in a kayak

	In Africa,
	In Africa,
	A gloomy hippopo
	Is weeping by the river bank -
	The river Limpopo.
As a kid in Russia I was raised on the lines of this wonderful tale. It tells a story about doctor Aibolit ("Aibolit" is a Russian equivalent of the Jewish "oy-vey") who's flying an eagle and riding a whale to reach Limpopo river and cure the poor, sick hippo and other animals as well. Limpopo river is located in Mozambique.

I'm excited to announce that after long years of preparations I plan to follow the legendary route of Dr.Aibolit. As I have very little knowledge in flying eagles (paraglides in tandem was my best try) and no sufficient skills to ride a whale, I decided to do it in a sea kayak. The researchers who studied Dr.Aibolit diary (archived in The Royal London Library) claim that he cured animals along some 1000 km of Mozambique coastline. So will do we.

I say we, because there are two of us. I'm happy to announce that Youval Nehmadi, my friend and a doctor on his own, will join the epic expedition. In fact he is not yet a doctor, but he is eagerly studing towards his doctor degree in Computer Science. Besides Youval speaks some Spanish, rides a mountain bike, grows an avocado tree in his garden and has 4 kids and a dog. So far I've been puzzled of how to apply all or any of these skills for kayaking in Mozambique. Nevertheless Youval is a great admirer of Dr. Aibolit and I'm sure that by joining our forces we will open a new page in Aibolit's heritage.

Needless to say that this route poses risks and challenges. Dangerous animals and the Soviet AK-47 on the national flag of the country cannot be underestimated. We do our best to be fully prepared by June 11, 2010, when our expedition should start. This includes intensive training (fitness), strict diet and learning to treat dangerous animals. The photographs below were taken right from those trainings.

Misha Hoichman

Last updated: December, 2010