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Old 07-25-2007, 11:42 PM   #1
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Probabilities Cairo to Capetown 2009 What if?

I believe everyone that is following or planning to go on the Africa 2009 should read the Travel Warnings at the United States Department of State website. You need to read what the World Health Organization says about the pandemic and epidemic diseases and illnesses occurring throughout Africa. After you read about them go to and read about the acute poverty throughout Africa. In addition to these areas of sadness add the droughts, and food shortages. And we shouldn’t forget the non-terrorist and non-military crime rates.

Not a pretty picture. The people were poor in 1959, but most Africans weren’t faced with AIDS. They weren’t faced with civil wars, tribal warfare and religious warfare. After colonialism then the flood gate opened.

IN 50 years Africa has been the forgotten continent. There have been attempts here and there to remedy the problems and issues in Africa. Within the last few years there has been more attention to alleviate these many problems.

In traveling one must understand that all of these problems create a survival mentality. You do what you have to do to live. Beg, borrow or steal.

In the short term it looks like it will get worse before it will get better.

The fastest and largest growing religion in Africa is Islam. Is it non-militant or fundamentalist in nature? In our world today be assured that United States citizens are portrayed as “devils” and the group responsible for the African miseries. Oh yes, someone has to be a scapegoat to unify the control and the minds of converts. Hitler did a number on the German people.

Think of all of the revolutions, civil wars, fighting, killing and murdering over the last 50 years. Russia, China, Cuba, the United States and others have sold arms to the rebels, governments and any group that required weapons. The AK-47 is the pet weapon of most insurgents. Because of the heavy flow of arms, a household may not have food, but they probably have a weapon of extreme killing power. Do you remember the children’s army in any of the killing fields in Africa? Armed with these weapons.

Why discuss weapons of killing? In 1959 bows and arrows, spears and machetes were the weapons in rural Africa. A few rifles here and there, but mostly manual armaments.

Any way most people fly into to Cairo. Take a Nile boat trip and fly home. They fly into Nairobi and take a tour of the animal sanctuaries. Fly in, tourist trips, and home.

How many years did it take us to clean up our blood supply here in the United States? Quite a few. I gave blood for many years. There was a questionnaire looking for heapatitis and possible aids carriers. One question dealt with your travels to Africa.

If you need transfusions in Africa there is a strong chance of getting bad blood. This is a potential problem.
**********************
A No Opinion on a 2009 African Safari


I’m not sure if my communication yesterday was clear.

The original Africa Caravan in 1959-1960 had the following areas covered.

Political stability in the areas of travel. Colonialism, protectorates, autocratic control of nations gave safe going from Cape Town to Cairo. Only two occasions did we have to have extraordinary protection. The Emperor Haile Selaise had twenty of his palace guards ride with the Caravan through most of Southern Ethiopia. This area was under tribal control. When we left the U.S. Army base in Asmara we had two jeeps with mounted 50 caliber machine guns escort through bandit territory on our way to the Sudan.

There is no doubt that there is safety in numbers. With 41 rigs, four or five doctors, a factory mechanic, paid advance scouts, and Wally Byam there was an infrastructure. Many of the Caravaners had been with Wally on several Caravans. Europe, Mexico, Central America, and Canada. The Wagon Boss, Louis Mousely had been wagon boss in Eastern Canada, Europe…what a guy to be at the head of the Caravan, he orchestrated the parking at the camp sites, and he held the Caravan in-line.

Backing up the group was the Wally Byam Caravan Headquarters. They made the arrangements, they wrote the letters, and they arranged for visas, they arranged for transportation of the rigs. Under the control of Helen Byam Schwamborn.

The doctors carried a full range of medicines and medical equipment. If you became sick go to trailer xyz and see the doctor. If you were sick you had a doctor in camp not 200 miles away.

Over the years the Caravaners that traveled with Wally on three or four Caravans were mechanics, not by trade, but by travel. They could work on gear boxes, cabinets in the trailer, anything that needed correcting. This group of 8 or 10 families helped make the trip go from south to north.

Let’s not forgot Art Ruiz from the factory. With his product knowledge and the support of the Caravan mechanics mountains were moved at times.

The advance scouts check out the roads in most areas. There were several times that it was necessary for them to remain with group on travel days. They checked campsites, talked with national, regional and city officials. They posted signs to the camp grounds. Checked out market areas. Took passports to embassies for visas, Bulgaria is an example of that chore.

But the shinning glory was Wally Byam. The world traveler, the entrepreneur, the engineer, the diplomat, and a leader. Wally was always in charge. There have been many Caravan leaders over the year…but no Wally Byam. The can do man.

That was then what about now.

STABILITY

It is gone. Tribal law, tribal fighting, and lawlessness reigns in most of Africa. Also the United States has lost most of its esteem. United States equals Americans. What does this mean? In too many areas of the world American citizens have a target on their backs.

A high profile expedition like a caravan of Airstreams in Africa is tempting to bandits, radicals, and terrorists. Even with armed mercenaries for protection, can you survive a heavy fire fight, what about land mines? If captured what about ransoms? Beheading? Torture? Execution?

Is Africa safe today? Not really.

LEADERSHIP

There was only one Wally Byam.

MEDICAL

Africa has many epidemics. Some are communicable diseases without any form of treatment. (They might threaten the Caravanners.) This alone brings on wide spread poverty. In 1959 people were poor but self-reliant. Today there is poverty so wide spread, and so deep that survival is the motivation to do anything.

SEASONED CARAVANNERS

How many people going to Africa can raise there hands and say I have been of three or more Caravan’s of extreme conditions?

The age range in 1959 was four years of age, to Doctor Monroe in his 80’s. The average age of our group was 50.

GO OR NO GO?

The little I know about the big picture…my answer is NO GO.

I’m concerned that the trip is a 60/40 chance of making it without some form of international news of a serious nature. The only way a trip like should be conducted is if you are 100% sure that you are not putting its members in harms way.

PERSONAL COMMENTS

In 2005 at the Springfield Rally I had a small discussion with a meeting of those planning to go to Africa. In fact I was willing, at that time, to go. Not now. I will not associate my name or my family name (Schwamborn and Byam) to an undertaking that has a high risk threatening the lives of fellow Caravaners.

I have talked with a friend of mine from that trip. The person when asked to do something for the adventure, declined. The person didn’t want his name even remotely associated with the 2009 tour. We both agreed about the almost recklessness of doing the 1959 trip today.

I am not currently associated with Airstream or the Wally Byam Caravan Club, Int. Both of these organizations need to be careful in choosing their endorsements of the venture. If the trip goes okay what a wonderful publicity coo. If it goes bad over 76 years of great stuff goes away. Personally the tour should be cancelled.

An evaluation needs to be made by the group.

First will the safety, security and well-being of the group be at 100%?

Second will medical needs be availability at all times, in a timely manner?

Third with the apparent risks involved do you want to tarnish the name and image of Airstream?

Fourth, with the apparent risks involved do you want to tarnish the name and image of Wally Byam Caravans, and the Wally Byam Caravan Club, International?

Fifth with the apparent risks involved do you want to tarnish the name and image of Wally Byam? A man who would never put his owners at the risk of this upcoming trip to Africa.

Please excuse by bluntness. But there is more to this trip than just the fever to re-enact the past.

Unicorns are gone forever! Out of Africa!
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by PeeWee

How many years did it take us to clean up our blood supply here in the United States? Quite a few. I gave blood for many years. There was a questionnaire looking for hepatitis and possible aids carriers. One question dealt with your travels to Africa.

If you need transfusions in Africa there is a strong chance of getting bad blood. This is a potential problem.
I want to cue in on this since I am a blood banker with the Armed Forces Blood Program.

Standard FDA blood donation questions on Africa refer to being born in, traveling to, or living in an African country after 1977, or having an intimate relationship with an individual who was born in, lived in, or traveled to an African country since 1977.

Most suspect is the blood pool in Africa, but mainly for certain countries

HIV Risk: Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea.

Malaria: African Continent Endemic

I personally would not like to be on receiving end of any blood coming from anyone in an African country whether they were local or not. The risk of AIDS, hepatitis, Malaria, trypanasomiasis, or other potentially fatal diseases is too great.

I believe that the people wanting to take this trip are going to have to put safety first, but it may all work out.

Just my $.02

Steve
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:40 AM   #3
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can you say AK47 and sitting ducks? opps, caravaning ducks. how many armed guards are you taking? and what thought has gone into IED's?

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Old 07-26-2007, 01:48 AM   #4
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when/where did you last visit africa mr schwamborn?


i had planned to make informed, educated responses to your list of issues dale...

but in short order this thread will be all about guns and other lowest order wise cracks....

think talk radio.

yes needing a transfusion is one issue.

this can be dealt with by creating a database of blood types for people going on the trip and establishing an internal donor base should the need arrise.

there are also now highly refined blood substitutes that can be used.

and this all assumes a catastrophic injury takes place...

did ANYONE need a blood transfusion on the '59 trip? that would have been equally dangerous for other reasons....

it's true some diseases are present now that were not in the 50s...

but in the 50s malaria was pretty common in the usa too!

communication and evacuation is much better now...

medications and mobile medical equipment is better now...

i know what antibiotics and cardiac care was available in the 50s....very very primative stuff.

folks are fatter now and the risks are different...

you've posted several times that only zero risk is acceptable and 100% safety is needed...

u r dreaming IF you think the 50s trip had this....

what has changed is YOUR preception of risk....

from age 20 (fearless) to age 70 (realist)

suggesting islamic growth in africa is dangerous, is just silly and reveals more about YOUR beliefs than islamic beliefs....

saying any more on these topics will only make this thread too HOT and it will get closed/edited or deleted.

religious issues/conflicts have existed for thousands of years, and so religious enlightenments.

it's obvious you're proud of the talented folks that traveled in the 50s....

this group has many of the same talents along with folks that have actually LIVED in several of the countries. a lot of world travelers are signed up.

the fifties trips were RISKY and in retrospect they were groundbreaking....

currently there are DOZENS of overland caravans running from capetown to cairo and back...

on foot, on bikes, in motorcars, in rvs and so on...

the guided trip business is BIG and growing right now.

going now has risks too. so does going to chicago or miami or los angles.

tourism is a major part of the african economy now and growing fast. this can have a positive and stablizing influence at the local level.

the usa already buys more OIL from the african continent than all of the middle east combined....

while the economic development focus is asia and the old soviet and china regions...

africa is about to emerge big time....

suggesting this trip risks tarnishing the names of the current/ useless wbcci, or the a/s corp or wally is really double speak for...

"we did it, but you can't"

cheers
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWee
First will the safety, security and well-being of the group be at 100%?
IMHO, there are very few things in life that carry no risk and guarantee 100% safety, security and well-being. A good excercise is to try to identify all potential risks/dangers/hazards, etc. and then create a mitigation plan. I would be surprised if I heard that the caravan planning committee wasn't already undertaking this exercise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWee
Third with the apparent risks involved do you want to tarnish the name and image of Airstream?

Fourth, with the apparent risks involved do you want to tarnish the name and image of Wally Byam Caravans, and the Wally Byam Caravan Club, International?

Fifth with the apparent risks involved do you want to tarnish the name and image of Wally Byam?
I don't understand the underlying thought process behind these statements. Could you provide more detail on how you think that the Airstream/WBCCI, etc. images will be tarnished.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:16 AM   #6
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Rivet You are responsible

If I were to make this African Trip, you can bet I would do my own research concerning the travel conditions and safety. I think this thread could have value if a list of the various web sites providing information pertaining to the current travel situation existing in those areas of Africa being visited

I would be interested in this trip if I were younger and of better health. Not because a group did a trip in 1959 but because Africa is such an interesting place with much to offer a traveler. Certainly there is risk as there is for American's traveling in most parts of todays complicated world.

I also worry about the forum. I realized that some of my own posts were negative and offered no real value so I am trying to improve - I think we all must try and improve the quality of our posts both in accuracy and content.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:42 AM   #7
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I believe there would be way to much risk involved with a journey like this through these territories.
What PeeWee is trying to say I think Yuki is we don't want to read in our Sunday paper that a WBCCI caravan making the 59' Anniversary trek of the Cape Town to Cairo was ambushed. That alone would make people question why someone would want to venture in such a hostile and unsettleing enviroment.

We just had one of the "Lost Boys" John Bul Dau speek at our sons graduation. He spoke of the chaos and death that is going on presently today.
National Geographic Emerging Explorers: John Bul Dau - Humanitarian/Survivor

The Cape Town to Cairo caravan would travel right through Sudan....

I think there is a never ending abundance of beautiful places to explore here in the US. I'd rather watch videos from the Cape Town to Cairo caravan in safer surroundings with friends and reminisce of good old days rather than experience the unknown possibilities of what could happen in a venture such as this.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
IMHO, there are very few things in life that carry no risk and guarantee 100% safety, security and well-being. A good excercise is to try to identify all potential risks/dangers/hazards, etc. and then create a mitigation plan. I would be surprised if I heard that the caravan planning committee wasn't already undertaking this exercise.



I don't understand the underlying thought process behind these statements. Could you provide more detail on how you think that the Airstream/WBCCI, etc. images will be tarnished.
Regardless of whether the trip is sponsored or indorsed by the WBCCI, or Airstream any calamaty will be the burdern indured the those organizations. Respondents have told that with risk their is no adventure. That is cavalier under the existing conditions in Africa and in other places.

My life has been one of Airstream from a very early time, and I saw the clube grow under my Mother's auspices. I have seen Airstream grow into a universal icon.

All of this is at risk if anything goes wrong on the trip. The individual members names won't be the headlines...Airstream and Wally Byam will be the headlines.

As I mentioned Wally Byam would not take a Caravan to Africa today. He would not risk any indvidual under the conditions that exsist.

I hope this explains my opinion. It seem redundant.

Pee Wee
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:13 AM   #9
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I think this thread could have value if a list of the various web sites providing information pertaining to the current travel situation existing in those areas of Africa being visited.
Pop Rivet -- I found this site through National Geographic's Travel links. I thought it was pretty interesting. Come Back Alive

PeeWee -- Do you know of any countries that Wally would have liked to have traveled to in the 50s and 60s that he didn't attempt because of the risk? The world changes so quickly (well, relatively speaking anyway). I'm wondering what are the trips Wally didn't get a chance to do, that WBCCI might have a better chance at today.

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Old 07-26-2007, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWee
Regardless of whether the trip is sponsored or indorsed by the WBCCI, or Airstream any calamaty will be the burdern indured the those organizations. Respondents have told that with risk their is no adventure. That is cavalier under the existing conditions in Africa and in other places.
I hope this explains my opinion. It seem redundant.

Pee Wee
Pee Wee, while I respect you position and probably agree in some aspects, what most of us are unaware of are the details and the arrangements that are being made to conduct this caravan. If any of us were on the staff or group organizing this event we would have a much better picture of the risk.

At this point we don't. So while we can have conjecture as to whether this is a good idea or not, only those in the drivers seat have the information necessary to make that judgment, good or bad.

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Old 07-26-2007, 10:05 AM   #11
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Pee Wee, while I respect you position and probably agree in some aspects, what most of us are unaware of are the details and the arrangements that are being made to conduct this caravan. If any of us were on the staff or group organizing this event we would have a much better picture of the risk.

At this point we don't. So while we can have conjecture as to whether this is a good idea or not, only those in the drivers seat have the information necessary to make that judgment, good or bad.

Jack
Jack,

That is true. I sent this to one of the organizers. I told them that I hope everything is under control and that my naysayings are just that. I truly hope that images and people are not put in harms way. It is probably time for the WBCCI members and Airstream owners to know more of what is actually going on.

You are right, it is difficult for the right hand to know what the left hand is doing.

Pee Wee
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:59 PM   #12
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"Pop Rivet -- I found this site through National Geographic's Travel links. I thought it was pretty interesting. Come Back Alive"

Jamie - now that is valuable information, interesting even if you are not doing any international travel. I may not if I don't get my passport back soon - 60 days and counting
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:43 PM   #13
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Do we really need more "HOT AIRSTREAM on AIRSTREAM ACTION"

Cool summertime tip: In hot weather conserve your energy for something more creative, fun, and productive.



For those who feel it nessccery to rehash this subject in A NEW THREAD, check out these threads for hundreds of tried and true ideas, antidotes, quotes and plagiarisms.


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286...ion-31388.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286...ro-8454-3.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f347...van-24626.html



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Old 07-26-2007, 03:11 PM   #14
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thanks michael and i agree...

besides THIS thread is IN the the wbcci section....

it ain't a wb' event folks...

besides, the mods have gone to the effort of giving us a section on global streaming...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f341/

with a forum on travel beyond the usa/canada...

now where is that martian rally this year?

cheers

2air'
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