Visit to Ashburton School

 01 June
 Kwazulu Natal Ashburton Pietermaritzburg
  - - Sobantu - South Africa
 Bruce Digger Hargreaves
When we travel to Comrades, besides running and seeing what to most of us is an exotic land, hopefully we leave more than we take. Hopefully we all donate to the Comrades Official Charities plus the other charities which have stands in the expo etc. For those who return year in year out, most of us have other people we help, and these people fall off the mainstream radar and once you move away from the tourist routes, there is poverty everywhere, and although we cannot help everybody, every little bit helps. My extra bit is done by supporting the ‘Ashburton School’ which is just to the west of Polly Shortts, and I 1st starting visiting this school in 2012 with Linda, when I discovered that some of the volunteers in the International Tent were the parents of the pupils. In 2012 they proudly told us that in the last 12 months, they had sufficient funds to connect to the the local water supply. In 2013 when I asked whether they had a computer, I was told that they didn’t even own a typewriter. 3 Weeks ago I got a letter from the school which simply said: "Will you please do some donation of warm clothes for the kids at school, or shoes or anything for school. The kids are expecting your visit after finishing the race in May.” Yes, I will be there, who is going to join me? I generally don’t take too many clothes etc because of excess baggage charges, but I can generally find an old smart phone or lap top computer, which if the school cannot use, they sell at markets. (I clear the memories etc before I leave, and even 10 year old phones and laptops are useful in Africa). You can buy warm clothes and blankets at Pick’n’Pay at ‘The Workshop’ which is the shopping centre near the expo, and buying things in Durban also helps the local business’s I will be leaving The Hilton at 9AM sharp on Monday 1st June 2015, and returning before noon, so I can get to the Bruce Fordyce after Party. It will cost us about R3000-00/ 7 people for a car to take us to the school and back which we can share, but trust me, this will bring you F2F with the side of SA which most tourists miss.

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