March 7th, 2012
Peace Corps has approved about 10 of us volunteers to purchase a bike. Based on our need, the terrain of our site and our desire we were each allotted money for a bike and a helmet. So I am now the proud owner of a bike… and its pink. It’s a bit hot for biking at the moment but once it gets cooler I hope to bike from my homestead to Mpaka where the clinic and the refugee camp are. Right now I take local transport because it would be about a two hour walk from Malindza Highway where I live. It only cost 4 rand each way but after several times a week it adds up. However that being said, biking here is not as easy as it sounds. Sure I have no hills to encounter but the only option to bike on is dirt path. A packed down dirt path no problem, but a loose dirt path, kind of hard. And then you have the attention factor. Seeing a white person is cause for commotion enough. Seeing a white person riding a bike creates a lot of excitement. I think I will finally discover the back paths through my community as to avoid as many people as possible when biking. Its just some days you cant take everyone laughing at you when your tired and hot and just want to get to where your going. Besides the embarrassment of riding, and the rough terrain, there are also the thorns. Almost every plant here in the low veld has vicious thorns. Roll over one of those and it’s a guaranteed popped tire. We will see how long my tires last until I’m walking again due to a flat tire.