My year's journey will come to an end on March 10th. It was so much more than a bike ride....It was....
...Open markets of fish drying in the hot sun orderly laid out row after row, ...Walking in the rain with a banana leaf balanced on my head for an umbrella, ...Naked bathing along the shores of the Congo, the Niger, the Zambezi, the Nile.
...Mosquito nets, army ants, florescent white teeth, 3 cups of tea
...The importance of greeting people, elders, coming together to show respect, ...Haggling over everything- taxi rides, food, gifts, used clothes, even my underwear
...Being patient, waiting until things start to move, and only then slowly moving with it.
...Remembering the early morning sounds of the call to prayer echoing out from the Minaret loudspeakers.
...Bicycle taxis, people traffic, and bull carts moving to market
...Pineapples, bananas, mangoes, papayas, limes, watermelons, cantaloupes, passion fruit, maze, sugarcane, and sweet potatoes.
...Hearing, to my great surprise, "Hey white man, Master, or Mzungu"
...The patient waiting game with border guards, or police wanting a bribe.
...Squatting with men around a big pan of papa/ cassava/ Maze and goat meat, eating with our hands quietly enjoying each others' company.
...The peaceful rests in the afternoon shade of baobab trees
...The ocean front banda huts with thatched roofs and bamboo walls
...Or the tribal scars, bare breasts, dug out canoes, AK-47's, mini-van banks with ATM machines
...I always enjoyed the roadside food, grilled fish, corn, goat, eggs, bush meat or ?
...Never will forget the music, dancing, many languages, or all the children.
...The endless exchange of email addresses, the rides I gave others to church, the market, a village, work, school.
...Letting people just have the chance to sit on the bike to have a picture taken
....The warmth of Africans can be summed up in a smile and the innocence of so many children.
....It will be impossible to not come back! or to forget Peter. (Peter and I rode together through most of west Africa. Sadly, he recently died back home in Slovenia.)
Blessings my friend.