So long…farewell…

11 Feb

In the words of Carl Fredricksen, “Adventure is out there!”

And this point was proven again this week by Joel Somerville. We sadly had to say goodbye to Joel on Tuesday as he was heading on yet another adventure…

Joel has set off to travel overland to Togo in Africa.  He left Dromara on Tuesday 9th February and then was travelling down to Rosslare and crossed the channel by Ferry, landing at Cherbourg (France).

The Flag of Togo

He will be then going down France and Spain and across to Morocco then down the West Coast of Africa through Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal. Then taking a turn inland towards Mali, Burkino faso and into the final destination, Togo.

He is planning that this whole trip down to Togo would take him 6 weeks to complete. Matthew Jess is also travelling down with him, having finished his job last Friday. Gregg is also planning to join up with the two of them for the journey through Africa.

The travel is just the start of Joel’s adventure however, once arriving in Togo, he will be commencing work with Mercy Ships for 3 months in the port of Lome. Joel will be working on board the ships but also on land in the clinics using his skills as an Optometrist, giving help to the local people and working with others to try and improve the quality of life for them.

Here are some Prayer Points for Joel and Matt during their time away:

  • That this journey would bring them close to God as they depend on Him.
  • That they will travel in safety and keep well.
  • That they will get all necessary visas as they pass through the borders.
  • That God will be honoured in all they do

But I hear you say, how are they getting to Togo? That’s right, it wasn’t a typo earlier, I did say they were going across land. And so, as we say farewell to Joel, we also have to say farewell to the Somerville’s Volkswagen Caravelle. Joel had decided to use this as his means of transport for the journey and should serve them well on their travels (after a few visits to the Mechanic to fix the broken Fuel Gauge and other parts). I asked Mother Somerville (Jenny) for some info on the legendary Caravelle and what is means to the Somerville clan…

The Caravelle was purchased in 1989 when it was two years old for the new Somerville Family Car. It was used for the family travelling to church in Lisburn, holidays etc and all kinds of church activities like CY , Camps and Parties over the past 20 years.  It’s time now to say goodbye and so it seems fitting that it should have one last big trip.

The Caravelle will be enjoying her twilight years in Togo as she will not be returning with the boys, we will miss the car, with all those memories. (Would love to hear some Caravelle tribute stories if any one else has some so give us a comment!) We look forward to hearing more about Joel’s trip as we’ll get some emails back from him, remember him and his work in your prayers.

Only one last thing to say,       VIVA LA CARAVELLE!

Joel and the Caravelle

All the Dried Food, Joel said there was even some "Dried Soup" in there...

Pimping his Ride...

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Joel Somerville’s T-Shirt

10 Responses to “So long…farewell…”

  1. Peter February 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    First memory of the Caravelle: getting a lift in it to Dublin Zoo with the Somervilles during Termonfeckin 1990!

    Now, I’m sure you guys can beat me for quality and quantity of Caravelle memories, but you can’t go that far back Ali, James, Tom, etc!!! :-P

    Pro vehicle! Right up there with the Brad on the list of all-time great RP automobiles!!! :-D

  2. James February 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Best Caravelle memory has to be last summer. The moment when it shuddered to a halt on some tiny road in Donegal and Tom calmly reassured us that it only needed a wee rest! There was also Tom’s rapid exit from the vehicle enroute to the Cromie’s house. Hilarious times.

    Would it be possible to get a map of Joel’s routes? Or updates on where he is?

  3. Steelo February 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Pete: Good stat old man!

    James: Those in the know are receiving updates via his mother. To be included, send an email to Joel’s address. I did suggest twitter…

  4. Peter February 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Speaking of the olden days, back when there used to be regular posts on SWS this would probably have been reported under the headline:

    “Joel Somerville … A Long Way To-Go”


  5. Ali February 13, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Haha, cannot believe I missed out on that pun Pete!

    Well when Uncle Robert asked Joel to describe where Togo was in Africa during the Midweek he said it was in the “Armpit of Africa”….funny stuff…..


    He has safely arrived in the South of Spain, says he is glad he was well prepared due to encountering snow in the North of Spain!

  6. James February 18, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Last I heard the travellers had reached Rabat and had possibly been joined by Gregg.


  7. Ali February 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Gregg has indeed met up with the boys safely and have recieved their Visas for Mauritania where they are heading next.
    And apparently the Caravelle is going well too!

  8. James March 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Leaving Dakar, Senegal for Mali today.

  9. Tom March 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    They have arrived at lome all 6407 miles from home.

  10. James March 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Report available on SWS

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