Eileen Morrow (Ireland)

I met him Hendri the first time in Jinja in November 2005, he was immediately unforgettable for his whip smart sense of humour and his striking looks that had a line of girls tripping over their own feet.

I credit him for actually getting me back on my feet and reigniting my sense of adventure. In 2006, I shattered all the bones in my ankle snowboarding and it took a load of surgery, 6 months on crutches and a year of physio before I could begin to walk properly again. The recovery process was so long and so painful that I was terrified of putting myself at risk again. In 2007, Hendri took me out kayaking on the Nile. It was the first time I had put myself out of the comfort zone since the accident and I was petrified. He was amazing. Through a combination of terrorising me (his words), supporting me and taking the piss out of me, he got me running grade 4 rapids and more importantly – loving every moment of it – in just a matter of days. I don’t know if he realised how much this meant to me – back then he wasn’t so comfortable with emotional displays – but for me it meant getting my life back together after what had been an agonising and bitterly frustrating year. There were other teachers, but Hendri was the only one that could make me feel safe, yet force me to push back my boundaries and show me how to enjoy myself again. It was a major turning point for me.

Such was my trust in him and his ability, I took my (rather unadventurous) parents tubing with him in late August (2010). There would have been zero chance of me handing them over to anyone else. He seemed so much happier in his own skin, so much more content than I’d ever seen him before. I didn’t for a moment think that would be the last time I’d see him.

His own adventures have been a source of real inspiration to me and he has challenged me over the course of the past year to make major changes in my life. He was a true visionary and explorer. He pushed back so many boundaries and redefined the line between the possible and the impossible. He was brave and bright and brilliant. I feel a sense of immeasurable loss with his death. They broke the mould after you had him….

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