David is not good at taking holidays so when he said he was taking a week off none of us thought we’d actually see it happen. But we were wrong and this was no ordinary holiday as this was a charity mission with Rotary International.
On a sunny Thursday morning in September, David and his colleagues from Lostwithiel and Wadebridge Rotary Group set off in 3 ambulances destined for Kosovo. Why ambulances to Kosovo of all places? Because they, and many other countries that Rotary send aid to, need them. At the end of their 10 year life span, an ambulance can be obtained relatively cheaply in Kosovo and put to good use where they will run for another 10 years.
Without getting all political, it’s easy to think of what is happening in the world today and forget that countries who have experienced wars in recent years have not yet recovered for a whole host of reasons. Kosovo is one of those.
The team took 6 days to travel down through Europe to reach their destination. In some of the neighbouring countries they were thought of as mad for delivering aid to Kosovo; in others they were admired for their mission.
On handing over the Lostwithiel ambulances in Vitia, the Defence Minister for Kosovo was there. He wanted to express his thanks for their act of kindness. He had lost his brother 2 years previously and said ‘it may seem like a small gesture to you, but to us it is huge.’ If that doesn’t make a week off worth it, then I don’t know what does.
For those of you who know David, he can tell you his tales from the trip. Having looked through the photos of amazing scenery in Slovenia, the beautiful Croatian coastline, and bleak border crossings in the mountains, it was broken up with ‘and there’s a photo of a sign I liked.’ You can take the man out of the sign company for a week but you can’t stop him taking photos of them!