Teacher takes on 10,000-mile rally for charity

An adventurous former teacher is joining a 10,000-mile rally across Europe and Asia to raise money for a Cayman Islands charity.

The Mongol Rally, billed as the “greatest motoring adventure on the planet,” challenges entrants to travel across mountains and deserts, through some of the most inhospitable territory in the world, in low-powered vehicles.

John Ketterer, a former teacher at Hope Academy and now a stay-at-home dad in Grand Cayman, will join around 400 others at the start line in Prague in July.

He aims to complete the route to Ulan-Ude in eastern Russia on a 125cc Yamaha motorcycle.

“I am an adventurous kind of guy and I found this Mongol Rally advertised on the internet and couldn’t pass it up,” he said.

The rally promotes itself as the ultimate driving challenge, with few rules and even less support.

“The Mongol Rally is about getting lost, using your long-neglected wits, raising shedloads of cash for charity and scraping into the finish line with your vehicle in tatters and a wild grin smeared across your grubby face,” according to the event website.

The first part of Mr. Ketterer’s route will take him through Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. He hopes to get approval to ride through Iran. Otherwise, he will cross the Caspian Sea by ferry and travel “through the ‘stans” to Mongolia and on to Russia.

He said he would stay in hostels or hotels for part of the way but expects to do a lot of camping as the territory becomes more rural in eastern Europe and Asia.

Participants are required to raise at least $1,000 for charity. Mr. Ketterer says he aims to raise $15,000 for his chosen charity – Acts of Random Kindness.

ARK is currently in the midst of a project to rebuild a home in George Town that has fallen into disrepair, for a single mother and her child.

Mr. Ketterer said he read about the project and wanted to support the charity. He is hosting a “Block Party” at Salty’s on Saturday from 2 p.m.

Tara Nielsen, of ARK, said the money would go toward the charity’s “raise the roof” campaign to fund a new roof for the home of Treasan Myles and her daughter.

“We are absolutely delighted that John and everyone involved in this fundraiser has stepped up to help us,” Ms. Nielsen said. “The community support for this family and the ARK campaign has been incredible, and we are 100 percent confident that we will be able to complete phase two of the project, the kitchen and living area.”

Mr. Ketterer is also raising funds separately for Cool Earth, which focuses on halting deforestation in rain forests.

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