Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Crossroads

Crossroads

Jacob and I rode our bikes to our favorite restaurant and hotel, Sky Blue, on Thursday for supper. Upon arriving we saw a not so unusual sight of 2 white people having their supper. They saw us arrive on our bikes and asked us in thick French accents if we had been traveling by bike today. “No, we live here.” I explained. We got to talking to them and discovered that they were biking from Dakar in Western Africa to Zanzibar in Eastern Africa! All by bike! Bicycle that is, not motorbike. They are flying over the DR Congo which I think is incredibly wise, but otherwise they are biking. They say they vary from 15 km to 100 km per day. They have a website you can check out but it’s in French. http://www.dakarzanzibar.com. They said they had seen several Peace Corps volunteers in the west (where I have a cousin serving in Ghanahttp://ghanabethere.blogspot.com) It’s not unusual to see white people in Ntungamo. We see them at Sky Blue about once a week, tourists on the way to Bwindi to see the Gorillas or what have you. It’s not unusual to see bikers either. There was a Latin American man who stayed in Ntungamo for a week or so while passing through on a bike. What was strange that coming from the other direction on a bike was another pair of bikers… one biking from Germany and biking to S. Africa and the other coming from Japan biking to S. Africa. Let me state that again. One was biking from Germany and the other was biking from Japan. The German guy and Japanese guy had bumped into each other along the way and decided to just pair up. We talked to the German guy, named Sabastian, and he had been traveling for 16 months on a bike!! Through countries like Sudan and said he was on his way to going through DR Congo! We asked him things like, what have you learned from your travels? To which he replied, mostly about myself. He also has a blog that’s in German but you can see some pictures – http://www.vom-wind-getragen.de. The fact that these 2 pairs of bikers had stopped for the night, coming from opposite directions and had met in our village… I thought the world was going to tilt off it’s axis for sure or that I should rush out and buy a ticket for the Uganda Lottery (grand prize is up to $43 dollars this week!). I’ve biked across Ireland and after about 4 days I was ready to come home. I can’t imagine doing it for 16+ months. Kudos to you my German friend. Keep on keeping on!

January Birthday

Jacob invited a small handful of friends over for a surprise birthday party for me this weekend. He even cooked a pineapple upside down cake in his Dutch oven. It was such a nice surprise and nice to hang out with people. We were planning to watch the Colts vs Ravens game played on tape delay but the power was out and it didn’t come back on until late in the evening. The power is normally on here but it seems like whenever we want to do something important it goes out for that 1 thing. That’s why I’ve been staying up LATE to watch the Colts Playoff games. The last 2 have been at 12:30am here and I’ve caught them at Sky Blue Restaurant. The locals tell me that I can’t ride my bike back to my house that late because the hour of 3am is the Criminal Hour where most of the crime takes place. EVERYONE has told me this but sometimes there’s perceived danger vs real danger and I’m somewhat convinced this is a mindset more than a reality. The first time back I hired a taxi to come and get me and take me back at 3:30am but it was relatively expensive. Staying in a hotel would be slightly more expensive, so this last time my friend Bruno who works as a waiter at Sky Blue and is one of the funniest, randomist people here, invited me to stay with him and Felix who share a room that is about 7ft by 8ft. They shared a bed and let me have one to my own. This weekend the game is on at 2:30am and Bruno says he’s going to watch it with me though Ugandans have NO interest in the American Sport.

2 Comments:

At 18 January, 2007, Anonymous Jennifer Noble said...

Happy birthday!

 
At 23 January, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Brian,
My name is Leira , and I will be going to Uganda in March 07. My husband and I are enjoying your blog, Great Job! He is very interested on doing the Marathon:-)
Your blog gave us a lot of information. Hope to meet you soon. -Leira & Antón

 

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