Monday, February 28, 2011

TdA Stage 35. I'm a Ferangie.

100km. Arba Minch to Dry River Bed Camp.

A mix of pavement and gravel (~40%) made for a fun day and a nice opportunity to test out my new tires (2 inch specialized captains with self sealing tubes. Thank you, Erik!). Heavy and slow on the hills, but comfy and secure on the downs.

It was as though we crossed in to a new country today. Instead of chasing donkeys and goats off of the road, we are now chasing baboons and cows. Hairstyles and clothing are different (plain vanilla corn rows and brightly coloured togas). Fewer naughty children at the side of the road.

The popular phrase for the locals to shout today was Ferangie, which is ahmeric for Foreigner (rather than a throw back to Star Trek). It was said in a nice way, though. If there is such a thing. I wonder how well it could go over if I went back home and pointed at different coloured people and yelled 'foreigner'.

Reflecting on the contrast between the Ethiopia that I have pedalled through over the last three weeks and this new, unspoiled area, it is hard not to come away with the feeling that missionaries and foreign aid have destroyed this place. One of my objectives in coming here was to better understand how I could be helpful in improving conditions in struggling economies. What I learned from Ethiopia is that the consequences of getting it wrong are severe.

I rolled in to camp to find Mike-without-a-bike laying on his back, high on painkillers and sporting some nasty road rash. In a duel between a speeding bicycle and an energetic three year old running onto the highway, it turns out that the three year old wins. Not sure how that kid is doing. Thankfully, there didn't seem to be a 'you break it, you buy it' policy in effect. (A lot has changed since my dad was in the circus?).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The kid who hit me was about 12 years old. According to TDA director Paul, he was trying to scare me. At least he was OK. ~Mike

March 7, 2011 at 10:11:00 AM MST  
Blogger BikingBakke said...

T - I have a picture of you being a ferengi!

March 8, 2011 at 9:24:00 PM MST  

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