Monday, December 8, 2008

Still waiting...

After attempting to register on Friday, I received a generic e-mail from EA inviting me to call to get registered. Did so immediately, and for the next three days. No luck, and no return calls.

Called EA this morning again, only to find that Simon, the event organizer, is still out. Should be back tomorrow. Word is that two rides are organized, both of which are full. But the person I spoke to suggested that it may still be possible to join. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Who IS this guy?

I have a Ph.D. in Clinical/Health Psychology from Syracuse University, and have received pre- and post-doctoral training in Behavioral Medicine, Public Health, and Research Methods at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System and the University of California San Francisco. 

I started riding motorbikes in 1999, with a Honda 150 scooter that I kept in the basement of my office building in San Francisco. I moved on to bigger bikes in 2005, when I fell in love with and bought a 1997 BMW R1100RS

I'm doing Enduro Africa because it combines two of my passions: Helping to end the global HIV pandemic by raising funds and attention to a critical region of the world, and riding motorbikes.

My hope is to raise awareness of the ongoing need for support for innovative HIV prevention, education, and care programs in Southern Africa, especially in the midst of a global financial crisis, and to learn more about what's needed out on the front lines. 

I'm doing all of this for my own personal education and contribution, not as a representative of the US government, my employer. The views expressed here are my very own, nobody else's. 

My wife, Elizabeth, and I live in Bethesda MD with our two samoyeds, Katy and Adie, and our cats, Mischa and Sacha.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day Zero - EA2009

Last month, Netflix began to release the first of three discs in Ewen McGregor and Charlie Boorman's Long Way Down series, which documented the actors' second long distance adventure motorbike trip from John O'Groats, Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa. Along the way, the series featured a social enterprise program, Riders for Health, that provides health workers access to reliable motorbikes that enable them to delivery medications and medical care to HIV affected and other communities. Here's a great, short video about RfH. I immediately tried to find a way to volunteer.

My hopes for creating an informal sabbatical that would enable me to combine two passions, riding motorcycles and working to save lives from HIV infection and associated morbidities, seemed to be dashed.

But in the back of a British motorcycling magazine, Bike, I found the advertisement for EnduroAfrica, a social enterprise that organizes adventure motorcycling trips with an altruistic theme: Raise ~$7.5k and join a 12 day motorbike trip through Southern Africa that ends with riders donating their motorbikes and other funds to several NGOs providing critical care and services to children affected and infected by HIV. I was hooked.

So, this blog will track my experiences planning, training, and fundraising for Enduro Africa 2009. Follow the adventure here.