Hello Rudi's family and friends
My name is Marc Simon, I currently live in France, and, together with my wife and 3 children, have been touring Kwazulu-Natal and Mozambique with Rudi last month. We spent close to 10 days together and Rudi immediately struck me as a special person. His fantastic ability to connect with complete strangers as well as his generosity immediately stood out. Throughout the trip, he was constantly making sure that we had the best possible experience and was willing to go above and beyond his duties as a tour guide for us. We were also touched by the fact that he does not hesitate to grant his help to people who, for whatever reason, have been denied the opportunity to experience his passion for sharks and in particular to swim with them on Aliwal Shoal.
As the trip went by we were thinking of ways to thank Rudi for the once in a lifetime experience he provided for us. There was the obvious tip but we thought Rudi deserved more. It became apparent that Rudi's generosity also works against the best interests of his business and that, not being motivated by money, he could not afford to travel outside southern Africa to places where he could further develop his knowledge of sharks. Looking at the reviews he got on TripAdvisor we thought that there were probably many other people who would be more than happy to contribute towards giving something extraordinary back to Rudi hence the idea of a crowdfunding project.
Nevertheless a trip to California including a 5-day boat journey to dive with great whites in Guadalupe would cost over $7000 which is a very large sum of money to raise. Since Rudi obtained sponsorship for Rocena to swim with sharks, we thought that we may be able to get sponsorship for Rudi to travel to Guadalupe. We therefore wrote an email to a number of operators out of San Diego and, thanks to Rudi's references including the above links, the great people at Islander Charters immediately agreed to provide Rudi with a FREE space on one of their trips to Guadalupe. This has a value of over $3000 and constitutes an amazing gift from Islander Charters - many thanks Juliet ! With this major step taken, we contacted Rudi to explain the project as he had absolutely no idea we were doing this. He was both ecstatic about the idea of travelling to Guadalupe and, unsurprisingly considering his generous character, somewhat guilty to accept this opportunity. He decided to consult you on Facebook and Instagram and got amazing responses which convinced him to let us go ahead with the project, hence this message.
Following the great generosity of Islander Charters, we estimate that we can send Rudi to shark paradise in Guadalupe and California for 2 weeks by collecting approximately $4000 which approximately breaks down as the following:
|Rental car, petrol and tolls||$1100|
|Meals and accommodation||$600|
|Tips for Islander Charters staff (they deserve it!)||$400|
|Park entrances and activities||$200|
The website we have chosen, GoGetFunding, is a reputed American website that also operates in South Africa.
Please contribute what you can, small or big amounts, it all adds up. Help in kind (eg. free accommodation in Southern California and Nevada - Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas) is also welcome to reduce the cost of the trip. Note that the funding raised will be directly available to Rudi with no involvement from me or other 3rd party. They would be collected by Rudi for this project trip once the target has been met.
Should the target not be met, or be exceeded or should there be money left over after the trip, Rudi wishes to use the money for shark education and conservation and in particular to enable less fortunate children to experience swimming with sharks in Aliwal Shoal.
Thank you again to Islander Charters for having enabled this project and thank you all in advance for your generosity. I personally really look forward to reading Rudi's account of his trip!
Let's send Rudi to Shark Paradise in Guadalupe!
Cheerio (as Rudi would say)!
PS I am not big on social media but if some of you want to make sure I am a real person, you can ask Rudi for my WhatsApp/email details or, if you have LinkedIn, check out my profile.
Rudi has also been given access to this Campaign to be able to respond directly on donations.