#Duwmee the mobile school 2015

I've mentioned now a couple of times how hectic December has been.   It was not all bad hectic though: I was also helping the preperations of the third #Duwmee charity walk for Mobile School. For the 10th year Studio Brussel radio organises a huge action "Music for Life" full of charity events in the week before Christmas.  For the 3rd year you can set-up an action during the Warmest Week for over 1000 recognised charity organisations and Mobile School is one of them. So of course, we, the volunteers of Mobile School, set up our own big event.

Just like the previous years, we organised a walk with a mobile school from Leuven to Boom (38km) where the Studio Brussels presenters were camping for a week. For the first time there was a secondary itinerary from the city of Sint-Niklaas to Boom (27kms).  At the first preparation meeting we stated our bold dreams and someone dared to right down we'd go for 400-500 walkers.

But the enrollments went like a train and we saw the numbers going up and up until they became in all honesty a bit intimidating for our organising team. 2 weeks before the walk, we broke last year's record and we'd hit our ambitious target. We had to review our logistics limits constantly (order extra bus, check at planned stops how many people could fit and be fed, ...). Clearly the Warmest Week, Music For Life and our #Duwmee walk for Mobile School had all gained notoriety which was great. It'd be awesome to see the big group that got mobilised! We'd have more than 770 walkers on part of the itineraries and we'd arrive with over 450 walkers in front of the stage!

Given the fact that I got myself last year ill after Duwmee for the next 3 weeks (due to fatigue and the virusses that Kabouter had shared with me) and due to my big belly I had been careful not to promis too much commitment in the preparations.  Soon I had become Miss Social Media.   So sorry to all my friends that have suffered on my FB or twitter feed an overload of #Duwmee posts for 2 months but sharing a portion of the large amount of publicity and information I created on the Mobile School channels was a way to increase visibility.

On the 19th itself I left in the morning to go and see the group at the first stop of the Leuven - Boom traject ....charged with 2 smartphones, camera, laptop and extra batteries. And so I lived through the preparations and the group's arrival via my phone mainly.  I was also constantly in touch with some of the responsables on the other itinerary who were sending me updates and pictures to throw online. Quite fun to be constantly on track on both sides of what was happening :).

Then I had to rush to meet Jan and Kabouter as we had to position our cars smartly so we could join part of the walk later on and still drive back home.

At the lunch stop I could welcome Bazaaar, the music band from my former neighbour boy and ensure their sound check went ok and that they were well fed before the group of walkers arrived for lunch and they'd perform for the walkers.  There was no time for a decent goodbye as Jan, Kabouter, my sisters family and myself were taking part of the next section of the walk ourselves.

We still saw part of the concert in Mechelen of a well-known Belgian singer, lead singer of De Mens but performing solo for us. The weather was fortunately very nice, so the atmosphere in the outside village with lots of kids entertainment was very nice as well.

By then my body really really wanted a rest and started to protest for having enough kms in my legs. So we drove home where I combined a family meal and putting Kabouter in bed with being online on all machines and continuously tracking the progress of both groups that were approaching each other and the final goal continuously. 2 of my friends were in fact walking on the other itineary as well.
The whatsapp pictures I received and the tweets and instagrams I found from many of the participants made me part of the big finale where both groups met and were welcomed by a marching band and majorette dancers and a radio presenter from Studio Brussel...all of that from my sofa.

They all marched the last kms together in the dark...a big mass of fluo jackets that arrived on live on tv a bit after 10 PM. Together with the participants I waited in front of tv where we could announce the result of our charity march together....a whopping 38760€!! which visibly pleasantly surprised the radio hosts as well. A special studied HAKA was performed in front of the camera's as apotheosis of a fantastic day.

....and after the clean-up of the next day and the sorting of 100s of pictures we can start dreaming of #duwmee edition 4. Wow.

Registration of the first walkers in the morning

A Streetwize short motivational training was awaiting the walkers at the first stop

Arrival at the first stop!

The enthusiasm and energy level of the group was high

Stretching...still a long day of walking ahead!

Aerobics and HAKA as entertainment

The mobile school portraying already an incredible amount of sponsor money in the morning...a clear sign of what was ahead!

Drum band entertainment arrived on the water

Bazaaar energizing the group at lunch

Kid's walk

Kidswalk part of the itinerary after lunch

A welcoming drum band at stop number 3

Magic show for the kids

Kid's make-up artists

Frank Vander linden performing a moving set

Kids exploring the mobile school

Itinerary 2 leaving after lunch

the arrival in Boom of the reunited groups

Live on national tv

38760 EURO!!


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