1,000km through the Himalayas. 7 days. 3 Kiwis. 1 Tuk Tuk.
Sounds like the intro for a Bear Grylls TV special, but in reality, this was the adventure taken on by Eat the Kiwi’s very own Johnny Stokes!
You might be wondering why anyone would want to embark on a challenge like this, an activity which is advertised on its OWN website as being the result of ‘pulling the safety net away and burning it in the corner’.
Well, not only would it be one epic story to tell for many years to come, but it was also done to raise money for a pretty special school in Uganda.
Kaaso School is a 600 pupil primary school located in the Rakaai district of Uganda, Africa. In 1999, Kaaso School was opened by Rose and Dominic Mukwaya in order to provide a quality education for orphans in the area – at no cost. Over the years KAASO has grown into so much more than just a school, it is now a community-wide project. They continue to provide free education for those who cannot afford it, while also accepting students, whose parents are willing to pay for the high level of education that KAASO provides, in order to help fund the school. On top of this, they grow their own food to support the school and they have set up a medical centre. The children get crucial access to healthcare for free, while the community can also use the centre for a fee. While Kaaso School does so much for the pupils and the surrounding community they receive no government funding, which is why they must rely on generous donors to cover the costs that they cannot. Eat the Kiwi sponsor a girl called Winnie, without the sponsorship her family would not have been able to continue to pay her school fees and she would have had to drop out.
Now that you understand the purpose, it’s time to get a glimpse into the mayhem that was the ‘Rickshaw Run’. The Eat the Kiwi team, along with 15 other tuk-tuks (with teams hailing from all over the globe), had seven days to travel 1000km from Leh to Shimla through the Himalayas. The event is run by theadventurists.com, who organise a range of crazy adventures all with the purpose of raising money for charity. Over the seven days, the team had to sleep in abandoned buildings on concrete floors, suffer through altitude sickness at an altitude of 5,380m and push the tuk-tuk through rivers, amongst other things… Tuk-tuks are not otherwise present in the area, so the Kiwi covered tuk-tuk was one of the only to ever drive through the Himalayas.
As you can see not only was this trip the journey of a lifetime for the Eat the Kiwi team, the money raised will positively impact the lives of the students of Kaaso School. Enjoy the feel-good factor of knowing that when you shop with Eat the Kiwi your dollars make a difference.