Katelyn and Chris Barnecut visited Clairbourn School, as the speakers for the annual Majovski Motivational Assembly, to share their 6 month adventure of traveling by motorcycle across the African continent in 2018. They spent three years planning their trip, assembling supplies, and researching the countries and political situations along the route. Their journey started in Cape Town, South Africa, and their overall plan was to make their way north through all the countries leading up to Egypt.
Katelyn was told by many people to abandon this dream to traverse Africa with her husband Chris because the trip might be too harsh for a girl and she seemed too small to ride a motorcycle that was four times her body weight. However, she persisted in the face of everyone's doubts and found ways to overcome the known hurdles--two of which included modifying her motorcycle to suit her small frame and learning motorcycle repair to handle breakdowns on the road.
Even with all of the precautions, there were many hardships that required extreme persistence. Their bikes were often bogged down in deep sand, rough "roads" caused a few crashes, they were once in extreme danger due to lack of water, they broke down and had to wait for a motorcycle part to be shipped from the United States, they had border crossing challenges, and on certain occasions they had to watch out for wildlife threats while camping.
Despite everything that made the trip difficult, they accomplished their goal of meeting amazing new people, experiencing all of the exciting animals on the African continent, immersing themselves in the amazing scenery, and proving to themselves that they could achieve this dream.
In the Clairbourn assembly for 1st to 8th-graders, they reminded students that each of them should have a dream. Also, they emphasized that self-belief, careful planning, hard work and persistence are bound to make almost any dream come true. To read more about their trip, check out their blog at http://distanttracks.com/.
This is the 21st year of hosting Majovski Motivational Assemblies which are donated by the Majovski family in honor of their daughter Lindsay (a former Clairbourn student) who lived life to the fullest before she passed away at 11 years old due to a long-standing health difficulty. Her goal was to be a gold-medal winning ice skater, and she pursued and realized that dream through a team skating effort. Lindsay's life still communicates to young people the importance of having courage and determination when things are difficult, and to have a purpose and direction of what you’d like to in life.