18 April, 2012/
When our inspirational Operations Director Jamie Holmes took his beautiful family to Botswana on holiday it was never going to be a “towels around the swimming pool” affair.
As someone who is always at the forefront of all Xoomworks community initiatives Jamie has pushed the bar a little further with his latest adventures.
First up his dream to run with the Kalahari bushmen as part of the Xoomworks Gold Challenge comes true.
Jamie: “Oh my goodness me – I actually did it! I ran with the Kalahari Bushmen.
I rocked up to one of the safari camps we were staying at in Botswana, having been in email discussions with the owner of the camp before hand with the faint hope that there may be a chance of meeting and running with these amazing people (who run down their prey by chasing after them for hours on end).
The boss of the camp went to discuss this with the Bushmen who were working close by the camp and came back to me with a response that I was not quite expecting!!!
Because the Bushmen had not been back to their proper home for 3 months (they were working on a Community project) they were unfit! And as such they asked if we could do a shorter run (only 2.7 miles) as a race and then they wanted to cycle along with me for a further couple of miles, demonstrating their new found skill on the bicycle.
Brilliant – to have a western bloke who likes a bit of a run to be running with a few Bushmen on Bicycles. In fact, it was too good to miss for the rest of the guests at the camp, so the night before the race I explained our 2012 challenge and managed to convince 10 others (including the camp owner, the game ranger, a honeymoon couple and an American tracking expert to run the race as well for at least 1 mile each).
I have to say that it was the highlight of the holiday overtaking 2 of the 4 bushmen and coming in an admirable 3rd and then to run home next to the barefoot cyclists! And seeing the others cross the finish line, including my wife, Chevs, my middle daughter, Maisie (10) and my youngest, Grace (5) was the icing on the cake.
So 15 more kms for the challenge please David”
After successfully running resplendent in his HemiHelp vest Jamie was off taking “Project January” to new heights:
Jamie: “As if running with Bushmen wasn’t enough for the holiday excitement, we also managed to visit a school for orphaned children when we first went out to Botswana.
Aids has had such an effect on the community out there, wiping out nearly 40% of a whole generation.
We were taking with us a pre-owned (I won’t say old) Xoomworks laptop (thanks Charlene) and cards and gifts from my daughters’ schools.
Given that the school had actually closed down for Easter, they managed to open the school especially for us and bring the poor kids back to school for the day (how guilty were we feeling) and then brought all the school governors along as well!
Anyway, the Xoomworks laptop went down a storm with the Chairman refusing to let go of it after I presented it to him and one of the parents from Holly’s school gave us 2 full boxes of sunglasses which went down a storm with the children.
I have to say that the kids were the most well behaved children I had ever met – putting my bunch to shame!!!”
What a legend.