Must come down. Unless you’re in Malawi then there’s 3 ups for every down. No seriously, I rode up three damn hills in a row with no decline. But this applies to pretty much everything. This has been such a warm and welcoming place with equal frustration on every level. Given there are variables such as…being thrown into a thousand mile cycling journey (when I’m clearly not a cyclist) with 26 strangers in one of the poorest countries in Africa. The variables for disaster are insurmountable. BUT so are the incredible opportunities.
I’ve been too busy to put pen to paper let alone try to figure out my phone and how to connect. I have however seen real devastating poverty on a level I haven’t ever experienced in all of my travels. It’s gut wrenching, really. That’s not how I plan to show this country though. This place is vibrant with life and hope and the kindest people I’ve encountered.
Yesterday after our first ride I had the opportunity with some of the other skilled ladies to visit a secondary school for girls and talk with them about whatever they wanted (we were the first strangers to ever ask their chief to stay on their land and for many of them I’m sure a first time to see a big group of well, white people)
The girls blew my mind by sharing their dreams and aspirations and finding a way to get to that goal in a place that has often proven they cannot have it. They told us of ways that they want to impact change in their area and what they want to do with their life (medical school, lawyers, nurses and even a journalist) they jumped at the chance to ask how to get better at math or find strength when things are challenging and yeah, I’m sensitive but it shook me.
They are all too aware the need for change in their country and want to do the best to change it and better themselves. They spoke on real issues I don’t think a 12 year old in the states could articulate, especially in a second language. They need healthcare. They need professionals and medication and fees for school so that they don’t perpetuate the level of poverty their people have been living in. I whole heartedly have never felt better than this conversation. This is why I’m here. The funds I raise are so crucial to the things they need and thank you everyone who has helped because you’ve directly made an impact on these women and maybe their ability to atttend university.