We are a trio of junior doctors who have worked and lived in the South West of England for close to a decade. We have a keen interest in medical practice in developing countries and global health, and are all aiming to practise as doctors in Africa in the near and distant future.
We have been lucky enough to have travelled in most of the world’s continents between us, but it is Africa that really captures our hearts.
Permanent members of the expedition:
Handsome Dan is the stylish one of the group. At his happiest in the midst of a cerebral debate, we are hoping that he will provide us with stimulating commentary for the duration of the trip. With a spectrum of diverse interests, he’ll find something of interest in any situation.
Sebastian ‘Bass’ Wallace
Hidden behind those golden locks and a coarse beard is a philosophical (and distractable!) mind. His friends often comment that he is towards the genius/head-in-the-clouds end of the spectrum; Bass is the big thinker of the group. He has a keen interest in history and politics, and we hope will keep us all entertained along the way with his blues guitar and husky tenor notes!
Definitely the list-maker of the group, Rich aims to develop his mechanical and photography skills to some semblance of competence as part of this project. Although previous overland experience is on two wheels (motorised!), he is particularly excited about our four-wheeled British steed!
The Home Guard:
Hannah Wallace – Head of Communications on Home Ground
This team player manages the website and makes sure the public are able to live through the expedition from their living room. This involves coordinating photos and corresponding to fans while the boys are out in the bush.
Sheona Burns – Chief Home Logistics and Liaison Attaché
We all agree that this expedition probably wouldn’t have got off the ground without the help of Sheona. There aren’t many people who would invite four gregarious, chaotic men to live in their new house, especially a week after they had moved in themselves! Sheona has provided stoical friendship and support, and a rent-free base-camp to plan our trip. We cannot thank her enough!
Guy Hooper – Deputy Home Logistics and Liaison Attaché
A glorious product of British society, Hoops is a hilarious, diverse and social chap, with strong opinions and a propensity for making any social gathering descend into chaos! His help with the preparation for the trip has been invaluable, as have his endless cups of tea. We hope to see him join us for a leg en-route.
Security Assessment and Network Communications Overland Support (S.A.N.C.O.S)
S.A.N.C.O.S. is an elite security firm with over a decade of experience in phone handling, email checking and false reassurances. It is their burden alone to receive expedition reports and GPS co-ordinates and to handle this data secretly and without mass panic. Example of dispatch: “Heading off road into desert (GPS co-ordinates). Diesel and water seem fine depending on perspective. Expect contact in three days. Panic word = ‘Trelawney’. Over.”
Expedition Guests (Chronological):
Guy Wallace – Vice-Chief Rendez-Vous and Locals Liaison Enforcement Officer/Aide-de-camp
‘The boy’ as he affectionately known, was found one day hiding in our luggage. We believe he snuck on board in Somerset as a stowaway and is intent on hitching a ride to Istanbul. Since his discovery he has made himself an indispensable team member. He specialises in asking directions, befriending locals and finding out where the action is. When not doing one of these things, he can usually be found winding up Dan.
Kali Potiszil – Polkovnik of the Third Division Cavalry
For her brief stay Kali was our matriarch. She is an excellent mountain forager and finder of wild herbs, and edible stuffs. She is capable of bearing up in any catastrophe and can survive in a post-apocalyptic future. She has imparted much of this wisdom to the team. Three weeks was too short!
Alki Vousvouni (Chief Cultural attaché and Riot Control)
Another friendship forged in the furnace that is the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Dan’s girlfriend Alki holds the record of visiting the group on two occasions: Once through Greece and Turkey, then again through Uganda (and the only person to quit her job to do so). Originally of Greek extraction, she is now the only person in the group to hold the tin badge of Cornish citizenship. Adventures have a habit of escalating when she is with the group. In Land Rover terms, definitely an accelerator not a break.
Katy Irwin – Demolitions Expert
Dubbed “wrecking ball” by her friends, Katy crashed into our lives for an all too brief spell that resulted in lasting damage. Irwin was a catalyst to Guy’s already indefatigable passion for finding the party wherever it may be. Between them they enhanced our social lives and sabotaged our productivity in equal measure.
Robert ‘Roberty-Bobity’ Lowe – and Replacement Aide-du-Camp
No one really knows how he got as far as he did, but we met Bob on the ferry from Egypt to Sudan. He had his Grandfather’s bike, no underwear, and a dangerously modest bank account. He can currently be found somewhere between Ethiopia and Kenya, in bandit country.
Megan Adams – Quatermaster in Chief and Minister for Information
An expatriate French teacher, Colin lives a gloriously hedonistic life by night as the saxophonist in a popular local reggae band in Addis Ababa. As well as being a generous host, he squashed into the Landy for our Somaliland leg.
Estella is an Islamic Studies student at Cairo University. Having travelled with two other overlanders in Ethiopia for a few weeks, she hitched a ride with us from Addis Ababa to Somaliland and back. Useful to have a translator on board, even if we did have to pretend we were married to her!