Sunday, June 19, 2011

gran fondo: kenya.

 please meet: sam.

with our project well under way, we have become busy girls with places to be and people to see.  
what's the best way get yourself around a rural kenya village?
on bikes of course!

not just any bikes

what do you get when you take a 1 gear cruiser, made of 50 kg of solid steel?  add to that description a loose chain, faulty breaks and permanently flat tires.  
and there you have him, samuel, the son of hannah.

I am certain a day of riding sam in kanyawegi will more than adequately prepare me for riding in the gran fondo at the end of the summer.

samuel doesn't fly solo however.  he comes in a fleet of equally unsturdy bikes.  amongst them is his closest rival: boaz, the husband of ruth.

the two of them take turns being the centre of attention at the bike repair shops (a daily occurrence), making deafening screeching noises while you fly downhill desperately trying to brake, and losing nuts and bolts as they clunk their way across mountainous terrain.

in all honesty however, these bikes have been present for some of the most notable african adventures experienced so far.

they have helped us commute between schools in the kanyawegi school district to collect exam fees for our education day.  they have gotten us to and from meetings where we have shared and collaborated ideas for the after school girls club we hope to launch by the end of the summer.  they have gotten us to church so we can hear amazing gospel music, and were there waiting for us so we quickly escape after our embarrassing impromptu presentation in front of the congregation.  they have taken us to markets for fruit and to lake victoria for fish.  they have waited patiently in fields while we watch sunsets and while we chased monkeys out of maize crops.  they have heard me scream prayers as the top of my lungs when I was certain I was going to ride straight down hills into lake victoria.  they have witnessed me carry african men and women on the back as they nonchalantly chat on their cell phones.  they have been cut off my herds of cows and swarmed and chased by equally large herds of african children screaming, "mzungu, how are you?!" at the top of their lungs.

they are huge, they are clunky, they are exasperating and they making my legs as strong as a kenyan athlete’s.  yet somehow, they are still incredibly endearing.

samuel, the son of hannah, boaz the husband of ruth.. I wouldn't even trade them for this:

{and it was really, really fun.}

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha, I JUST read this now. Hans, you're going to come home with LEGS of STEEL!!!