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Thoughts from category: Travel

India bound...

Every year, innocent gives one or two lucky employees the opportunity to go and work with one of the charities we support through our foundation, using some of our work skills. Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while may remember tales from Andrew in Malawi, JT in Kenya, or our Emilie in Ethopia.

Em in Ethiopia
Emilie in Ethiopia showing the bees who was boss

On Friday, I'll be following in their illustrious footsteps, lugging my camera and a notebook with me, as I head to India to work with disability charity ADD gathering materials for their fundraising and training needs. I'll be penning a few posts while I'm away but it sees only right that I do some introductions first...

ADD supports disabled people in 11 different countries across Africa and Asia to challenge disability discrimination. Their vision is to create a world where disabled people can enjoy their rights and participate in society as fully as they choose to, and we've been supporting the work that they do in India since April 2009.

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Three quarters of the disabled population in India live in rural communities, and less than 2% receive any form of vocational training. ADD India works to educate people in the skills they need to earn a livelihood, and offers financial support through microloans- these are frequently used to boost incomes in India, but disabled people are generally excluded from these schemes.

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The project that we're funding has so far delivered loans to over 200 people, enabling them to gain independence through their livelihood, and to participate more fully in the communities in which they live. Over the next few weeks, I'll be meeting a few of the people who have benefited from these loans, and be able to see first hand the impact that it has had not only on their lives, but on the lives of their families, who are often marginalised as well.

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So there you are. Introductions done. I'd definitely recommend that you get to know them a bit better here, but if not, I'll be in touch shortly with some more info from the other side of the world.

breakfast burritos

Currently out in California, helping my friend Claire set up the first US Do Lectures at Campovida, right in the heart of the Mendocino hills.

Trucky

Cycled down the very dodgy road today to get lunch from Hopland's equivalent of the Hungry Grassy Van and was pleased to note the common theme in menus (despite the lack of bunting, daisies and astroturf)

Menu

Burrito

The Hungry Grassy Van is in Bristol till Weds 14th September serving breakfast, lunch and dinner before heading up to Manchester on Saturday 17th at Spinningfields.

So make sure you get there early for a breakfast burrito (and we'll compare notes after).

grassy road trip

HGV_logo
Ever since we published our family recipe book Hungry? back in May, lots of people have been asking us if we're going to do a book tour.

Because, after all, every good book deserves a good book tour

Especially a grass covered one

So that's exactly what we're going to do

Van

From 9th-24th September, the Hungry Grassy Van (HGV) will be hitting the road to take tasty, healthy food to the nation.

Using recipes from Hungry?, we'll be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in all the places we visit.

Dishes will cost between £2 or £3 or you can tick off your 5-a-day for just £5 with our special meal deal

Burger

The tour kicks off in London before heading on to Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow and then back to London again

And you can win the chance for the HGV to come along and visit your event

If you live in one of the places above and are having a school fayre, cricket match, jumble sale or a late summer BBQ for your street around those dates, the HGV could be serving up veggie burgers and rainbow chips for all your guests

THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

To enter, all you need to do is tell us why you the HGV should visit your event in 100 words

You have until the 29th August to enter and we'll pick a winner for each city we visit

We'll let you know more details about the HGV tour closer to the time

For now though, you can find out a bit more by clicking here

canal cruisin'

This is John

John

John drives the Angel Boat

Inside

Inside, you can make bacon sandwiches in the kitchen

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And then get some kip afterwards in one of the 12 bunks.

John took the Creative team for an overnight boating trip down the canal the other week

He picked us up from outside Fruit Towers

Tunnel

Showed us how to do the locks

Howtodoit

Gatey

Gave extra special help to those who needed it

How not to

Let us stop off at Camley Street Nature Park for a spot of big top brainstorming and lunch

Bigtop

He even let us have a go at steering until Delia took us through a tunnel and steered us into the wall

Pirate

Post tunnel gormless glaze

Boaty

After unlocking, relocking, doing lots of work and waving at tourists along the way, we then got to kip over in bunks and eat leftover chips for breakfast.

It was ace.

Ace

You can hire John and The Angel Boat for a day, an evening or an overnight trip and as it’s a charity, all the money goes to taking kids and local community groups on boating holidays.

If you fancy booking a trip yourself or finding out more, have a look right here.

return of the ed

9 weeks to cycle to Istanbul.

4 hours (plus turbulence) to get back by plane.

After 2580 miles, 0 punctures and 182 portions of chocolate covered peanut nougat delicacies, Mr. Ed is back from his cycling odyssey.

Ed1

If you're ever thinking of cycling a little further than 'just down the shops' here are some edited highlights from what Mr. Ed learnt:

  • People in caravans are nice (if you turn up at a campsite on a bike everybody feels sorry for you and the offers of coffee/dinner/a lift do not stop coming)
  • There are a few hills between here and Asia. For a few, read a lot.
  • Germany has the best cycle paths (they even put diversions up when they are doing road/pathworks)
  • Cream is your friend (sun and bum)
  • Romania has the friendliest people and the angriest dogs
  • Eating 5 meals a day gets pretty tedious after a while
  • In Istanbul, you are never more than 3 feet from a pretzel
  • And if you ask nicely, hotels will valet park your bikes (we tried this once during our celebratory 1 night in a nice hotel when we got to Istanbul)

On the way, Ed also managed to sleep in a castle, meet a man walking home to Turkey (from Germany) and grow his calves by 1.3 cm.

Calfy

He also raised £4,500 for charity and convinced the excellent Lizzy to marry him along the way.

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Thanks to everyone who sponsored and encouraged Mr. Ed's epic ride.

It's good to have him back.