Do I feel safe? A question I hear from some of you.
I feel loved and very much alive. I don’t feel the fear of drive by shootings or hate crimes. I don’t feel hate from drivers who believe bikes don’t belong on the road. I don’t feel anxious by some political despot with bad hair.
I feel I can survive a long bike ride through 9 African countries
When I ride by a person with a machete they say hi and. When I ride by a military person with a gun I say hi and they normal smile. But when I ride by a child armed with a smile and bouncing up and down screaming Mzungo I feel loved. Or a women carrying wAter on her head who smiles in response to My smile I feel connected.
No there are not head hunters and mad crazies chasing me with spears and no the police are not stopping me for bribes and yes there are kids saying give me money. The kids are just parroting something they heard.
I know I am being watched as many times I’ll hear Mzungo way high in a tree or up a mountain side. I waive and say Jambo Sana. Then the laughter starts.
I did get afraid riding downhill in the mud. It was steep and slippery. I also take precautions against malaria and other deseases But so do the local people. I also get afraid of busting the zipper on my tent or Losing things. I am not too afraid of getting lost. Even I have no idea where I am half the time.
My friend Eric, a surgeon riding with me and I were discussing fears. I told him I was afraid of having an aortic anurism. He assured be would patch me in the field. My fear has no basis. It just seems like an ugly thing to happen to someone.