for me!
I would like to thank Martin for the opportunity to learn more about ALL4AP and Africa from the closest way as possible. Following him this close I have even more admiration for his perseverance, patience and capacities and want to thank him for his taking care of me, his professional help and his safe guiding.

In June we will send you more information about the ‘Open Garden days’ and in July you will receive our next newsletter again from Martin.

We wish you a wonderful summer and hope to meet you on June 25th or 26th in Langbroek.

With kind regards,
Ilma Hoff and ALL4AP team