As it turns out, her VISA was declined with no leave to appeal (unless on grounds of discrimination) because UK Immigration viewed her visit of coming to help out with the kids as '!!!!!!!! EMPLOYMENT !!!!!!' regardless of the fact that she was not going to be paid. This was a family arrangement that made everyone excited and we now have no choice but to change plans.
As a father and husband, I was willing to pursue my dream with the blessing and encouragement of my family, but only with the knowledge that my wife and children would have the help and company that Sheena was going to bring to the mix. The kids were all very excited about their cousin coming to live with them and this whole trip had a sense of excitement that has now been replaced with, well, a touch of gloom.
My first reaction was to admit defeat and cancel the trip, but my wife has always encouraged me to complete this and she insists that we continue for as long as possible. She can arrange her life in such a way with leave days, school holidays and work that I only need to be back by the beginning of April 2013. That gives us approximately another 4 months and we'll see how far we can get in that time.
We will no longer be able to cycle the total length of Africa, but we will cycle at least as far as Dakar in Senegal, then depending on time remaining, will most likely fly to Namibia or Botswana, perhaps even Angola, and continue towards Cape Town from there so that we arrive in Cape Town sometime in the middle of March 2013.
Even though the dream has been disrupted a bit, we feel blessed and privileged to have been able to have started this journey, and even if the trip ended today, I have so many good memories and stories and my life has already been changed for the better forever. We continue tomorrow and we hope to arrive in Cape Town in March next year, even if we have to fly half way to get there.