MAY & JUNE 2010 NEWSLETTER

Friends,

Where to start! It is the end of May. The Merry Month of May which has now turned into June. For those who read my newsletters I am delighted to tell you that my mother Beryl is back home recovering. She had a particularly bad time and I was passportless. She had to go on life support and I was convinced she had given up. I phoned the world, cried for two days, so did Pat and Jonathan got drunk with the anguish of it all. My cousin flew back from Cape Town expecting a funeral. My brother Tim spent every spare hour at the hospital. I lay awake all night waiting for the call to say that she had passed on. In the morning I phoned the hospital expecting the worse. You can imagine my shock when they said Beryl had a good night and had woken in the morning asking for a Mango. Granny is a legend.

Julia and Jonathan produced a beautiful daughter Talia Lily. Pat and I are Grandparents and very proud. We have been skyped beautiful photos and we are longing to meet her. Pat canít wait to get her riding and I am sure he will make her a little saddle and stirrups. Very exciting! Itís just a pity they are so far away.

We were sad to say goodbye to our volunteers Amanda Kwong and Chantahl Stedman. We wish them luck with their travels. A big thank You to Lisa Molera for her enormous donation and encouragement. Also a huge thank you to Ahmed Serour for his wonderful donation. This money helped us through a very difficult period and we are so grateful. This has been a bad year for tourism so far and we hope that things improve. We know the World Recession has not helped but Mozambique is quite an expensive destination to get to. We are hoping that air flight prices will be looked at and cheaper packages will be put together. Our volunteers bring so much for us and we are so delighted that people take the trouble to fill their backpacks with so much. It is impossible to get anything in Mozambique. Pat is making our saddles, girths, stirrup leathers and he is amazing. It is all done by hand. He puts so much effort into it and I know how hard he works at it.

We also have to say thank you to Anita Quigley for her donation. Thank you Anita.

Lucy Campbell Jones attended Indaba and represented Mozambique Horse Safari. She said it was worthwhile and she met loads of interesting people. While Lucy was doing Indaba I was attending meetings with angry villagers. Horses had broken free and had eaten a swathe of maize through Chibuene. I am getting good at this now. It seems more and more people are moving into the Chibuene district so we are finding it difficult grazing the horses. We have problems ahead and will have to look for more grazing land.

I took the TCO bus to Maputo to renew my British Passport. You have to be quite intrepid. The road to Maputo is presently under repair so it is quite a journey and not for the meek. Maputo was wonderful and I was entertained and looked after by Bill and Jane Clegg. I love Maputo and there is so much going on. I had my hair cut for 200mets by a lovely Chinese man who could not speak English we were treated to an amazing head massage as well. That alone was worth 200 mets.

Our new volunteer Diane Kennedy has arrived followed by Danni Holdsworth who if you read my newsletters was with us last year. Danni is looking after the horses on Indigo Bay for a couple of weeks. Now Diane is a Psychologist and a therapist. Where has she been all my life? Pat and I are taking it in turns to pour our hearts out. I must say Diane is looking a little exhausted and I have only just started telling her about my life. Pat and I race each other to get to her first. To think I used to laugh about people having a personal Guru. So I am sharing Diane with the Chibuene residents and we are holding a workshop on Wednesday. Will tell you how it goes in the next news letter.

Our volunteers continue conversational English at IMAP School. The community fishing ride is one of our most popular rides and I give 10US dollars from each ride to the community. We did a leadership skills course with Diane for the English Students at IMAP. I am presently trying to raise funds for a lap top so volunteers can continue to interact with the school once they have left.

A big thank you to Sarah Cox, she wrote a wonderful article about Mozambique Horse Safari in the Hurlingham Polo Magazine. Thank you so much for trying to raise our profile in the UK. Please read the article by clicking here.

Our old Land Rover is seeing its last days so my goal is to raise the funds to get a good second hand replacement. It has been the most amazing vehicle and works so tirelessly for the horses. Collecting grass, water, and never ever has a rest period. It has to be pushed a lot and it causes some hilarious moments. I always mean to write to Landrover to say this Land Rover deserves a medal. It would be such an amazing trip to buy one in the UK and then drive it back through Africa. Anyone keen?

Thank you for all the continued support without it Pat and I would not be here. I am always humbled by peopleís affection and kindness to us. Letís hope business picks up and we can continue to keep our horses safe and happy.

From Mandy, Pat, Volunteers and all the horses.



APRIL 2010 NEWSLETTER - MOZAMBIQUE HORSE SAFARI

Friends of the Mozambique horses,

Where to begin?

Sadly we have said goodbye to most of our volunteers. We were very sad to say goodbye to Lisa Molera who had been with us for four months and was so much part of the family. I think her family were beginning to worry she might have got involved with a strange cult as there were frantic calls wondering if she was ever going to go home. Sam leaves us on the 28th April and we will be sorry to see her go. Sam has put in an enormous amount of work in her three months training horses but is now off to sunny California and will leave behind the chaos of Mozambique for more sophisticated stables. Oriane Lee Johnston left us to ride with Varden Safaris and is now safely back in Canada. She has lots of stories to tell of her time in Africa. We now have Chantahl from Australia and Amanda Kwong also from Canada who is looking after Benguerra while Lucy is away.

We also had wonderful clients Anita, Maggie and Roz who were such fun and so nice! Roz arrived without her luggage and had to borrow shoes, bras etc but was extremely good about it and caused no fuss. Fortunately for us her suitcase did eventually arrive and she thankfully was able to get back into her own clothes. Roz and Maggie took time to adjust to Mozambique and spent the first week full of welts from various insects. By their second week they both bloomed and were truly adapted to African life and and loved the beach riding.

Jonny Bealby from Wild Frontiers arrived but unfortunately not his girlfriend. She was unable to fly out of London to join him because of the volcanic ash eruption in Iceland. So as I write this he is at honeymoon destination all by himself. It was great fun having Jonny and if you read his profile you will see that he has written travel books and is a real adventurer. He absolutely loves Mozambique and we hope he markets us very soon.

May and June worryingly look very quiet for us and the whole of Vilankulo - so we are holding thumbs that bookings will come in. Nobody is really sure what the next few months will be like with the world cup in SA. We had such high expectations but it seems that many people have been frightened off with the increasing price of flights and hotels in South Africa. We can only wait and see what happens.

The highlight of April for us was the Andy Johnson / Kate Mellon wedding. Something we have been excited about for so many months. We were not sure how to get to Nyanga as the Landover is needed here as it works so hard bringing in grass and carrying water. We pondered over riding across the mountains but we finally hired a car. It was the first time Pat and I had been back in years. After a few payments to people called Pedro and Elias we managed to get the car cleared. We were overwhelmingly home sick once we crossed the border. It was amazing to see the shops so well stocked. Kate had to keep a tight rein on Pat and I before we spent all our money. We ran up and down the aisles of the local supermarket clutching Mazoe Orange and Colcom ham. Kate was continually racing behind us reminding us that we had hotel bills to pay.

Finally we arrived at Troutbeck our son Paul who is responsible for our wonderful websites was best man to Andy. Our cousin Tanya had sent heaps of dresses from Harare and our ex volunteer Julia had sent me a wonderful pair of pink shoes all the way from London. Kate and I had our hair done so everyone did a double take seeing us looking so glam. The wedding reception was at the Troutbeck Hotel. It was absolutely amazing. Paulís speech took us completely by surprise, after half a bottle of rescue drops he took to the podium like a politician and executed the most brilliant speech. We were so proud I almost burst. It was a truly emotional day for us all and I am so glad that we made it. We saw so many of our dear friends from Zimbabwe - it was a day we will never forget. Kate Mellon was the most gorgeous bride and we have known her ever since she was a baby.

Of course with all the happiness we have to have some sadness. Somebody stole three of our saddles which was a terrible loss to us as itís impossible to get anything vaguely related to horses in Mozambique. We take such great care of equipment and are very disappointed that we are now three saddles down. Nobody can give us any information and itís a mystery why they should be taken. To make matter worse they chose our English General Purpose Saddles which we make the most use of.

My beloved mother Granny B was rushed to hospital and has had part of her bowel removed. She is so far away from us in St. Ives in the UK and I worry about her. However it seems that she is making a good recovery - so lets keep our fingers crossed.

The horses are well. A few bad eyes and Jade has been lame. The horses on Benguerra are looking lovely - thanks so much to Lucy & Amanda. Once again I would like to thank our amazing clients and volunteers - where would we be without you!

With all our love

Pat, Mandy & the Mozambique horses


FEBRUARY 2010 NEWSLETTER - MOZAMBIQUE HORSE SAFARI

Friends,

I hope you are all well. February has been a quiet time for us - we have lacked clients which is expected at this time of year but have made up for it in volunteers. We have had 8 amazing volunteers join us from all around the world; they are Aaron, Amanda, Ahmed, Ana, Lisa, Lee, Rowenna and Samantha.

I am so thankful that our volunteers leap on planes, travel across the world and give a month or two of their lives to our wonderful horses. It is usually their first time in Africa, yet they always seem to fit in without a problem and sail through the experience. I could not imagine myself jumping on a plane and setting off for British Colombia or Lapland facing the unknown and looking after a whole herd of reindeer!

At the moment we have a mixed group of volunteers and Pat and I are learning loads of things. We have been shown how to speak to horses, tasted green tea, heard about personal growth, yoga and meditation. Our latest volunteer, Amanda has spent one month in a Masai Village teaching English before coming to Mozambique. She said it was a fantastic experience and something we should all try out Ė sounds like lots of fun. We also have a  down to earth English girl, Sam from Manchester training our horses - she is doing an incredible job.

I love the volunteers; they light up our lives. They lug suitcases of horse equipment from all around the world - we are very grateful to these contributions. Without them the horses would have a much more difficult time. So thank you to all my wonderful volunteers

This month Getaway Magazine, www.getaway.co.za , the largest travel magazine in South Africa will come out to interview us and take some good shots of the horses on the beach Ė how cool is that! Soon the acclaimed travel writer Jonny Bealby, who is one of the last great modern travellers and owner the UK-based adventure company Wild Frontiers www.wildfrontiers.co.uk , will be riding with us. So we feel very honoured that so much interest is being shown in Mozambique Horse Safari.

We are also very excited about our new riding agencies that are now offering our rides to their clients. Hidden Trails from Canada and Far and Ride from the United Kingdom. You can look at what they are offering on: www.hiddentrails.com/country/Mozambique.aspx & www.farandride.com/country/mozambique 

In April, the excitement of the year will be the Johnson wedding in Nyanga. Paul our son is best man to Andy Johnson who is marrying the amazingly beautiful Kate Mellon. I am so excited about the wedding and am so looking forward to it.

We are hoping that Lucy Campbell Jones; who looks after the horses on Benguerra Island can get to Africa's largest travel trade show, INDABA this year. It could mean that we are represented for the first time Ė letís hope it works out. Lucy Ė thank you for all the effort you put into making Mozambique Horse Safari better!

A big thank you to our Egyptian volunteer Ahmed, for his very generous donation that he gave to the horses Ė it was very, very kind of you. Also to AnaMarta from Portugal who brought her own weight in presents for the horses. We are missing you both so much.

So we send you all good karma and hold thumbs that we have a good season. Thank you so much for the wonderful letters we receive and a big thank you to all our clients, and volunteers - without you, where would we be.

Lots of love,

Pat, Mandy, Jonathan, volunteers and all the horses

JANUARY 2010 NEWSLETTER - MOZAMBIQUE HORSE SAFARI

Friends of the Mozambique Horses,

Where to begin? December was a very busy time for the Mozambique Horses; we had lots of new clients, volunteers, an amazing vet and so many interesting people from all over the world who came to visit us. The highlight of January was a visit from Allan Hislop; an incredible vet and wonderful person who gives up so much his time to tend to our dearly loved horses. He performed a range of operations on the horses and when he had a spare moment managed to spay some strays dogs and do a few other essential veterinarian jobs. Thank you so much. Unfortunately when Allan left for South Africa, he forgot his 'Donna Anna Piri Piri' sauce behind which was an enormous tragedy as it was a gift for his wife Spook.

While Allan was here we had the most delightful film crew who have come to document the story of our horses. They spent ten days filming us at our most unglamorous and I hope when they get to the final edit they will somehow be able to make us look more photogenic. It was so nice having them and they were such fun. One of the highlights was our dhow trip to Paradise Island. A farewell trip for a friend who did not manage to make it nor did any of his party due to their severe hangovers. So it was the film crew and us who boarded our dhow and set off on a 3 hour journey to the island. We were all curious to see the Paradise Island since Survivors had been filmed there. When we arrived it was very quiet but the snorkelling was great. We had a wonderful lunch and a wander round the old hotel. So interesting, especially for me as my family used to holiday there when I was a little girl. The trip back took us four hours. I kid you not - the wind picked up and we battled the high seas! We felt like the survivors clinging on for dear life as the boat rocked and rolled. The slap of warm salty sea water would hit us in the face at regular intervals as the waves broke over the bow. The film crew reached for the beers to cheer themselves up while we reached blindly for the vomidine to try and prevent sea sickness. Next time we will use a motorized boat but it was well worth the visit.

Now to our volunteers. Lucy went home to Wales for Christmas and was sadly missed. She is a miracle worker who puts so much time and effort into looking after the horses on Benguerra Island. She also worked with a French film crew on Benguerra and they took some wonderful footage of the horses. Lucy said the horses were so well behave. They had to spend hours in water or in the sun waiting for the perfect shot.

Lisa Molera looked after Benguerra Island while Lucy was on leave. Lisa is from California and has been with us for two months. She is full of laughter and hugely sensible. We had a wonderful farewell dinner for her at Blue Waters. We drank loads of champagne and all made wonderfully emotional speeches some of us made them twice. A great night but Lisa suddenly decided she didnít want to leave so made a quick trip to Johannesburg to sort out some things and arrives back today. So tonight we are having her Welcome Home Party.

At the moment we have Samantha Yates who is looking after the horses on Bazaruto Island for a week or two. Samantha has ridden all over the world; she was a casino manager before she became a horsy traveler. We are all in awe at the moment as she has given us a few hot tips on how to win at Black Jack. I am thinking of sending her off to SA to try her luck at the roulette wheel and make sure the horses can live the rest of their lives in the style they have become accustomed to.

We have Ana from Portugal who is delightful and spends a lot of her spare time working with the disabled. She bought a mammoth suitcase of stuff for the horses, so big that it dwarfed her completely as she is so tiny and I almost missed her at the airport. We also have Rowenna from Hereford who has just left school and who has just been on safari in Kenya. Lucky Rowenna! In February we are getting Oriane Lee Johnston who does leadership skills with horses and practices holistic medicine. She has a great website which you need to look at http://www.orianelee.com . Last but not least we have Ahmed from Egypt - I know a man. So Ahmed is going to have a hard time with all the girls. Or maybe not.!!!

We also had a visit from Mark from Redlands Equestrian www.relandsequestrian.co.uk in the UK. We hope that he will put something together for his clients so that they can come out to Mozambique and enjoy some of the best coastal riding in Africa. Mark kindly gave us his complimentary bottle of champagne that he received from Azura. He also visited James and Janine Varden, I saw some photos of their amazing safari in Hwange.

Thank you to our friends old and new. We receive so many lovely emails from people cheering us on and we are very touched at the warmth and concern from so many people all over the world. A big thank you to Archipelago Resort for their continued support. Nick, Tracy and Grant and the Reillyís help us in everyway and we are grateful for their commitment. A Big Thank you to our clients and volunteers. Where would we be without you? We meet so many wonderful people who are so supportive. We have had some wonderful laughs and a lot of tears are shed at Vilanculos Airport when we say goodbye.

We hope that 2010 will be kind to us and that we are busy. The huge expense of looking after the horses sometimes takes its toll and we have stress weeks. On the whole Mozambique is good to us and letís hope that each year will get better and that we will establish a strong business. Mozambique Horse Safari would not exist without my husband Patrick whose courage and fortitude has kept us going. He has never lost sight of his goals and his commitment to these beautiful animals.

With lots of love from the bottom of our hooves,

The Mozambique Horses.

DECEMBER 2009 NEWSLETTER - MOZAMBIQUE HORSE SAFARI
 

Friends of the Mozambique Horses,

Well now where to start. As you know I went off to the Philippines to see Paul and Rachel. I loved Manila and we spent our time having foot massages, facials, full body massages and drank thousands of smoothies and green tea. It was just perfect. I could not believe how tiny the Filipinos were, Gran and I were like giants; we didn't fit into a single thing at the clothes shop. A big thanks you to my brother Tim, Paul, Rachel and my mum Beryl for making it such a special time for me.  Paul is also responsible for our wonderful websites, he devotes a lot of time to it and I think it has made a big difference in promoting Vilanculos and the horses.

A big thank you to Mike Moyes for lending us his car to go and do some urgent horse business in Chimoio. Unfortunately for Mike we crashed it ten km from Pambara on the way back. As we came over a rise singing aloud to the Mamas and the Papas a drunken herdsman chose to chase two cows across the road, Pat had to make a split decision and chose the calf hoping the damage would be minimal. The calf was instantly killed and the car was crushed. We had to phone Ryan at Blue Waters to rescue us and tow us back. On the way back Ryan's car overheated and we came to a standstill wondering where we could find water. Just as Ryan was about to urinate in a bottle the police arrived guns blazing. They stopped us demanding our passports. They said that they had a report we had run over somebody. Goodness "a la Mozambique" Pat was hauled off in the back of the truck along with African Impact Nicky who was with us at the time.

Fortunately I knew the owner of the cow and got him to rush out and restore some sanity. It seems the herdsman thought he would spice up the policeman's day and thought maybe something lucrative would come out of it for both parties. Mozambique Madness at its best. Which brings me back to our favourite joke why does the Mozambique Chicken Cross the road? So that the owner can get 10,000 mets. Now if you are living in Mozambique you will find this hysterically funny as its absolutely true. Michael was very gracious about his car and fortunately it was insured - but poor Michael we are so so sorry.

So any good news? I can hear you asking. Well plenty. We have our new volunteer Lisa Molera with us who is great and has decided to stay on for another month. She is a charming hardworking American full of fun. She seems to have blended into the chaos extremely well and can hold her own in this crazy place. Lucy has gone on well deserved leave so Kate our daughter is on Benguerra Island.

Our lovely girls in Scotland had a wonderful cake sale and sent us 500US which is amazing and keeps us in food and meds for awhile. Rosie thank you from all of us. Pat has been making saddles, girths and halters so we are now nearly self sufficient.

The horses themselves have been so amazing. They have worked hard and behaved. You will never find gentler and sweet horses in the world I am convinced. We have had huge tick infestations specially ears and have had a tough time keeping them at bay. We have had quite a few clients come through this year which has been wonderful. The horses deserve a lot of accolades but Patrick needs a medal for his absolute dedication and belief in these horses. We would have put our heads in the gas oven long ago except for Pat's constant energy and encouragement. We just hope that we continue to grow and that business improves.

A big thank you to Jayne Janet, Andrew Frodsham, Lucy Campbell Jones, Rosie, Eileen, The volunteers and all the people who constantly support us. I thank everyone who takes the time to write in and give us so many words of encouragement.

Also thank you to Archipelago Resort for their continued support Tracy in the Office, Grant who lets us graze the horses round Archipelago and to Nick Faulk who takes such great care of our guests. Brenda from Archipelago bookings who always tries to help where she can and last but not least Jeff and Jane Reilly who have always given us a lot of encouragement.

A big thank you to all the lovely clients who come out and ride with us. We have been deeply touched by so many of you and appreciate how easy you are in this funny old third world country. I am thrilled that so many of you have booked to come again. So we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. Letís hold thumbs that year ahead will be good to the Mozambique Horses.

Merry Christmas from Pat, Mandy, Kate, Lucy, Lisa and all the horses.

Thank you from the bottom of our hooves.


A picture of the Philippine Flag

RETZLAFF WEB DESIGN

Animated butterfly flapping its wings LINKS

© THIS MATERIAL IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MOZAMBIQUE HORSE SAFARI