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January 12, 2007

Sahaj Sankalp children pedal Moksha

LOCATION: Mumbai, India
Longitude: N:18.92874°
Latitude: E: 072.83865°
Miles to Djibouti: 1,800

Moksha was reacquainted with the briny this morning after being launched delicately over the sea wall beside the Gateway of India with a hire crane. No major leaks appeared and the solar panels and wind generator are charging fine which was one of my worries. Unknowns that could still cause delays however are the desalinator pump, which is still refusing to produce fresh water (even with a new membrane and motor drive), and the computer set up for sending back updates to this journal page. Then I still need to load food and run around the customs and immigration offices to start the tortuous out-clearance proceedings, plus get a visa for Yemen. So leaving Sunday might be a tall order at this point.

This may work out for the best in the light of Sher confirming Monday whether or not he is definitely up for pedaling with me to Djibouti. He arrives back in India early Monday morning and will run the idea past his family first thing. If he gets the thumbs up then I have decided to defer departure until the 24th, the earliest that he can get to Mumbai. Having weighed up both the pros and cons of both scenarios over the last 24hrs (pedaling solo or waiting a week and having an extra set of legs) and re-studied the pilot charts I believe the wait of an extra week is worth the added insurance of another body on board to avoid getting blown onto Somalia by unfavourable northerlies.


Early in the afternoon 16 children from the Sahaj Sankalp charity came down to have a pedal around the harbour in Moksha. Sahaj Sankalp is a non-profit organisation dedicated to assisting children in need by providing education and nutrition in a family home called 'Balgriha'. These are kids from the slums of north Mumbai - kids with few opportunities to get ahead in life. We're currently trying to get some computers donated for a computer lab they're looking to set up so the children can learn basic computing skills that will hopefully help them get a job later on. So if anyone in India is reading this has even an older model machine that you've upgraded from, please leave a comment (below).


Having met the children on three occasions now they have captured my heart completely. Such a fantastic bunch of kids who really deserve a chance in life. And the people who run the charity are very inspiration also in their dedication to the welfare of others. It is running into people like these at various points throughout the trip that has rekindled a sometimes flagging belief in the inherent goodness of human nature.


Posted on January 12, 2007 2:01 PM