SOS village

Through Balochistan to Quetta, Pakistan

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Cop guarding me from the passenger seat near Taftan, Pakistan

Travelling in Balochistan is a rather interesting experience. Due to the tense security situation, I am always escorted by a massive police escort (carrying Kalashnikows). Two days I was travelling through the desert, always following a Toyota Hilux with some serious looking cops inside, sometimes they even joined me in my car for a while.

In Quetta, I am not allowed to take a single step without my bodyguards. I am not even allowed to visit the supermarket on the other side of the street. Anyway, I applied for a visit to the local SOS children village at the Home Department, and they allowed me a visit on November, 24th. I waited for my police escort at 9.30am, but they kept me waiting and waiting. I read two books, afterwards in was 8pm and they just did not show up at all.

Apparently, I could not go the next day either, because my permission was only valid for one day. But I know this kind of bureaucrazy too well to just give up. After some 15 calls to police, they assured me to pick me up the next morning. 9.30 came again, and surprise, there they were!

the backside

First job successfully done: generator

They dropped me off at the SOS village, and I learned there was no electriciy. Bah, minor problem for me and my generator! We bought some bottles of gasoline (yes, it’s sold in plastic bottles here) and the bounce could begin.

I was really hypnotized by all these colorful dresses hopping up and down on the castle, and when I woke up from my trance, it was 4pm and my police escort had already arrived. As they were in a hurry, they helped me to put everything back in the car, and I followed them back to my hotel with a big grin on my face. Kalaschnikow-guarded bouncy action is indeed something special!

On the road again

Many presumed me dead, but now the castle is travelling again! Above is an impression from yesterday in beautiful Croatian summer weather.

And to you, religious hardliners, I’ve heard you! Take a look at the right towers, nobody should be offended anymore!

4.9.2014 – Sarajevo

Yo,  the fabulous  people from SOS Kinderdorf (thanks Azra!) forwarded us to the SOS Kinderdorf in Sarajevo for our next event. The clouds were crying from joy a lot, which was not so helpful, as we cannot set up the castle in constant rain. Fortunately, the nearby school of the SOS children had a gymnastics hall which we could use.

So we went to Džemaludin Čaušević primary school in the morning, and found a really friendly school with a bit rundown small hall (donations are needed! If you want to donate for a new gymnastics hall, you can contact Selma). We could not go there by car and had to carry the castle for about 50 meters through the school building. No problem with the help of the Hulk-like 9th-graders.

Fail Aufbau

We started the air fans, and of course the hall was not high enough :( So, we called the Hulks again and they carried the castle to the school courtyard, as the rain had stopped temporarily. Big children eyes were the reward, and the elementary school kids had quite some fun.

It only lasted for one hour, as the rain started again and we just packed the castle into the car before it started to rain buckets.

Conclusion: about 100 kids and the school pedagogist had a blast, but the weather still needs improving. Our three-week journey only had two consecutive days without rainfall. Any tips on this?

30.08.2014 @ SOS village Ladimirevci, Croatia

Yo, after visiting the SOS village in Lekenik near Zagreb (post to come), we went directly to the second Croatian SOS village in Ladimirevci near Osjek. And what a nice time we spent there!  

We arrived on Friday evening and were directly invited for dinner. The kids were asleep already, and we could spent the night in the guest house. What a nice welcome :)

On Saturday morning, after breakfast with the SOS mother Branca and their kids, we unloaded the dvorac (yes, our Croatian improves and improves) with the help of the kids. And after fixing two minor holes, we set it up finally! Chaos breaks out after all the ~80 children want to jump immediately at the same time. But Davor, the village psychologist, could control the mob and we had a full day of jumping action in perfect summer weather :)

Just when we finally packed the castle together, nature itself tried to prevent us from leaving and sent myriad of mosquitos. But tough as we are, we put everything back in the bus and fled into shelter.

After another dinner with Branca and her wonderful kids, and breakfast on the next day, we had to leave again to the next villages. We spent such an amazing time in Ladimirevci, cheers to Davor, Suzana & Branca, and Tomislav, Katharina, Matej, Matija, Marco, Vicky, and all the others! We really hope to come back!