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The flying carpet on its way to Africa.

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Elizabeth Vlassi, Lizzy, as she is known to her friends and family was born in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. At the age of 13 her family moved to South Africa, although Lizzy attending a boarding school for girls just spent joyful summer holidays in Oslo Beach, near Port Shepstone.

After completing  O'levels, Lizzy decided to continue her studies in Africa, at high school to complete her Matriculation. As most students do, after receiving her university entrance, Lizzy decided to travel for her gap year. A move to Kitzbuhl Austria during the winter and then back to Durban to continue studies in Journalism. What followed was a year of jobs in Johannesburg, Transkei and Devon, but Europe was calling her back.

 

She was offered a position as entertainer with the then ''Thomson Holidays Tour Operator'' in Greece. Summers in the warmth of the 'place of the Gods', and winters as a ski guide in France and Austria. Life was great, the best of both worlds. Work even took her to the Gambia, West Africa for two successful winters, as entertainer, organiser and compere of events. 

Corfu however would be Lizzy's final destination as an entertainer. Here she met and fell in love with her husband Vasilis, where they were married in 1997.

With 2 handsome sons Andreas and Pavlos to complete the family and adding to a wonderful life here in Corfu.

In 2011 unfortunately, devasting news would present itself to the family. with the diagnosis of her eldest son Andreas having Ataxia- Telangiectasia. A debililating disease that would see Andreas in a wheelchair....Andreas was only 13 years of age. 

''As a mother you actually go into a kind of mourning, not being able to help your child.'' A feeling of helplessness. 

So, to get the most out of life and to be more mobile with Andreas, a larger form of transport was needed for his comfort and to be able to cater for the wheelchair. A 9 seater mini van was puchased and Genie Bus was created to assist in paying off the cars cost. 

With the multi lingual Lizzy driving visitors of the island to anywhere they choose and being told stories of locals and myths of the island it was not only a mothers way to support her child in need, but also to enjoy meeting people, showing of the island that she loved and financially being able to call the mini van theirs. 

With Lizzy's mark, words of praise spread quickly, like a flying carpet and peoples wishes of a great day out, while on holiday, were granted. 

Lizzy's love and shared knowledge of South Africa was constantly arroused by herself and clients questions, regarding safaris. Which got Lizzy to thinking about an idea to take people to Africa.

Winter months in Corfu would be perfect to accommodate trips to Africa. The light at the end of the tunnel came with the meeting of Julia Britton, owner of A C Travel, South African born too. Partnering up they founded the company A C Travel and Genie Tours in 2021. 

A chance to see the big 5 and enjoy the knowledge and company of both Lizzy and Julia. The first flight of guests are ready to go in November 2022. 

Anyone who knows Lizzy will tell you of her energy, humour, light and sometimes dark. She is a force to be reckoned with on many levels. First as a mother, a wife, a friend but most of all a woman.

Take the time to read about this disease A. T on the A.T Society website and how you can help families and sufferers of this disease. 

Lizzy has also organised a charity fundraising event at the beautiful Courti Estate in Messonghi South Corfu, with the offer of their historical home Chryssa Poupard and Keiran McKenna to house the event.

As a friend I would like to wish the very best for the success of both ''Bespoke African Adventures'' , the charity event at the Courti Estate in May for A.T Society and the continued success of Genie Bus here in Corfu. Watch this space............

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