Monday, February 14, 2011

TdA Stage 24. You Money.

117km. Gondar to Field Camp.

Mechanicals happen. I took a bike mechanics class before I came here so that I could be prepared to deal with them. I was feeling pretty good about that. Until today.

My mechanical woes this morning consisted of a screw rattling loose from my seatpost during the first bumpy descent. I'm not going to lie to you, I wasn't prepared for that one. I was fortunate to eventually be able to resolve the issue, though it put me in the unusual position of being the last rider leaving Gondar. And, let me tell you, the world feels a bit different at the back. Mostly, the kids are prepared for you when you come by...and they have been practicing their aim!

Carrie was still quite sick today. So, when I caught up to her, I decided to ride with her as support. When you are urgently relieving yourself at the side of the road while a gang of seven year-olds pelts you with stones, it is nice to have a friend near by. There were no mobs of kids, but there were some nasty ones nonetheless. I found out later in the day that Beate got whipped by a bull whip NoHomo had a rock thrown at him that almost fatally dented his rim. We found that talking to the kids in a really fast and happy way as we approached them got them confused enough that they would sometimes drop the rocks in their hands. Or at least it would distract them long enough to make a fast get away so that rocks didn't cause too much damage when they hit you. The 'you you you you you' calls have turned into 'money money money money' and 'you money'. All of the time you hear it.

You money. You money. You money.

I have these visions that big caravans of white people have come through before us and handed out stacks of money.

Other than the kids, the ride today was outstanding. Scenery was stunning and the roads were great. We seem to be moving in to a more inhabitable area (read: more amenable to agriculture) and the temperatures are more comfortable here than what we experienced in the Sudan. In some ways, things seem to be farther up the development chain here. At the same time, people are dressed in an almost tribal fashion; wielding large sticks and wearing blankets. It makes for an interesting contrast. At camp tonight, we had crowds of these guys standing around and watching us. It's like the universe flipped around and we are on the other side of a national geographic feature.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home