To whom it may concern, I trust that you are keeping well.
I have been diagnosed with depression and also suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, under the category of Intrusive Thoughts. I have been diagnosed with OCD when I was only 12 years old. OCD dominated and controlled my life in a very negative way with disastrous consequences. In 2013, I was admitted to Stikland Psychiatric Hospital and was also diagnosed with severe depression and they declared me unfit to work. These two psychiatric disorders was the cause and effect of my Substance Use Disorder which was alcohol abuse for so many years.
I have been to a few treatment facilities over the last ten years just to relapse all the time and going back to where I came from. Doing the same thing over and over all the time expecting a different outcome. This is the definition of insanity. The 12 Step program of the AA & NA say the following - I believe that only a Power greater than myself can restore me back to sanity. This forms the very foundation of my recovery this time around.
I have been admitted to a treatment facility on the 1st February 2018. This time I decided to do things differently and to look for answers and solutions to my problems inside myself and not in the physical/external world. I did a lot of Soul Searching, Self Realization, God Realization and Personal Evaluation. I had a good look at what it means to redefine myself. I analyzed my Beliefs and also the core values that I have lived my life up to that point. I detached myself from the dogmatic religions belief system I was raised with in the mist of the Apartheid years. Instead of Religion I have found Spirituality. I have been exploring Spirituality since then and I truly belief that by living and practicing Spiritual principles I have moved to a higher level of Awareness, Consciousness and Mindfulness.
I had a look at my core values I had in my "box" that did not serve me well. I replaced those core values, based on negative beliefs, with positive core values based on ethics and moral values. I have learned the word Self Efficacy. It means putting core values in place to live my life by so that I will be responsible for my own actions. Living a life of Self Efficacy I will be held accountable for my actions and that will keep me save in my recovery.
Next I identified my stumbling blocks, internally as well as externally. I identified them each individually and came up with a game plan to deal with them each individually. I identified my OCD, depression and negative emotional stress as the main areas of concern. Negative emotional stress such as guild, shame, regret, anger, resentment etc... This negative emotional stress is a direct result of an experience I had in my early childhood days and also my divorce later in life. To deal with this I have learned the importance of two words - Acceptance and Forgiveness. I accepted my past and I forgave myself and those who did wrong to me. By doing this I have set myself free of the bondage of the past.
My Inner Self was isolated by layers of negative beliefs, negative emotional stress, defense mechanisms etc... I have peeled this layers away one by one to release myself from the personal jail I was in for so long. I have escaped the prison of disloyalty and everything else. These layers of insulation I had around my Inner Self restricted the flow of the Chi or Life Force Energy throughout my body and that was what kept me sick all this time. By freeing up my Inner Self I have restored the flow of the Universal Life Force Energy throughout my body and I have healed myself of my depression as well as OCD. These no longer control my life in a negative way, I am in control of my own destiny.
I have left the primary treatment facility about two months ago and I am currently in a Secondary facility in Observatory in Cape Town. I use this as a safe house to reintegrate myself back into society. Unfortunately finances is my biggest problem at the moment. Previously, after I have lost my business, house, family etc... because of my Substance Use Disorder, I have been living with my mother in her flat. She unfortunately has been diagnosed with Dementia and is in the process to move into an Old Age Home where she can be taken care of. My siblings are doing their best to help me, but they have their own responsibilities too and I cannot depend on them indefinitely.
Even with my personal problems and issues I had, I am a highly capable individual. I studied BSC Agriculture at the University of Stellenbosch. I worked as a farm manager on a deciduous fruit farm for some years before I went to the United Kingdom where I have spend 5 years, working mostly on Farms doing combine harvesting, cultivation work, carting etc... as well as travelling the world. I came back to South Africa in 1999 and started working as a tour guide on the overland trucks conducting tours and safaris to all Southern African Countries. I did my field guide training in the Kruger National Park where I obtained a level 2 FGASA (NQF 4) qualification as a field guide. I worked in Kruger National Park and surrounding Private Game Reserves as a ranger doing open vehicle game drives, guided bush walks in Big 5 areas etc...
I have been Operations Manager for one of the largest Tour Operating Companies in Southern and East Africa. Some of my duties was scheduling of vehicles and guides, fleet management, training, product development etc... I started my own business called African Sunfun Safaris in 2010 doing Tailor-Made Tours and Safaris. Unfortunately I have lost everything because of my Substance Use Disorder. My mental health deteriorated and I became reliant on my schedule 6 medication and alcohol to cope. The rest is history as I have explained.
It is however not the end of the road for me just yet! My time for leave this world has not yet arrived although I came pretty close a few time during the last few years.I have a newly found belief in my capabilities and abilities. I am making a come back in all areas of my life. I have set goals for myself and I am pro active and progressive in reaching these goals. I don't believe in any limitations anymore. I am a recovered alcoholic and suffer no longer from depression and OCD. I am a free spirited human being capable of doing and achieve anything I put my mind to. I have a laptop I can use (which my brother borrowed from a friend until I can get my own) and I have uncapped Wi-Fi at the Secondary facility where I live at the moment - All I basically need to get started.
I am currently working working on 3 different business ideas and websites. Please see below for a brief outline of each.
1: African Sunfun Safaris - This is the business I started in 2010. This time I am planning to do it different and better that before. My brother have renewed and registered the domain and hosting for me with GoDaddy. He also paid for a Rara Theme Travel Agency design template powered by WordPress which I use to design the website. Please see below the products I am offering on this website.
- Tailor-Made Tours and Safaris. Clients tell me what their wants and needs are and I put together a package for them to suit their specific requirements, taste and budget.
- Mobile Adventure Safaris. I have put together 6 Adventure Safaris which I will conduct myself in a rented safari vehicle, trailer and equipment. Clients will have a choice of luxury accommodation, standard accommodation as well as a camping option to suit their specific budget and style of safari.
- Specialized Mobile Safaris. I have selected certain specialized safaris in countries such as Namibia and Botswana. These safaris I outsource to local operators who are specialist in their field. I act as a travel agent handling the booking and reservations and the selected operator do the actual safari. For this type of safari I also arrange local connecting flights and the safari is all inclusive. I take 25% commission on the safari.
- Fly-in Safaris. For this type of Safari I have selected certain safari products where the clients fly by light aircraft between luxury lodges to destinations in Southern Africa as well as East Africa. At the lodges they do their private open vehicle game drives, game walks etc... before they fly to the next destination. This type of safari is all inclusive and I take 25% commission.
My brother have renewed and registered the domain and hosting for me with GoDaddy. He also paid for a Rara Theme Travel Agency design template powered by WordPress which I use to design the website. I have made progress on the design and I am busy loading the content. I have found out that I am limited in what I can do with the design template I use. I need to apply CCS to customize the text, graphics, photos etc... to make it look attractive to potential customers and also to have the look and feel I want for the website. I have send Rara Theme an e-mail with my requirements and they said they can customize it for me at $30 an hour. This I did not foresee or plan for but I am looking at my options.
2: Bush-Guru Safaris. My brother have registered the domain and the hosting will be done by GoDaddy. I have not started working on this project yet. I am in the process of doing research on the safari products I want to put on there as well as communicating with all the various operators and suppliers for prices, info etc.
- ForBush-Guru Safaris I have selected specialized safaris at destinations in Southern and East Africa. I will advertise these safaris on my website and do the bookings and reservations. These safaris will be all inclusive upmarket safaris. I will take 25% commission.
3: Online E-commerce Safari & Adventure Outdoor Shop.
- This is a new business idea that I am currently working on. The idea is to create a online shop selling safari gear, adventure outdoor products, camping equipment, survival gear etc... The advantage of an online shop is that the starting up cost is quite low. I am currently researching a drop-shipping online store through Shopify. They help you with website development as well as the marketing and hosting. Shopify works in a partnership with Ali-express and Orbelo through which you can source your products. All I have to do is to maintain my website and to marketing on Social media and SEO. With drop-shipping I advertise a product on my online shop. If I get a order I send it through to the supplier which does the packaging and courier the product to the client. I don't need stock, I don,t need a warehouse, I don't need to pay water and electricity or any of the other expenses going with running a shop. If I do this the right way I can generate an income fairly quickly to support myself and building my other two safari businesses.
To sum up - I am on a rebound and I am making a comeback. I believe I am on the right track on a personal and spiritual level. I have sound ideas on developing my business. At the moment I lack funding to support myself until I am back on my feet again.
- A place to stay: At the moment I am staying at a Secondary house in Observatory. We are 14 people, all with an SUD, in the house. It is very crowded and I find it difficult to have enough personal space for meditation and work-space to work on my projects and websites. I would like to rent a place of my own here in Observatory where I have my personal space to work on myself and my building my business.
- I need some funding to continue building and designing my website. In 2010 I had R 600 000 available to start my business now I am doing it with no funds.
- Living expenses until I am self efficient again. Food, coffee etc... I can do with the bare minimum and does not need a lot.
I recon it will take me 4 - 6 months to get all 3 business up and running and live on the internet. My plan is to push the online store as that will be my quickest way of generating an income. I am willing to provide progress reports from my therapist and treatment facility as well as medical reports from my clinic and psychiatrist. I will also provide an updated CV of my history and previous work experience.
I thank you for time and I look forward hearing from you
+27 81 893 5121