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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Julia Roberts' adventure to reach Kenya

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This episode of Running Wild stars with Academy Awards winner Hollywood actress Julia Roberts and Bear Grylls as they do a special fund raising event for Red Nose Day. Red Nose Day is a fundraising event that is held biennially by the charity organization called Comic Relief. Usually, the people wear red noses, akin to one seen on Rudolph the Reindeer in Christmas traditions, as a way of fun and raising awareness.

The organization is dedicated to ending child poverty across the world. In this episode, that aired originally on May 27th, 2017, Roberts and Grylls are in Kenya to deliver vaccines to children as a form of aid. The real adventure is how they proceed to their destination, which is a village, and to keep the vaccines safe.



Grylls gets on a plane to get Julia Roberts who is going to Wamba Hospital in Northern Kenya to get the vaccines.  Julia Roberts waits at the hospital and sees around 50 children and their mothers there to get their shots. She says the message of Red Nose day is that immunizations can help prevent the deaths of two to two and a half million children as they are being inoculated against life threatening diseases.

A hospital employee gives the vaccines to Roberts and says the container will keep the vaccines safe for 48 hours and probably more. They also give rotavirus vaccines as well alongside vaccines for pneumonia, diarrhea and polio. She is also told to not to let the vaccines go over 46 degrees in temperature nor else they will become unusable. Roberts then waits at the Wamba Airport for Grylls.

Grylls and Roberts get on the plane and they start their journey. Roberts laughs and holds on as the plane ascends. Grylls gives a summary of their adventure; as they have landed they will go 17 miles on a vehicle in the Kenyan plains and then cut it across dense bush by foot until they rich a crocodile infested river, which they have to cross and then find food and make camp.

On Day 2 they will have go 6 miles across the open Savannah until they get to a Samburu village, which desperately needs the vaccines. This journey with Julia is unique in that not only does Bear and Julia needs to keep themselves safe but also keep the vaccines safe and make sure they can are still viable at their destination.



In the camouflaged they start their journey and Roberts is amazed at the wildlife. She had mentioned before that her outdoors adventure was limited to summer camp. Bear asks her about her childish and states was she popular at everything and Roberts reveals she was tomboyish and average. Soon they are reaching more green area and Bear states that there will be more wildlife present now including predators as they are reaching the river. Roberts asks that if Bear does have animals that he is actually afraid of and he does say "yes" to which Julia comments "great."

 Suddenly their jeep stops as they have a flat tire, it is up to both Bear and Julia to change the flat tire. Julia states to the camera that she has changed a tire once so that she can know if she could do it.  They resume their journey but not for lonng as they come to the denser and now they have to traverse by foot. They leave the Land Rover and Julia carries the vaccines and they set off.

They were walking to territory that Grylls says would be a favorite for leopards to lay ambush so they have to be careful. They come to the rope bridge near the river, which they need to also traverse with safety. Under them, is crocodile infested water so they need to be careful.

They make a line together and bind themselves with role so that Bear can go first and Julia can follow. The bridge is made of hemp rope so Grylls states that if it can support him it should support Roberts but the extra rope is for safety. Julia is afraid of heights but she moves slowly and though she says she was terrified she is able to make it across with Bear.  And Grylls is impressed by her courage, determination and strength to face her fears. As he says "never be deceived by a pretty face."

They suddenly smell and sight something - it is fire and smoke and come to a Samburu family who are cooking food. The Samburu family is very kind and they make introductions. One of the members of the household is excited about the vaccines and knows Julia is carrying them. Julia talks to the family and loves their colorful culture and friendliness.

 The children of the family are vaccinated but Roberts hears a tragic story from the mother that two of her sisters have died because they were not vaccinated. The family is kind to give Grylls and Roberts their goat head as a meal. Bear teases Julia about eating the brain, tongue and other innards while she nervously says she will avoid that conversation.

It is getting dark and Grylls and Roberts look for shelter for the night. They come to a large tree and Bear says he will keep it simple with hammocks elevated from the ground to protect them from snakes and scorpions, and other creatures. Also, he thinks there will be enough breeze to keep Julia cool and the vaccines will also be kept cool. They make a fire to cook the goat's head. Before they cook the meal Bear asks Julia if she always wanted to be an actress and Julia says no she wanted to be a veterinarian.

However, all her family are actors so it became something she did as well. Julia said that she got her big break in the movie Mystic Pizza (1988) and then after Pretty Woman (1990) she also did the movie, which captured domestic abuse, called Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) which also opened up a lot of roles for her but she was overwhelmed. She took a break for two years and thought she made a mistake until she was called by Alan Pakula, a favorite director of hers, to do The Pelican Brief (1993), which did help establish her as a diverse actress. Bear asks how she stays grounded, she answers her amazing husband helps her and they have been married 15 years.

Bear chars the goat's head and then bisects it to get to the brain, which he comments is a delicacy, while Julia looks a bit stunned. Still they eat of the goat's head and then camp for the night. They traverse on foot the next day and then come to the village and Bear says now they must gather the children and administer the vaccinations. Julia then starts giving the vaccinations to the children and they are all pleased that they arrived safely and they have been able to do what they intended to do.


The writer is working with The Asian Age

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