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TWINS ON TOUR AND THE ACE COOK SURFING THROUGH AFRICA ON A COSMIC WAVE - Part One "This is what we mean by (Getting) Out OF Africa"

MEET GABRIEL, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS GABBA

If there is anyone to blame or thank for coming up with the idea in the first place it is Gabba Gabriel Bolnick, who 9 months before his graduation from high school, came to visit his uncle in Stellenbosh. It was there that the idea of stopping in at Africa’s iconic national parks on the way to work in its informal settlements was born.

Gabba, still in Matric, comes up with a bold idea, while on a visit to Stellenbosch.

MEET MORGAN, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS MORGS OR MURGHAN

Murghan also happens to be Gabba’s twin brother so within 24 hours he had asked to become and had been accepted as a member of the overland team. The name “Twins on Tour” followed forthwith.

Tough call for Morgs, seen here at the cricket before the adventure began. He had to bid farewell to Anna, the woman in his life. He brought the hat.

YOU HAD BETTER MEET SDI, BUT WE PROMISE NOT TO BORE YOU

How were two boys, fresh out of high school going to find the funds for such an adventure? They started a series of fundraising campaigns with limited success.

So, it was agreed that they would intern with SDI, the international organization managed by their uncle. Their task would be to engage the youth in the federations, and profile their lives and their struggles on social media. In exchange SDI would cover some of their costs, provided they traveled with their uncle, shared accommodation and covered other expenses when not at work as interns.

MEET JOEL OTHERWISE KNOWN AS JOELIE OR OOM

Oom had been planning an overland Africa trip for over a decade. He needed his nephews to give him a kick in the butt. Once he promised them an internship and an overland adventure there was no way he was going to be able to find an excuse to once more shelve the whole idea.

Oom, doing what he has been doing for almost 30 years – managing the secretariat of a global movement of slum dwellers (SDI).

NOW MEET ALAN WISE ALSO KNOWN AS WISE-0 OR THE ACE CHEF

SDI somehow managed to get itself into the promotion of clean cooking stoves, probably because an estimated 2 million slum dwellers in Africa alone die from respiratory disease – primarily women and children. SDI then came up with the zany but effective idea of running Master Chef competitions (or Hell’s Kitchen – Ghetto) in several African slums and then producing a cookbook about the experience.

Enter into the frame a 2 metre tall, very casual Michelin star chef, introduced to the overland team by his fellow Aussie, Skye Dobson, Programmes Director at SDI.

Morgs meets Wise-0 at the airport in Johannesburg. Until he stepped off the plane we did not really believe he was going to do this! But wait! A lot happened before Wise-0 arrived.

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT?

In this day and age, flying is relatively cheap, relatively safe and relatively easy. But we wanted to travel overland, making the trip into a more immediate interaction with the environment and the people.

We had to find and secure this Hi-Lux double-cab, and that took a lot of planning and a lot of time.

MEANWHILE OOM HAD TO GO TO THE WORLD URBAN FORUM IN KUALA LUMPUR IN MALAYSIA.

He arranged for one of the twins to come along and learn about SDI and also help with setting up, managing and taking down SDI’s very impressive booth at the forum.

It was decided that Morgs would be the lucky one, because he was the older twin since he was the first to be born. A few months later Ndebele women in Bulawayo laughed at us when we told them this. Wasn’t it obvious that Gabba was the older twin, because he was higher in the womb and therefore the first to be conceived?

Here are some memories from Malaysia

Morgs and Iron Lady Bimbo Oshobe, Legend of Lagos

MORGS BECOMES MURGHAN IN MUMBAI

Oom had to go to Mumbai after Kuala Lumpur to meet the SDI President, a famous slum dweller leader by the name of Jockin. Kuala Lumpur was a novelty for Morgs. Mumbai, India blew his mind. He distracted himself by spending a lot of time shopping.

It was Jockin, of course, who gave Morgs his new name Murghan – brother to Ganesh. (There was a moment, before the Aussie Wise-0 arrived on the scene, when Gabriel almost became Ganesh).

Morgs in Mumbai with the late Jockin Arputham, SDI President.

AND THEN OPPORTUNITY CAME KNOCKING AT GABBA’S DOOR.

Oom also needed to travel to Brazil to help strategize an expansion of SDI into the rest of Latin America.

Meeting with SDI's Latin America Team

Given his love for sports Gabba was clearly very happy that he had been considered the younger twin.

In addition to the excitement of going to Brazil he had his aunt Rozzie come along as his partner in fun.

This meant that we all played as hard as we worked – which is par for the course in Brasil. The moments away from work, however, will be remembered for a lifetime thanks to Roz and Joelie’s close friends, the Teixeira Family.

The bar was set very high. Jockin and Sheela in India and now the Teixeira family in Brazil.

We were on the path to experiencing different countries through the lives of close friends - old and new

Here are some Memories from Brasil

Gabba ascending the stairs in a hillside favela in Recife on a rainy night
Created By
Joel Bolnick
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