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Mar 2017

Romance with Style

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Tavistock Travel Agents, The Book Bus, Traveller's Tales /

Victoria Falls to Dar es SalaamAn Island at Victoria Falls
Upstream from Victoria Falls are a scattering of islands one of which is called Kandahar. Opening later in 2017 is a stunning new lodge with just 3 exclusive island tree houses. The treehouse suites are made of timber and glass and built among the trees on raised wooden decks giving panoramic river views. Each one has its own private plunge pool and personal butler service and is connected by elevated walkways to the main open-plan lounge and dining areas.

If you’re a fan of star beds and looking for the ultimate romantic get-away, I think you just found it!

Kandahar can be accessed from either the Zambia or Zimbabwe side and the island is about 45 mins from the airport. And how about visiting during a full moon to see the unique Vic Falls Moonbow?

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Jan 2017

Chichewa Dictionary, Malawi

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Tavistock Travel Agents, The Book Bus, Traveller's Tales /

It’s a World First!
On 29th September 2016 in Lilongwe the official launch took place of the first Chichewa Dictionary, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). The dictionary is a much needed tool for schools and in trans-cultural situations in Malawi such as The Book Bus. The launch was attended by the former Vice President of the Republic of Malawi the right honourable Dr. Justin Malewezi, who is a well-known advocate of the Chichewa heritage as a language and as a cultural phenomenon that extends beyond the boundaries of Malawi.Chichewa diction

Everyone gets a plate full.

The Book Bus at work in Malawi


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Apr 2014

The Miguel de Cervantes Prize for Literature

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, South America, The Book Bus /

Looking for a good read while travelling in Latin America? Then tune in to this prize and see some of the best Spanish authors (don’t worry! Translations are generally available!)


Miguel de Cervantes Medal

The prize is named after the author of “Don Quixote” Miguel de Cervantes and was established in 1976 in response to the Booker Prize, or Mann Booker as it is known today. However, it differs from the Booker because it isn’t awarded for a single title, it is awarded for a lifetime’s body of work – so perhaps rather more similar to a “Nobel Prize for Literature”. It is open to any author writing in Spanish, and unlike the Booker, is only awarded to an individual once per lifetime! It is a rich prize, with a purse of 125,000 Euro.

Some previous winners are:

Elena Poniatowska, Mexico. Fuerte es el silencio (Strong is Silence) about the Mexico revolution.

José Manuel Caballero, Spain. Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside) 2002.

Juan Gelman, Argentina. Poet

Carlos Fuentes, Spain. La voluntad y la fortuna (Destiny and Desire) (2008), ISBN 978-1400068807

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Jan 2014

A Book For Christmas in Kitwe – Zambia

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, The Book Bus /

Here’s the story of what happens to the Book Bus over the Christmas period; it’s doesn’t stand still!

Book Bus partnered with Talent Community Club to celebrate Christmas with the visually impaired and their children in the small town of Kitwe, north Zambia. Many blind people have children who are affected by their parent’s disability and have to sit by their parent’s side the whole day directing their every movement so that they can find a better spot to beg for money: there are no social services here. The sad part of it is their children have become part of the street life. About half of the children of blind parents go to school, but are regularly interrupted by their parents or grandparents need for a guide on the streets.

Christmas is about sharing and we decided to share our day, love, smiles, fun, and food with these precious children of Kitwe. To give them a Christmas to remember.

The children sit alongside their visually impaired grandparents. (Small)

One of the highlights of the day was a visit from Zambia’s first ever Track and Field World champion, Samuel Matete. Having grown up in the small township of Chingola he encouraged the children to polish up their skills and talents to attain greatness just like he did.

Samuel Matete visits the book bus (Small)


After all the fun and games and eating the children took time to talk about the importance of school and knowing how to read and write.  It’s during this interaction that I asked the children “do you know what a library is?” one answered “it’s where they park cars” none of the children had the correct answer or even a clue. With that we took a tour of Charlie (The Book Bus) and the children felt extra special to have Charlie come out on a Saturday just for them to have a fun reading day and for those that can’t read they felt encouraged and happy to be part of Book Bus day. Some of the children were extremely proud to have a book for a Christmas gift; one could easily see the smiles on their faces, the excitement to own a brand new book and their visually impaired parents and grandparents were pleasantly surprised.  Some of the kids were eager to show off their reading skills. The Christmas lunch and the Miles Kelly Books are probably the only gifts they will get this Christmas.

Children of the visually impaired reading their new Miles Kelly books (Small)

The Talent Community Club is a local club which we partnered to make this day take place. One of our favourite things to do as individuals is cooking and the Book Bus team and Talent Community Club all got together for a big Christmas lunch cook out.

Find out about how you can volunteer on the Book Bus

Written by Monica in Kitwe, Zambia; volunteer Book Bus leader Christmas 2013.

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Oct 2013

The Book Bus UK road show coming your way

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Posts, The Book Bus /

The Book Bus is coming to England, Scotland and Wales!

Don’t be surprised if you spot Quentin Blake’s iconic artwork driving about the roads of the UK as the Book Bus sets off on a road show this month. Wrapped in eye-catching Quentin Blake designs and sponsored by our friends at Miles Kelly Publishing, the bus will be setting off from Lands End on Monday 14 October, visiting schools, libraries, universities and workplaces across the UK on a three month road trip.

The Book Bus
The road show is being launched to spread awareness of the charity, recruit volunteers for Book Bus projects overseas and raise funds to run mobile libraries in Africa, Asia and South America.

Book Bus UK roadshow map
The Book Bus will make further regional visits during January, February and March 2014. You can follow the progress of the bus on the UK Book Bus Roadshow website, and request a visit. Get on board!

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Aug 2013

Literacy in Motion (and P.S. Giraffes CAN Dance!)

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, The Book Bus /

The last week of term has come and gone in Zambia and holidays began today. During last week we carried on with our book in every hand scheme where we aim to give each child their own book to take home.

At Muke the children were delighted with their story books and even if it may be too difficult for them to read, they delight in looking at the pictures and discussing them in their own language. Seeing them busy buried in the books is a delight.

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Jun 2013

Cheers to the volunteers

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Posts, The Book Bus /

As well as being a key cog in the wheel at Venture Co, David is Chairman and Trustee of the Book Bus, an organisation very close to our hearts.  This week is National Volunteers Week and Dave and the Book Bus team have put together a few forwards about the importance of volunteers in making the Book Bus child literacy programme the success it is. They couldn’t do it without you, so THANKS!

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Aug 2012

A Book in Every Hand – In Action!

Posted by / in The Book Bus /

After the shipment of books arrived we had the big job of sorting out the contents. Some of the books will be donated to school libraries, some we will help community schools begin their own libraries and reading clubs, others will become part of the Bookbus collection and yet others are destined to be part of the book in every hand appeal.

As last week was the final week of term we took the opportunity to give out books to the students we have been working with over the last 3 months. All the pupils at Twabuka were given books to take home. The younger grades each got their own picture story book whilst the older ones got a story book and one of the 8000 factual books very kindly donated by Miles Kelly publishing. The children were thrilled and couldn’t quite believe the books were actually their very own! As all the kids were getting different books both myself and the teachers encouraged them to swap amongst themselves once they had read, hopefully creating a circulation of the books.

Somebody asked me what would happen if a child got a book that was too difficult for them? I see this scheme as a way of getting books into the community. Hopefully not just the pupils will make use of them but maybe parents, siblings or friends. The village of SInde now had almost 300 books distributed throughout the homesteads so hopefully this will encourage more reading!

The teachers are very interested in the factual books we have received; they are fuelling lots of interesting conversations and discussions. The other day it was: How do hot air balloons work? Why don’t we feel the earth spinning? How do pine trees reproduce? We often give some teachers a ride from the village to town and we can really debate random things and swap interesting facts!

We also gave all the pupils at Indeco Community School their own books. The reaction was again one of joy and almost disbelief; many children came up to check with me that it really was ok to go home with the books!

Growing up with access to books is something that we take for granted, they are all around us. We asked a lot of the children if they had any books in their homes and most answered no or just the bible. We didn’t find a single pupil at either school who possessed their own book. But thanks to Book Bus and the Book in Every Hand appeal they now do!

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Jun 2012

Books, Books and more Books!

Posted by / in The Book Bus /

The consignemnet of books from the book in every hand campaign finally reached Livingstone yesterday! Yay!!!

We arrived home from school to find a truck full of books! 8 pallets to be precise! These pallets had been loaded by forklift truck in Lusaka but unfortunately we dont possess one…SO we had to unload box by box by hand! One hour later (and many cokes later!) we had made a box mountain in the carpark!! We are going to make good use of the 2 days public holiday next week and sort out the 24,000 books!!

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