Kicking the States for African children

SCOOTER TOUR Bix Band and husband Gil Drori. Janine Volkmar | Union

Janine Volkmar
Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT – A teacher and a computer guy from the U.K. are riding their kick scooters from Vancouver to Tijuana to raise money for a school in Tanzania.

That’s right, kick scooters, the kind you propel by kicking your foot on the pavement.

“Bicycles go too fast,” Gil Drori said. “We wanted something slower so people would stop us to talk.”

Drori, who works with computers in London, is married to Bix Band, a high school teacher.

The couple have a three month visa to travel the length of the West Coast, raising money for a small non-profit school in Africa.

They got involved by sponsoring a boy at the school, then went to visit him, and found out that many of the local children were not attending the school because there was no room. Their goal is to raise the money to add on to the school building.

They had stopped in Trinidad for the night where local resident, Carol Moné was giving them dinner and a place to sleep. “It’s our favorite part of the trip to experience such kindness,” Band said.

They sat outside the Trinidad Post Office and answered questions about the scooters and about the school. The scooters were obviously a draw as no one passed by without commenting or asking a question.

Had they had any problems with Highway Patrol?

“No,” Drori answered, “we were hoping to chat with them.”

“We did run away from a bear,” Band said. “He came out of the bushes on the side of the road and we got on the scooters and went as fast as we could.”

The scooters are made in the Czech Republic and the couple modified them to carry a pannier. Each one contained only a change of clothing, a sleeping bag, and a tent. “And one book each,” Band said, laughing.

Follow their blog or donate to help expand the school at