In Focus: St Andrews students set their sights on Mongolia

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Adam Born, Tom McMurray, Emily Dick, Dave Doherty, Moritz Drescher, and Natalie-Anne Rueek have all decided to embark upon an intriguing adventure from St Andrews to Mongolia. The team will be leaving 5 July with two cars, which they will donate to charity in Mongolia. It all started with an email memo and a word of advice from friends who did it previously. The Saint’s Christian Manley met with the team.

 

Christian Manley: What is the charity all about?

Adam Born: Well, the entire endeavour is pretty start-from-scratch. We needed to raise money ourselves for purchasing the very vehicles that will be transporting us. These cars, specifically a Mitsubishi L200 and a Proton Jumbuck, will be donated to an isolated community in Mongolia along with loads of educational tools and medical equipment.  We have needed to raise a total of £15,000 in order to buy these vehicles and support our journey.


CM: Where will you be visiting on your way?

Tom McMurray: We all got together and planned the trip. We’re hoping to go through a ton of countries and explore some new sights. In order to get to Mongolia we’ll need to travel through quite a few countries. To a name a couple there will be France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. Most of us have never been this far away from home so you can imagine that we are extremely excited. We have friends all over the place that can look after us, but we’re looking forward to spending a few days in Istanbul and Astana to do some sightseeing. There will be a blog full of pictures and journal entries every two days as well as a satellite tracker to let everyone know exactly where we are on the adventure. We are estimating that it will take about 6 weeks. We have been preparing for this for quite a while now, even gone about signing up for some first aid training classes that may come in handy along the way.


CM: What have you been doing to raise the money?

David Doherty: We’ve certainly been busy between the six of us. Of course there have been the usual bake sales, pub quizzes, and cloakrooms, but we have also started searching for other activities to make the job more exciting. There was a raffle at the Geo ball and we’re taking advantage of the Edinburgh Half Mile next month to support the cause. Many people have been donating as well. So far, with £8210 acquired, we are 54% of the way to achieving our goal. It’s been a lot of hard work so far, but we are not giving up and now only need to work even harder.


CM: Is there any way students can support?

Emily Dick: Yes, we have our website at www.justgiving.com/mongolia12 where everyone can go and make donations. It is a really quick press of a few buttons and we need all the help we can get. We’ve already had a few companies like the Lethendy Charitable Trust sponsor us and people place bumper stickers on their cars to raise awareness. If anyone has any spare camping equipment that would be incredible.


CM: Are there any upcoming events where you’ll be more vocal about the campaign?

Natalie-Anne Rueeck: Yes, we’ll be there on Tuesday morning at the May Dip asking for donations, so look out for us! Other than that there is going to be a huge event at the Vic on Saturday 5 May. Specsavers will be there for anyone wanting to enter their competition where people need take pictures of themselves wearing specs. There are a load of prizes ranging anywhere from a year’s modelling contract with the London agency MOT to a weekend break for two in Paris.  It’s bound to be a really good night.


CM: What are some basic thoughts going into the campaign?

Moritz Drecher: This is an opportunity that we can’t miss. It’s not often someone can grab a few great people together for a terrific cause and drive 10,000 miles across the world seeing new places and new faces.

David Doherty: I’ve been planning to live somewhere different like India or Fiji after I get my degree. This road trip will be an awesome chance to experience the beauty that I know can be found in the adventures our world has to offer.

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