A product of South Africa, vintage 1963. My journey started with awareness that I grew up in the Vredefort Dome, the largest impact crater on earth. Celestial minerals must be responsible for the repeated urge to shoot for the moon. I often missed, with failures aplenty, but found myself amongst the stars anyway. The Japanese describe failure best – “Fall down seven… get up eight”.
I was impatient to leave school. An unlimited key to the library, as head prefect, fueled a strong desire to travel. Departure delayed by military conscription and common sense to acquire skills. My service as Communications Instructor in the South African Defence Force – Corps of Signals, lead to mainframe computer operator for a major bank. I was fortunate to discover the Internet in 1982, using packet radio over AX.25 protocol. Folks who complain about “slow” Internet with smartphones today, never used bulletin boards in the 80’s. A gateway to the world nevertheless.
The Internet became a fascination, but there were not many job prospects. Anyway, I was quick to learn that JOB stands for Just Over Broke. Thus, I embarked on the wagon for entrepreneurs. Leaving South Africa mid-1986 to see the world, there is not enough space here to detail my 18 years of travel and living in 14 different countries. Jack of all trades, master of none. I went from picking tulips in Holland to a commercial pilots license, with spells of tech consulting in between.
The rolling stone eventually returned to South Africa in 2003. No moss. A fresh start at age 40.
With a 10-year plan and plenty of IT elbow grease, we built a Managed Services Provider agency. The decade done, I retired at the age of 50, retreating into the remote African Bush to consider my next steps. Turned out to be plenty, as I spent nearly three years, walking at least 15km per day through the hot savanna. Nature, conservation and writing software by midnight campfire.
Apparently, I’m not done with technology, nor travel. With my laptop, backpack and passport, the world beckoned again. A much broader vision and global strategy, called Ubuntu Synergy.
I’ve lived a life of ups and downs, failures and sometimes defeat. Setbacks are inevitable and sweetens the taste of success. Perseverance is the key. Lucky are those that find their raison d’être. In the first half of my life I never did, despite doing quite a bit. It was not for the lack of setting goals. I always wanted to retire before the age of 50… and that I did. Retreating into the African Bush. Three years of nature conservation, witnessing first-hand the stupidity of humans, hacking the horns off this planet and poaching our future. We may be losing the battle on the ground, but the war is not over yet. I can do much more on a higher online plane. With heavy heart but clearer vision, I put out the campfire, packed a bag and left to travel the world again. This time with Ubuntu Synergy. I finally found my raison d’être. There is no turning back now…
Back into the breach…
The biggest benefit of the time away from the maddening crowd… it gave me time to think. Reflecting on lessons learned, memories made and wisdom accumulated in over half a century. While I failed locally in the Bush, I know I can do much more, for our paw-legged friends around the globe. PAWSecondChance is a part of PAWSynergy and (excuse the pun) my pet project. I’m harnessing the power of Ubuntu Synergy to find forever homes faster…
“Better to light a candle for one lost dog than to curse the darkness, of man’s indifference. Saving just one dog won’t change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog.” – Richard C. Call