Edinburgh to London Diary
Day 29 - Monday 18th October 2010
The Kindness of Strangers
Why did I, aged 68, undertake to walk from Edinburgh to London, some 458.91 miles in 25 days, that is an average of 18 miles a day?
1: Security contraints limit my ability through the media to alert poential donors to the fact that today the situation in Zimbabwe for Zane's clients is worse than at any time since Zane's foundation in 2002. Costs have rocketed; demand for our services is up 500 per cent; and all the indications are that extreme violence will punctuate next year's elections.
So, all in all, the future looks grim and without Zane many will die.
2: Because, to a large extent, the western media appears to have lost interest in the issue and have been diverted to other issues.
3: Lastly, many of my contemporaries and friends quietly told me that such a trip was quite impossible and imprudent at my age, and they intimated that it was absurd for me to even contemplate it. So universal was this view that I decided to prove them wrong!
So you will forgive a batsqueak of pride when I say that I completed the walk on time.
My wife Jane - who loyally accompanied me most of the way - and our excellent driver, Harry Campbell, join me in thanking our 25 generous donors who opened their houses to us on the journey. We knew only a small number of these hosts at the outset, and we have now made some new good friends.
The hospitality given us was universally unstinting. Thank you. Thanks are also due to the many people who walked with us part of the way; then there are those who texted and emailed us and left kind messages and, all in all, made our journey rather less onerous than it otherwise might have been. Such was their number that I had no chance to listen to Anna Karena or Trollope on my Ipod!
There's not the slightest chance I will ever be persuaded to repeat such a gruelling journey. But, on the other hand, I would not have missed it for anything.
And my office tell me the walk raised over 300k.
So profound thanks to these donors.
Tom Benyon OBE
ZANE - Zimbabwe A National Emergency
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