Axe on Everest goes down under in August
August has been a busy month for Axe! I recently returned from a very successful speaking tour to New Zealand. Over 6 days I spoke to 3 schools and conducted 3 public presentation evenings, speaking to over 700 people in total. Through the 6 days, over NZ$ 11,000 was raised for the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust(TRHT). Considerable exposure was also generated for the TRHT through media coverage of my visit – namely radio, newspaper and television. A huge thank you to the presenting sponsor JSL – Jufferman’s Surveyors Limited – for arranging the talks.
I was reminded constantly of the warmth and friendliness of Kiwi people during my trip. Sometimes we Kiwi’s take this for granted. I had a good reminder on the evening of my final talk which held in a French Restaurant in Auckland. The manager that night must have had a rough sleep under a bridge the previous night or some bad snails for breakfast, as she was in a foul mood, smelled of garlic, was quite unhelpful and hated jokes about the Rainbow warrior. Never the less – the evening was very successful and a big thank you to Helen and Mark Taucher and James J Bentley for organising the evening.
My trip home was also covered by Close Up. Close Up is TVNZ’s nightly current affairs show. Close Up air’s on TV1 at primetime viewing (7:00PM – 7:30PM) throughout the working week. This was filmed over a very enjoyable and action packed two days. One day was spent with the TRHT and my sister Debra. Debra was involved in a horrific car accident on 24 February 2012 and the TRHT helped to save her life by flying her to hospital. The very nice crew from the TRHT flew Debra and I into the St Patrick’s primary school in Inglewood, to meet the students there who had been following my journey for the last few months and have been ardent supporters. I conducted a talk to the students along with the TRHT crew and we had a small tour around their beautiful school before re-boarding the helicopter and flying back to New Plymouth. It was definitely the most scenic and exciting way I have traveled to a speaking engagement.
The second day filming was on the beautiful Paritutu Rock in New Plymouth (See photo’s below). I spent 5 hours scurrying up and down this rock with camera’s on remote-controlled helicopters following me. The climbing footage should air on Close Up shortly and I will send the link at the time. Unfortunately 2 days after the filming on Paritutu, a terrible tragedy unfolded at the same spot as 3 students were swept into rough sea’s whilst rock climbing, only one body has been found so far (click here to learn more). It was sad news to hear as I returned from my trip, but heartening to see the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter heavily involved in rescuing by winch the remaining 10 students who were stuck on the rock.
I also made an attempt at climbing Mt Taranaki. In poor weather conditions and low visibility we turned back about 200m from the summit. It was a good reminder to me of how dangerous New Zealand mountains can be in bad weather. The combination of very wet and cold conditions makes it difficult to keep warm. As compared to somewhere like the Himalaya where it is very cold but dry and is much easier to keep warm.
A huge thank you to also to the team from the TRHT, Michelle, Jayden, Fergus, Sam and Phil, a huge thank you for your support throughout the week.
I am very proud to say that John Foord Axe on Everest 2012 has raised to-date over NZ$26,000 for the TRHT. Thank to you all who have donated or supported by attending the talks.
Below are some photo’s from the trip, and some links to the various media articles from the trip to New Zealand.
I also returned this weekend from a short visit to Phuket, Thailand where I presented Axe on Everest to a staff retreat for Catlin. The retreat was called a ‘Wellness weekend’ and was arranged by UFIT. Located in the stunning resort of Indigo Pearl in Northern Phuket it was definitely the nicest seaside resort I have ever stayed in and the most interesting and enjoyable corporate retreat I have experienced. Fitness boot camps, amazing races with bungy jumping, zorbing, go-karting, bowling and many other activities, beautiful beach side BBQ’s and bonfires, community service and even a beer or two thrown in. If you are looking for a value for money and excellent corporate retreat then I can thoroughly recommend this – please contact UFIT.
More John Foord Axe on Everest talks are coming up over the next two months in Indonesia and Singapore. Watch this space if you want to know where and when. If you are interested in hosting a talk then do please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers for now!
(click on links below to view)