17 June, 2019 07:06
Today’s ride was for Mbabali David who we heard just today had to miss school to visit the dentist with a tooth ache.
We said a goodbye to Vincent and our new friend Jakob who works with him, promising to keep in touch every day as we have been. They have been praying for us daily and check in every day. They are so grateful and despite the hard lives they lead, they are happy and always have a good attitude and exude gratefulness. It was strange to say, “Ok, we will see you in about 5 weeks!” and pedal away. They have become good friends.
It was so nice of them to come and change out gear for us and now my bike feels much lighter. John is a work horse and I’m so thankful for all he does for me. His sacrifice to take more (all!) of the weight made not only my bike lighter, but also my spirits. I felt happy today in a different way and just enjoyed the pedalling. We did just over 40 miles by 1:30 pm and walked to town to get an avocado for dinner and some water.
Interesting sights today included a little fisherman, a dignified older man who offered us some coins for a little food (we gave him a power bar because that’s what we had accessible without making a scene), a sweet smiling mama on a bike with a kid in front and and baby on her back, a toothless pastor who rode his motorcycle beside us asking if we planned to leave our bikes behind, countless children heading to and from school in their clean and pressed uniforms, a young teen who proudly passed us like we were standing still and commenced to race John up the hill, and a grass hut labeled “hotel” which we passed by in hopes of finding something a little more private. I wish I could remember every unique face and scene. I always think I will and then at days end, the images fade and one day’s sights blur into the next.
Right now I am cooking rice with our alcohol stove in a little room where the hotel manager allowed us to lock our bikes for the night. It cost us a whole $2.31 for the room and breakfast so there is so little to complain about. John is back in our room waiting for the guys to fix the toilet. There was nothing wrong with it as far as we knew but they just walked in and took the whole thing apart. Floors are always tiled and typically have a drain in the center to remove the shower water…. or toilet water. It’s been a couple of hours now and I think john wants to help them but their lack of tools and parts does not seem to be slowing the tear down from continuing. Ah this is Africa. There are some very random things that happen and you just go with it.
As some of you have probably noticed, we have been mixing up our route a bit and we head to Lira tomorrow in hopes to reach Karuma Falls the next day. The ride from there will take us along a wildlife preserve where we are hoping some of the animals are visible – at a safe distance, of course.