A new bike for Daniel
Folk on the SANParks Kruger National Park Facebook Group felt that Daniel (of Hippo Pools fame) needed a new bicycle, and somebody had 2 that they were not using and wanted to donate. Simple????
Not really. SANParks are strict about donations to staff. This is to prevent corruption, and protect staff from accusations of corruption, and also to ensure that donations are appropriate. A staff member accepting a donation of cash or other item can be disciplined if it is not done according to policy. Each year a ‘wish list’ is drawn up of items needed and approved by a committee and then circulated to the various SANParks Honorary Ranger (SHRs) regions. Items are ‘adopted’ and then bought and handed over officially and recorded.
So the Virtual Region’s SHRs became involved in the ‘bike for Daniel’ project to keep it official and above suspicion. It was too late for the annual ‘wish list’, but that is not necessarily a problem. We used the correct channels to ask that the bikes could be donated, and received permission.
Handover was arranged for 8am on Saturday 10th August. Jenny Scott and her daughter Carrie brought the bikes to Crocodile Bridge. Stephen Nel, the camp and gate manager made sure she had easy access on a busy public holiday weekend. Jenni Lane, one of the Virtual SHRs met her at the gate and they then went to Hippo Pools to see Daniel. He did not know what was planned!
On arrival we found him up on the rocks with a small fire to keep warm. He beckoned us over, but while Jenny and Carrie got the bikes off the car I went over and asked Daniel to join us at the cars. He was very pleased when he found out the reason for our visit!!!! A new mountain bike with gears (‘that will be too fast for the elephants to catch me’ he said) that had only been used about 3 times before was to be his. A second older mountain bike was going to be used by other rangers in their work (they make a lot of use of bikes!).
Jenny and Carrie went off to enjoy a day of game-viewing and I helped Daniel to load the bikes onto my bakkie and took him back to the ranger camp as he would find it difficult to cope with 3 bikes otherwise! One of the other rangers came to help with the unloading, and as I left I saw Daniel wheeling his old bike to his house, with the other ranger riding the new bike behind him. I suspect it will be well tested today!!!!
So nice to be involved in this simple donation which will make such a difference to the duties of not only Daniel but also other rangers in the Crocodile Bridge area.
Thanks again to Jenny and Carrie for the donation of the 2 bikes.
And here is Daniel with his new bike (and Carrie, to whom the bike had belonged, next to him)