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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

“Don’t Look Where You Don’t Want to Go.”

“Look up and keep your eye on where you want to be”. Rony Desodt

One of the best investments we made when planning this trip, was a couple of “off road” riding courses with Rony Desodt of Rough and Ready and his associate Jurg.

The courses took us quickly from: not even knowing what we didn’t know about adventure biking, to conscious incompetence and finally to a point where we had the audacity to believe that we could handle whatever Africa threw at us.

The piece of advice that turned out to be the most valuable was Rony’s constant warning not to look at the many hazards to be found trying to overcome an obstacle in the path of your bike, but to rather keep your head up and fix your eyes on where you want to go. “On a bike as in life, you go where you are looking”, he pointed out. I can’t begin to tell you how this practical bit of guidance has helped us during this trip.

When faced with a rock lying in a dry riverbed or a deep ditch on the side of a sandy road, we remembered the mantra, “Don’t look where you don’t want to go, look up and keep your eyes on where you want to be”.

As the trip has progressed, the real power of this piece of counsel has sunk in. Applied to the trip as a whole, this approach has helped us overcome the trials and tribulations that are normal in such an adventure and focus on achieving the wonderful outcomes that we envisaged in our “minds eye”. You can only do what you have first imagined and both Brittany and I had set our sights really high in terms of what we were hoping to get out of this adventure of a lifetime.

The human mind is a miraculous thing, filled with mysterious processes that move us unconsciously toward whatever future we accept as true (the ditch or the ice cold beer at the edge of Lake Malawi). Our thoughts are informed and our moods are altered by the voices we let into our minds.

At this point in the trip, our world just seems to be overflowing with opportunity and everything is possible.

Sadly, this is not true in the lives of many children in underprivileged communities and it makes me even more convinced of the importance of what Earthchild Project is doing. They are working every day in schools with children whose circumstances cause them to look where they don’t want to go. “Where do you want to go?” is a daunting question for these children because circumstance has taught them to dream small dreams and keep their hopes low.

Earthchild Project is hugely successful in helping these children “look up and keep their eyes on where they want to be”, to have the courage to believe in a happy future and to start moving toward that future with every action they take. They are changing children’s lives every day by helping them realize and believe in their potential.

Thank you to all the followers of our blog who have made a donation to Earthchild Project, we really appreciate it. If you have not yet and are able to, please consider a small donation. It’s easy via the “Backabuddy” link on this page. It’s easy and it will make you feel GREAT!

Thank you

Rivak and Brittany


  1. I am so glad that this is turning out to be the trip of a lifetime and we are very proud of you both. Love you Monique

  2. Thanks for the compliment! Have a great time and may your road be rock free ;-) Rony

  3. Look where you want to go or be! Interesting thought to bring this into daily life and especially with reference to your work with the Earthchild Project. Look forward to joining you on the ride into Cape Town.