Ride for Compassion 2015


What’s your image of Ethiopia? Are your ideas about the country still shaped by the famine that filled our television screens around 30 years ago in the mid-eighties? Thankfully much has changed since that time. Ethiopia is not a totally dry wasteland. In fact, it’s a land of rolling green hills where improved infrastructure and living conditions are driving the country forward. Everywhere you look in the capital city of Addis Ababa you see cranes and construction machinery as new buildings take shape. This hardly seems like the country that sparked Band Aid back in 1984.

Unfortunately though, not everyone is enjoying the benefits of the developments. There are still many battling poverty.

I was in Ethiopia in July last year and I saw conditions that confirmed that there is still much to be done there. Thankfully Compassion is there and is serving the poorest of the poor. That’s why I’m so glad that the Ride for Compassion is supporting a project in Ethiopia this year that will see thousands have access to hygienic toilet and showering facilities, dramatically reducing the risk of disease and illness.

Ride for Compassion 2015

Every year since 2009 I’ve traveled between Albany and Perth, a distance of over 500 kilometres, by bicycle. Next week I’ll be out there again. The ride will involve over 20 cyclists riding around 520 kilometres from Albany to Perth.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time you’ll know that I work for Compassion, but I’m not supporting Compassion simply because it’s my job to do so.

I work for Compassion because I am convinced that there is no more effective organisation serving the world’s poor. I have seen no other method of working with those in poverty that even comes close to the way that Compassion is working.

I’ve seen Compassion’s work first hand in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Thailand. Every time I visit another church that is partnering with Compassion I am amazed at the change it is making in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our world, children.

If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of children who desperately need your support, simply visit my fundraising page.

I can assure you that your money will be well spent in releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

For the 14th consecutive year, Compassion International has earned the highest rating for U.S. charities from Charity Navigator—the nation’s largest charity evaluator. The 4-out-of-4 stars rating places Compassion International in the top one-percent of non-profits reviewed by Charity Navigator.

Let me thank you in anticipation of your support for children in poverty.

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A Long Way to Ride a Bike


Earlier this week I posted a video of my first trip to India in February 2003. That’s now got me thinking of later that same year when I cycled in a team from Perth, Western Australia, to Hobart, Tasmania. 4233.77km in 32 days.

I’ve cycled the Nullarbor five times in all. My first trip was a ride from Perth to Canberra in 1987. I did the same journey with a different route the following year. In 1990 I was part of team that cycled from Perth to Adelaide. It was a decade before my next crossing in 2000 when a large group cycled from Perth to Sydney, arriving just before the start of the Sydney Olympics.

The ride from Perth to Hobart in 2003 is my most recent Nullarbor crossing and I reckon it’s about time I went for number six.

Each of the rides was with The Bible Society as part of their Bike for Bibles program.

Check out the video to see 32 days of riding reduced to three and a half minutes.

So … 2016? Do you want to come for a ride? I’m looking at the possibility of Perth to Newcastle, raising money for Compassion.

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Something in the Air


While I’ve got a lot more to say about my recent trip to Ethiopia and Rwanda, I thought I might write about something a little lighter today.

This morning I took the controls of a Cessna 152 flying out of Jandakot Airport with the Royal Aero Club. While I’m terrified of heights, I love flying, even in a small, ageing two seater like the plane I flew in today.

While Grant, the pilot, was constantly making adjustments during my thirty minute flight, he did let me take the controls a lot of the time. Of course I was under no illusions. Grant was doing a lot more than supervising. I was just the novice who was following instructions with more than a little correction coming from Grant’s dual controls.

We headed away from Jandakot down to Fremantle, up the coast to Cottesloe, then south again to Coogee before returning to Jandakot. The flight was a gift from my wife, Pauline. While I flew, she took pictures from the ground.

I was also able to take some photos while in the air. You can check out a few of them below. Just click on them for a closer look.

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National Camera Day

Courtesy of: SnapKnot

I’ve just found out that it’s National Camera Day. It’s not a day that’s celebrated in Australia but I reckon any day is a good day to ‘focus’ on taking photos.

Even without knowing that the 29th of June is a day to celebrate cameras, I did manage to grab a snap or two while I was out and about this afternoon.

Here’s a photo I took of a magnificent old tree in Kings Park, overlooking Perth, Western Australia.


You can click on the photo to see a slightly larger version.

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Cavalia Shines in the West


There’s something inspiring about watching people who are passionate about what they’re doing. Watching Cavalia is all kinds of inspiring. The two and four legged performers fill the stage with joyous celebration and they are masters of drawing the audience into their magical world.

The show has visited 60 cities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Europe and Australia. Around 4 million people have been thrilled by the performance around the world. It’s an innovative multi-media production created by Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of Circe du Soleil.

If you want to see Cavalia in Perth there are shows until the 26th of January under the big white top at Belmont Racecourse.

I had the honour of being invited to a VIP Social Media Night last night. I took my son James and together we got the full VIP treatment with a delicious meal and drinks before the show and a guided stable tour after the show.

While the pre-show and post-show were wonderful, it was the performance itself we were there to see and it didn’t disappoint.

Before the curtain went up we had a quick chat to Ms Mystery Case and her husband who were seated next to us. If you want to see some better photos of the night than I was able to capture on my iPhone 4 you can read her review of the night.

James and I settled in among the other social media invitees, ready to take some snaps to post to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. From start to finish there was plenty to photograph. Whether it was the mind bending acrobatics performed by some of the 36 human performers or the graceful beauty of the 43 magnificent horses, there was always something mesmerising happening on stage.

The connection between human and horse was a highlight. From incredibly subtle and gentle moves to thundering past us at speed, the horses were captivating.

The live music added another thrilling dimension to the show. Sometimes quietly setting the scene with an understated soundtrack to the visual feast, sometimes driving the show forward with boldness and force, the music guided us throughout the performance.

There’s so much more I could say about the show but words will never fully describe the experience or prepare you for the masterpiece that is Cavalia. If you get the opportunity, get yourself to one of their shows and experience it for yourself.

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