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  • Writer's pictureRichard Mark Dobson

In Solidarity with Vilnius.

As their Uber driver, Vladimir, chauffeured them from the airport towards central Vilnius, he openly remarked on the limited support that Putin held within Lithuania. This observation resonated with the core team—Ajmal Samuel, CEO; CFO; COO—alongside Carol Cheung, a supportive wife and production manager, and Mark Berger, a Yorkshire native and Hong Kong resident, who had volunteered to assist as a transport logistics executive for an old friend. Their journey began with a glance at a banner crowning International House on Konstitucijos street which echoed Vladimir's sentiment.

Their first day in Vilnius was marked by a theme of solidarity. Their objectives included setting the wheels in motion for their venture, which involved reserving a 9-seater Toyota Proace, modified with three seats removed to accommodate additional cargo.

They also collected an e-bike, destined to carry the photographer tasked with documenting their journey.

Mark Berger on the Fiido T1

The streets of Vilnius became both a literal and metaphorical pathway for Samuel.

Ajmal assumed the role of navigating the city's street intersections and pavement ramps, evoking a sense of déjà vu as he traversed the streets of Slavic Europe once more.

Memories surfaced from an earlier chapter of his life, during his time in Germany, where he underwent treatment and rehabilitation after a devastating accident that left him debilitated. That period marked his initiation into life as a paraplegic—learning to use a wheelchair, mastering its balance, and conquering inclines.

Now, amidst the bustling streets of Vilnius, the memories collided with his present reality.

Ajmal, an extreme athlete who embraced formidable challenges, found himself celebrating the remarkable distance he had covered. The wheelchair, once a symbol of constraint, had transformed into a vehicle of empowerment. What captivated him most at this juncture was the profound sense of accomplishment.

As he contemplated the road ahead, acknowledging the potential twists and turns it might hold, he dubbed them "eventualities" or "un-eventualities." The road's unpredictable nature, with all its intricacies, reminded him of his journey's essence.

The satisfaction he gleaned stemmed from acknowledging his transformation—reflecting on his previous visit to Europe, marked by different circumstances and abilities. Back then, even crossing a road was a formidable feat, whereas today, he was poised to traverse multiple countries with his newfound strength and resilience.

At the Church of St. Raphael the Archangel, during the Holy Communion, Samuel was asked by the priest if he was a Christian. With a smile, he said yes, for himself the son of a Pastor understood the significance of the Communion. It's purpose to receive from Christ, nourishment, strength hope and joy. All that will sustain him through the days ahead.

Join the expedition, follow updates, and tag along on this inspiring adventure."


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