How the Walleighs Found Purpose & Adventure

Rick & Wendy overlooking Lewa Downs' savannahBoomers Rick and Wendy Walleighs’ book details their inspiring move to Swaziland and then Nairobi, Kenya for a total of 18 months. These are documented on this website and in their book titled From Silicon Valley to Swaziland: How One Couple Found Purpose & Adventure in an Encore Career. It is available on Amazon, all online book retailers, and some Bay Area bookstores. Go to Media Coverage to see all the media featuring the Walleigh’ adventures.

ALL ROYALTIES ARE DONATED TO TECHNOSERVE, the international development organization for which the Walleighs worked, to continue its “Business Solutions to Poverty” in Africa and Latin America, so please buy this book for friends and family!

Meanwhile, enjoy the photos and descriptions of our many travels to nearly 60 countries on six continents.

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Namibia: Himba in Damaraland, Twyffelfontain Rock Art, Skeleton Coast & Country Roads & Signs

During the many hours in the Land Rover, Rick, Wendy and Carolyn noted that the names of Namibian towns and sites blend the country's German, Afrikaans/Dutch and British colonial past with indigenous languages. They also observed bizarre road signs, many bad roads,...

2006 Walleigh Travel Journal: Living, Working in Swaziland + Traveling in Southern Africa

December 21, 2006 - Walleighs Look Back and Forward:  Africa’s Contrasting, Parallel Universes. Rick and I were fortunate to have lived, worked, and traveled in amazing places in Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.  But we didn’t have to go far...

Swazi Culture: Annual Reed Dance–Umhlanga, Real Wedding and Tourist Wedding

Umhlanga – Reed Dance. Once a year, Swazi maidens from across the kingdom come to the Ezulwini Valley to gather reeds that will be used to "repair" the Queen Mother's traditional kraal.  They walk for a day to find the best reeds (younger girls are not required to...

Kenya Successes: Aspen Orchards & Dairies

Wendy and Rick met with this participant who was definitely making progress in TechnoServe's Upscaling program. Starting in 2003 in his home, Joseph Njer’s growth-oriented yoghurt processing business by 2007 was on a US$170,000 run-rate for annual turnover.  The...

Kenya’s Alkaline Lakes–Nakuru & Elementaita–AND Hellsgate

Wendy and Rick's first day trip in 2007 was about two hours north of Nairobi to the so-called soda aka alkaline lakes, which attract thousands of Flamingoes every year because of these lakes' huge population of fresh-water shrimp (lending the Flamingoes their pink...

2008 Walleigh Travel Journal: Back to Africa + Perspective on Africa Living

Oct. 10 –  44 Hours Door to Door from Cape Town to Johannesberg to Nairobi to London to SFO! We had a great month in 4 African countries. But it was very tiring: really hard beds, so-so meals in many hotels, and needing to leave the bathroom light on every night...

Kenya Successes: Popular Kikoi Cloth Company

Starting in 2008, for its Phase Two program, TechnoServe’s Young Women in Enterprise (YWE) was considering how to identify businesses in which to place the young women in internships so they would learn both the soft and hard skills of employment. Through local...

Swaziland Successes: St. Phillips’ Orphanage’s Pepper Farm

The Cabrini Monks from Italy founded St. Phillips School in 1927 in one of Swaziland’s poorest, most remote areas. Sister Diane and Sister Barbara arrived at St. Phillips in 1971 then began a medical clinic in 1974 so that locals did not have to spend hours and entire...

Kenya Successes: Springsand Bakery “Puffs Up” its Market

Starting in 2002, Anderson Muchangi Misoniki opened one retail bread and cake bakery outlet in Embu, in Central Kenya. This growth-oriented business was on a US$57,000 run-rate for annual turnover.  He generally employed 12 people full-time. Anderson has a banking and...

Namibia: Sossusvlei Area of the Red-Duned Namib-Naukluft Desert

The final major stop at the Sossusvlei area of the Namib-Naukluft Desert was as memorable as their time with the Bushmen, but  in a very different way.  The pictures don't do justice to the sand's dramatic colors, changing almost moment to moment from sunrise to...
Western New York in Autumn

Western New York in Autumn

The Walleighs’ 2013 road trip was with good friends with whom they had traveled in New Zealand.  In late September 2013 after traversing Quebec Province (go to Quebec or Montreal, etc.  for details on the Canada portion of this trip), they crossed the border into New...

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“If you are nearing the end of your business career and wondering what’s next, you’ll find Rick and Wendy’s experience both illuminating and inspiring.”

Debra Dunn

Consulting Associate Professor & Former Senior Vice President, Stanford University, Hewlett Packard

 “Rick and Wendy Walleigh are my down-to-earth heroes. At the end of Phase 1 of very successful careers–still healthy enough to spend their retirement days skiing, golfing, lunching, traveling in style–they chose instead to take their energy and considerable skills and apply them in some of the poorest communities in the world.

Bruce McNamer

President & CEO of The Community Foundation for the Nation's Capital Region (Washington DC) & former CEO of TechnoServe

“For those seeking an encore to their professional lives, Rick Walleigh’s account of the adventure he and his wife, Wendy, began is as energizing as it is useful. This remarkable book summarizes the factors they considered before volunteering in Africa to foster economic growth through small business development. More importantly, it records their experience with cultural change, new applications for honed skills, the nature of contemporary economic development work in the face of poverty, and the sights, smells, surprises and encounters found in living and working overseas. This is not a “how-to” book for those of us wanting renewal; it is an “I did this and so can you” story that is unique, thought-provoking and encouraging.”

 

Ron Boring

Former Executive Vice President, Vodafone-Japan