Monthly Archives: July 2012

Arizona. Recover from malaria

Long rest…

Since begin of the ride in Argentina I was looking forward to take a break in Arizona. Howard family has been supportive from the time I announce my project.  I’m glad that my host are also sort of nonconformity not typical Americans. I’m lucky to be in this desert during re rain season which they call monsoon, apparent this desert receive certain amount of rain, the rain it a scenic event as it build up broke into heart breaking lighting and thunders. The storm can be very violent as it comes down with strong wind. The fun thing is after the rain folks will get out of their house where they hid like bird in the hot days, they will stand in the washings watching flood pains very excited, desert people!

    Starting with Arizona with great host it make me getting through before hit place like Los Angles, Sun Francisco,  New York where even for Americans seem to be another universe.  Upon arrive it was festival mood, lots of food and beer! Cause of good connection we get great support regarding the project, I got bunch of talk. At REI outdoor shop we had few turn out though very useful contacts. Last public talk at Summit Hut other outdoor shop bring good number of people with great donation from shop, $100 gift card to shop at their huge store. I still receive great appreciation from the talk I do for Rotary Club which I’m very grateful to but seem like to gain full support with my goal it require more formal procedure. In this time also had good chance to havve couple of interview with media which give amazing help to spread the word  the project. here is the one of good piece;

<script type=’text/javascript’ src=’http://kold.images.worldnow.com/interface/js/WNVideo.js?rnd=609699;hostDomain=www.TucsonNewsNow.com;playerWidth=630;playerHeight=355;isShowIcon=true;clipId=7554203;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=Sport;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlay’></script><a href=”http://www.TucsonNewsNow.com” title=”Tucson News Now”>Tucson News Now</a>

Recover from Malaria…

After one week of taking rest I was wondering that there was no much changer from other days like been o the bike. I wasn’t sure if was hangover due to my little of experience with alcohols. But the fatigue kept on to unenergetic, luck of concentration and bad headache. If I had these symptoms back home I won’t even bother, obvious it malaria but because I don’t see mosquitoes every night forget that malaria exist. There is good chance that I peak malaria in Amazon actual it was total unavoidable. It happen that I start to feel the sign of malaria couple of weeks ago but cycling and challenge weather made me ignore my body but here taking off from the bike I was united with my body once again!

Having malaria in the place like US it might be another show; first everyone get real scared to hear that, other without any understand they though it transmitted disease so once they hear you have malaria the sort of looking on you are hands.  I’m worrying that they tough I have got Ebola. It fascinating me to see   who some people here are super hygienic, they are 99% bacteria free. Fighting for life it another kind of experience folks use all kind of means to stay alive, seem like for other what they fail to fight is to obesity. Looking at this situation remind me back home where people die for simple reason and it fairly accepted.

Second part of the show if you don’t know any symptom of malaria and you meet doctor who doesn’t have deal of tropical disease you may end up dying treating something different. While back home I’ll just show up in the Lab get my test and grab medication in street corn pharmacy, the situation which may last for 2hrs. Here malaria as I said it big deal but that doesn’t mean they will be able to treat you argent you can’t get any medication without pri-describe by doctor. I took my test in the University of Arizona lab, I was shocked with amount of blood taken to check for simple bacteria, it more than the one need to find HIV; 4 test tubes. It called rainbow test due to the variation test tube color.   The first test will come from this lab will show no malaria then next one will come from Utah State, still not sure what they find. I was recommended to see to see the doc who has been in Central Africa Republic long ago when it was peaceful country. Apparently he didn’t bother to go much into details; he said the chance is 60% lab will not see the bacteria. He concludes that ‘you have malaria and I’m going to treat you!’  Thanks! I though they will say I have to go somewhere else or whatever but with doc who has Peace Corps background I get my malaron which cost $120! Again tanks for discount because that was almost impossible to afford. Seen how the medical care system here works it just like to say if you are poor you gonna die, it so expensive (may be for my comparison) but also complicated with good quality.

Grand Canyon…

During the malaria crises  got invitation to drive up north of the state to see one of the world’s wonder, Grand Canyon. Itmost inspiring landscapes, a true breathtaking.  It a geological history looking at the combination and differents of color and size of rocks and erosion forms, down in the crater it about 446km long river Colorado, about 356km driving.

Bowling for Rhino…

I had chance to visit Tucson zoo where I find big sign board ‘Expedition Tanzania’, it a show elephants from Swaziland. I had a good time her as I was welcomed by energetic staffs, they are people who are real into conservation and care of wild animals I was so impressed by their projects. They create some small way to raise fund for ongoing project in the place like Africa trough activities like feeding giraffe. In this weekend they had what they call ‘bowling  for rhino, save your horn friend’ in this eventful evening of drinking beer, throwing ball and several other game they will raise money to support rhino projects.  

 

 

Appreciation…

Thanks for everyone who help me and my initiative in Tucson and around. Mucho gracias para Casaentropia (Fredric family), Performance Bicycle, Arizona cyclist bike shop, Tuscon Zoo (you rock with Expedition Tanzania!), Arizona Public Media, Channel 13, REI and Summit Hut Marana and Tubac RC and everyone else…much love!

 

Now feeling much better getting back to the saddle having been exploited by air condition the Arizona desert is going to bake me before I hit San Diego as the road goes down to below see leave in the certain point.  Phienix here chile to kili comes…      

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Safari ya Kurudi nyumbani kwa baiskeli

Chile to kili, ni safari ya baiskeli kuanzia Amerika kusini kurudi nymbani Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Mwezi wa kwanza 2012 niliondoka nyumbani Arusha kuelekea Argentina  ambako nilianja safari ndefu ya kurudi nymbani kwa baiskeli. Naamini kwa watu wengi watafikiri huu ni upungufu wa akili, nakubaliana nao kwasababu hata mimi kwa mara ya kwanza nilipofikiri kuendesha baiskeli kuanzia Arusha mpaka Marangu, nilijiambia haiwezekani lakini ni kwa msukumo wa kipekeena imani tu unaweza kufanya vitu visivyo wezekana kuwezekana.  Ndio, nilenda marangu kwa bibi yangu aliyenikuza kwa baiskeli, anafahamu tabia yangu vizuri lakini sasa aliona ninavuka mipika! Baadae nilenda Dar es saalam na rafinki yangu Jacob na baada nilisafiri nchi 16 za Afrika kwa usafiri huo hou. Usifikri mimi ni mwana mashindano, la hasha, ‘kikorokoro’ baiskeli ya mbao unayo sukuma juu ya mlima alafu unaendanayou bondeni ndio baiskeli yangu ya kwanza. Nikuwa na miaka takribani 17 ndio nilijifunza kuendesha baiskeli ya ukweli. Baiskeli kwangu ni chombo rahisi gara nafuu na rafiki wa mazingira, ninatumia chombo hichi kwa uhamasishaji  wa uhifadhi wa mali asili na mazingira na unaweza kufanya lisili wezekana kuwezekana si baiskeli pekee!

Chile to kili ni mradi ambao unamalengo matatu makubwa; Kuhamasisha uhifadhi wa maliasili na mazingira, kuchangisha ada kwa wanafunzi wa kitanzania kuweza kupata nishani yakwanza ya ekologia na wanyama pori (nikiwa ni mmoja wa wanafunzi hao) na pia ni kusisimua vijana kufanya mambo yantakayo wajenga wao na jamii kwa ujumla, labda si kusafiri na baiskeli eeh!

Mradi huu ninautekeleza kupitia shirika lisilo kuwa la kiserikali ambalo nimekuwa mfanya kazi wa kujitolia kwa miaka 3 sasa, Conservation Resource Centre

Kama nivyo sema hapo juu, it kuwa ni upungufu wa akili mtu kuendesha baiskeli kilomita 100, watanzania wengi au wafrika kwa ujumla swali lao kubwa ni; Shilingi ngapi utapata ukimaliza? Wengine huwa wananiambia ‘Utakuwa tajiri sana ukimaliza!’ Nafikiri kama unataka kuwa tajiri unaenda mererani au mwadui! Na kama nikushinda pesa unafanya mashindano!

Kwangu ni tofauti ni imani iliyo jengwa na changamoto nilizopitia, changamoto hizi zimerebwa na uzuri wa uasili. Hii ni kuanzia nikiwa mto mdogo, nimukilia kijijini, motto wa bibi, uchumi ni kuuza ndizi tunune samakina na mafuta ya taa, kaptula ya shule ni suruali ya mjonba.Tofauti na motto wa bibi watoto wengine walikuwa na nafarisi ya kupata vitu vya kuwafurahisha kwa muda, viatu vipya, nguo, nk. Daraja ndogo lilojegwa lili nipatia wakati wa kutumia muda mwingi kugundua vitu ambavyo vilionekana nivya kawaida sana na hivukuwa na umuhimu. Nilianzisha urafiki mkubwa na ndege, panzi, popo, mimea mbali mbali, nk.  Nilianza kuvutiwa na uzuri na tabia za hivi vitu hii ilipelekea kutaka kujua zaidi na zaidi, nilikuta nikitumia muda mwingi msituni, mtoni, kwenye miti, nk. Baadae nilikuja kujifunza uhisiano wa kila kitu knacho tuzungnga sisi binadamutukiwa nisehemu ya huu mfumo lakini tratibu tulianza kujitoa na sasa imepelekea uharibifu mkubwa, dunia ambayo mababu zetu waliishi haitakaa iwe ile ile kamwe; Ongezeko la joto dunia ni janga kubwa kuliko tunavyo weza kufikiri.

Sasa anamini unaweza kuona kwamba ni vitu gani vinavyo weza kukufanya uendeshe baiskeli kwa kilometa100-150, kupanda milima kama Andes, kwenye baridi ya Amerika kusini, kwnye joto na ukame kama jagwa la Atacama, kupita kwenye tmadunini mbali mbali, kujifunza utu na ukarimu pale mtu anaposimama na kukupatia maji ya kunya au sehemu ya kula, kunyanyapaliwa, nk.

Ninafanya midahalo na mazungumzo na wanafunzi, jamii kwa ujumla kupitia vyombo vya habari, kwa kusafiri kwa baiskeli nina tumia nafasii hii kuhimiza uhifadi wa mali asili na mazingira kwa maendeleo endelevu. Naamini katika elimu, tukipata elimu sahihi tunaweza kufanya ulimwengu ukawa sehemu salama na  nzuri kwa kila mmoja. Msukumo mkubwa wa mradii huu ni kutokana na changamoto nilizopitia mimim mwenyewe na vitu nilivyo jifunza. Si hitaji kuzungumza kwa undani juu ya elimu Tanzania au Afrika kwa ujumla, ni hali iliyo wazi kwa kila mmoja. Niljaribu kuchukua hali yangu na kufananisha na vijana nilikutana nao wakati ninasafiri Tanzania na nje ya Tanzania. Baada ya jitihada za muda mrefu sasa ningeweza kupata elimu ya juu na kutoa mchango mkubwa lakini hali niliojione ilinifanya nifiri zaidi. Kwa mara nyingine nitatumia hii baiskeli kuhimiza watu kuchangia fedha kwa ajili ya elimu.

Sijawahi kukubalia na neon ‘umaskini’ kwa maranyine kwa watu wengi ninaonekana kama kichaa, hiyo haijalishi kupitia vitabu nijifunza mambo mengi juu ya Tanzania na Afrika. Lakini hii haikutosha pale nilipokuta vitabu vingi vimeandikwa na wageni, sasa ninahitaji kujione na kujifunza mwenyewe. Kwa ujasiri nilijifunza tokiea nikiwa mototo niliamua kutumia baiskeli kusafiri kujione hali halisi ya Nchi yangu na bara langu.  Baada yah ii safari nilijikuta nikiwa na nguvu zaidi, ufahamu nilioupata uliongeza simenti katika ile emani na uelewa niliokuwa nao, sasa ninaweza kusimama na kusema yale ninayo amini. Utumwa, ukoloni na ukoloni mambleo uliliacha bara katika giza nene lakini historia hii yote imejenga watu wasio na mfano. Mfano huu tunaweza kuutumia kuendele kujijenga na kujenga jamii kwa ujumla.

Miezi 7sasa,nchi 6,kilometa 8000, nina zidi kujione changamoto za kimazingira kadri baiskeli invoyo nipeleka kasikazini, kujifunza tamaduni mbali mbali na kujionea majabu ya dunia.

Amerika kusini Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia nchi ambazo zinategemea maji kuttoka milima ya Andes zinazidi kuwakame kadri barafu invyo yeyukasiku hadi siku. Brazili, Nchi amabayo inasehemu kubwa yam situ wa Amazoni, msitu amabo unategemewa na dunia nzima kwa ajili ya kusafisha kaboni monoksidi. Kuanzia mwaka 1990 ilianza kubadilisha sera zake kuhusiana na matunizi ya msitu kwa maendeleo yake kuongeza mashamba makubwa kwa ajili ya uzalishaji rahisi. Manedeleo ya siyo endelevu yamepelekea kujenga mamia ya mabwa kwaajili ya uzalishaji wa umeme. Hali hii imepelekea mabadiliko ya shemu kubwa yam situ kuwa nyika. Nyika nyingine tayari zimeanza kuwa kame na nyingine ziko hatarini kwa moto.

Hii ni baadhii tuya mifano ya maendeleo ambayo yanachangia mabadiliko ya tabianchi na ongezeko la joto, sisi tukiwa kwa nchi za ulimbwengu wa tatu tupohatarini zaidi, kwa ukamame, mafuriko, nk. Nchi tajiri na kubwa kiviwanda zipo katika msukumo wa kubadilisha mfumo lakini kutokana na siasa, kuzoea mfumo Fulani na upinzania kati ya nchi tajiri nazinazo kuwa Marekani, Nchi za ulaya, China, Brazili, n.k hakuna suluhisho la karibuni. Sasa tuna 390 ppm (part per millon) kaboni dioksidi angani ambayo inazalishawa na uchomaji wa mafuta (magari), viwanda, matumizi ya makaa yamawe, n.k Asilimia 92 ya watu wazima marekani wanamiliki gari! Hali hii inanifanya niji ulize; Je sisi mchi zinazo endelea tunataka kuendelea katika mfumo huu?

Uhuru na tamaduni…

Katika mambo niliyo jifunza ni nchi kama Tanzania tunamefikia uelewa wa hali ya juu labda bila hata kujua.Kwetu sera za uhamiaji na uhuru wa binadamu pamoja na ukarimu  kwa kiasi Fulani zipo katika kiwango cha juu. Changamoto kubwa ninayo kutana nayo ni kupata vibali, visa. Nchi nyingine zimekataa kunipatia visa bila sababu wakati vigezo kwa nchi nyingi vikionyesha wazi kwanba vinakuzuia, hii inaweza kutasfsiriwa kama ubaguzi. Nakama tuna vyo fahamu ubaguzi ni ujinga wa hali ya juu, kutoweza kufahamu kwamba binadamu wote ni sawa na kuendeleza ubaguzi ni kusababisha matatiozo ya kisaikolojia kwa muathirika!. Nchi pekee amabayo suku hitaji visa na niyou karibishwa na kujisikia huru ni Bolivia.

Sisi Waafrika ldba ni watu wa kipee sana, kwa rangi, historian a kila kitu. Katika nchi za Argentina, Chile, Bolivia hata Meksiko kuona mtu mweusi ni kama bahati. Bolivia walikuwa wanashangaa kama hii ndio rangi yangu na je huwa nanyoa nywele kila wiki? Wnawake na watoto vijini walikuwa wanakimbia wakiniona, hotelina na dukani wakati mwingine ilikuwa ni shida kupata huduma. Ninapozunguza kispaniola mara ya kwanza hawaamini kwa nina weza kuzungumza luga yao.  Kwenye miji mikubwa watu wengi wanaomba kupiga picha.

Kama Afrika tunavyo ita wazungu Amerika kusini pia wananita ‘Negro’ Cheusi lakini kwa nchi kama Brazili, Colombia, Marekani watu wana ogopa kutamka nene lolote litakalo ashiria ubaguzi wa rangi sana, sana kwa watu weusi.

Tamaduni ni vitu ambavyo vinasisimua, Amerika Kusini tamaduni utamaduni wake unaonekana kwenye Ukristo wa katoliki, mziki, vyakula; utamaduni huu una uhusiano mkuwa na walationo ambao ni sehemu kubwa. Wahindi wa Amerika watu wakwanza kuishi katika haya mabari wengi wao wali uwawa na watawala  wa kispaniola, utamaduni wao hauna tofauti sana na wakiafrika, wana miungu mbalimbali, n.k Kwa sasa ninajifunza utamaduni ambao umeenea sehemu kubwa duniani kupitia mziki, filamu, n.k; Utamaduni wa wamarikani, Je huu utamduni wa uhuru wa hisia, mavazi, n.k umetoka wapi?

Nimejaribu kuandika kwa kifupi lakini siwezi kuandika kila kitu hapa lakiniunaweza kufikii uzoefu wa kuw nje ya bara kwa mara ya kwanza, kusafiri kwa baiskeli an tabia ya kupenda kujifunza kila kitu, ni uzoefu ambao unaweza kujaza kitabu eeh! Ni nabaki katika malengo ‘Uhufandhi wa mali asili na mazingira kwa maendeleo endelevu na elimu’

Mpaka sasa sija sehemu kama Afrika au nchi kama Tanzania, tumejaliwa utajiri mkubwa wa maliasili isiyo patikana shemu yoyote,  tamaduni mbalimbali, ufahamu na uelewa unaotuwezesha kuishi pamoja achilia mbali tofauti zetu, n.k. Tunahitaji kuvifahamu zaidi, kuhifadhi na kutunza vitu hivi. 

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Mexico to United States

Viva Mexico…

In the hot late evening I start to approach Guaymas, before arrived in the town center the road from south go through the bridge of small gulf. Alongside the bridge are small roofed stalks selling raw see food. I stopped on one of the stalk with aim of getting something to eat but seen lively creature cooked only by lemon I decide that my persisting hungry can wait for tacos or something normal.

My character of not thinking of what I miss it always surprise me, this was quite oblivious when I first see Howard, it felt like someone who having in the battle and luck made it alive. Though I couldn’t shake tears of joy but my heart bust with internal happiness, latter thinking of this situation I realize even after all the time I spent away I have never being able to construct ultimate solitude.

 Howard brought aluminum road bike and the time I meet him he was already loaded with rear panniers. We cycle 20km out of the town to Sun Carlos where we found good camping ground near the ocean though we’ll not have time to enjoy the water as we had much to talk, seating up tents, find food and get ready for next day. Though it was already long stretch without rest day having a companion I felt energize. Just as luck the cycling days were relatively less challenge, we had lots of tail winds, not as hot as I expected or as it was in previous section and we had these offers of dinner, lunch and 4 stars accommodation come from middle of nowhere.  First day took as all the way to Harmosllo 30km, this was more that we anticipate. In the evening when we were doing fun ride just searching for camping sport before the city I got text from the driver I had lunch with in the road side 2 weeks ago. He was in Harmosillo and he want to meet for drink, I told him I don’t think I’ll make it to the city as I want to camp out of the crowded area, he call after few minutes with the news that there is a reach man in town who admire cyclist he is happy to offer us, dinner in his restaurant and accommodation in the nice motel. We ride in the city caught in the big storm with strong head wind; we were given pretty much formal receiving with the manager of large filling station. The manager happy to prove to his efficiency and English to his colleagues, he suffer us around and handle us to the restaurant manager. The fancy restaurant at least for touring cyclist rank, we were provided those long list menu, I don’t real prefer these menu cause always I’m hungry, lease to read, not very cleaver to make choices probably due to where I come from. So I make the waiter talk and narrow down the list, here Howard help me, while Howard had one pleat I had to pleat of chicken cooked together with half cooked tomatoes, onions, cheese, etc, etc. After dinner my friend was waiting outside, he invite us to the next door where there is lively bar with laud Mexican music, the beers were too big especial after dinner and soft drinks. Outside there is pick up waiting for us and it is already 10pm so we excuse ourselves unable to finish the beers, what a west!!! Load our bike in the buck just to find out we were to be driven to the next block in this superb motel. Had shower after 5 days, sleep in comfortable bed, I slept like a log not event turn to other side till Howard awake me and say it time to go, I could probably sleep for another 12hours.

 

We show up in the filling station in the morning to express our gratitude but there is no one in particular to receive them, the manager is already off duty, I called him but because of  his behave of refusing to speak Spanish I couldn’t understand everything he said, I understand that he is living alongside the way to Nogales. We had out breakfast of tacos and nest café just few km before we meet the manager who was waiting us to breakfast in his house. We change the offer to 4 large sandwiches each to take with us. While we were waiting for sandwich we had long chart with Francisco the manager, now he is informal. He is quite a character, he has 12 children, and we were luck to meet 6 of them who are still you. I was worrying that he wanted to offer me one as he insists we should exchange emails, same incidence happen in Sudan 2009. 

Sun caught us before we made much of the distance, leaving the city was gentle climb almost invisible but you will definitely feel it. With sandwich which were already half cooked with the sun  means no cooking in the afternoon so we had long nap while the sun was on it middy day peak, we resume pedaling at 4pm enjoying the cool weather before dark we found a nice camping sport of open woodland/shrub with Saguaro, the giant cactus which make picturesque scenery of Arizona/Sonora desert.  Howard lectures me about his native ecology as we seat around camp fire under full moon night which swallow the stars.

Now Mexico coming to the end, English can be heard here and there but pronouncing name Howard still is a challenge. Also security is increasing plenty of military vehicle pass by full equipped which give impression of Darfur if not Afghan, it had for me to believe all this is just for drugs. The fun thing is how this military check point appear to be passive to me unlikely Brazil and Colombia where I given was intensively search here in Mexico often the military guys end up having conversation with me some asked to be photographed with me. In Magdalena village the last night in Mexico before end up camping in someone’s back yard another military vehicle passed us with two civilian vehicle full of well parked drugs which I couldn’t tell if were marijuana or cocaine.

Nogales peach bit high the last day cycling in Mexico start with good climb, 12am we were entering the boarded town of Nogales. We had branch of Mexican food as fare well, Howard get tequila bottles for gift back home.

1 000km boarder wall…what a joke!

Leaving Nogales dawn town we pedal along the metal wall which make the physical boarder between Mexico and United States. This is my first experience in my entire travel I have never seen anything like that, for my first observation the wall didn’t appear to be anything to keep anyone who want to cross to the other side, it relatively short for someone to put ladder and jump to the other side. To be honest I don’t see it stopping anyone who is adaptable as Latinas American from crossing it to other side. Later I will confirm my  suspicious to a news paper remark which claim the malt billion dollar wall from Texas to California is to stop American teenagers and junks from going to Mexico for having good time, ‘No more tequila sexo marijuana!’

I had heard lot of stories regarding entering US the harassment, searching and threats. As I queue to the relatively busy boarder cross, majority being Mexican and US citizen coming back from Mexico I was in the passive moment; expecting northing much neither less, not sure if I was threaten by procedures and what looks like super professionals and equipped workers.  In this very queue is where I start to grasp my first American experience of openness and not having even small mercy. A coupe come in and jump the queue and stand in front of me after a while the giant gentle man who was before me and who remark that bike isn’t a transport in Arizona for the time being refereeing the deadly hot weather, he turn to the couple and give it to them quite plainly ‘Don’t you see that there is a person before you?’  The couple were real embraced so to save the situation I told them it not a problem they can stay but the giant gentleman back the fire to me with his typical accent, I didn’t had more confidence of prolong the argument as the crowed stair at me.

I thought the queue was for exit Mexico then enter US but that was proven wrong as the first guard I pass spoke to me in English with accent which I think I have heard it from the movies, from the cycling jersey he could tell that Chile to Kili means cycling from Chile and ask if Kili was Kilimanjaro, he is the first person to have a proper guess.  Next guard/immigration worker with different accent he was quite straight forward but the question luck strong emphasize ‘What is your purpose of visiting US?’ ‘Tourism, cycling, I have a project of cycling around the world’. I was worry that my answers were random just as the question apparently that make the end of official interrogation and what follow was more than friend talk. The other one who was to search for food product and what not he end up talking barely pay much attention to the searching. I’m start to be surprised with this way of communication, this folks they will dominate conversation say what they want or feel pay less attention to you as they are hiding something and just like that they may end up the conversation this kept on happen occasional.

Nogales US was total different atmosphere from the other side though Spanish is still spoken and Mexican origin can be seen, the place is less crowed, everyone seem to mind his business guess even if they don’t have one. First complication come to which road to cycle in , first person took about 5 minutes to describe direction and which road to take though it turn to be wrong but due to his explanation you are likely to doughty his knowledge. Unlikely other country where people are un aware of law which make it seem like they were made for books here everyone will tell you what is illegal and what not which narrow everything to the bottom. After cycling, pushing, crossing we finally find the proper road, what a welcome!

American culture and traditions…

As to confirm that I was in US though my brain haven’t change is when we stop for a drink, for what I was told is relatively small gas station shop there were 6 different kind of coffee, 7 fridge of soft drinks, saying that I wasn’t sandwich isn’t enough there would be about 5 question goes together to make sure that you will get your sandwich. While for me I’m straggling to adopt this kind of culture, it seems like folks here like this way of living. I would stand beside my hosts and listen to long list of what yes and what no just to have simple food.

Size it another American fun show for instance coffee mage medium and large has slight different, the rest of measurement are all large  unlikely most part of the world the distance here isn’t measured by kilometer it is milers which on the bike make me loose the enthusiasm. Litter turn to gallon, kilogram turn to pound, in began I thought it only that but now I realize most of the vehicles and houses are quite large to the comparison of who use them.

If Argentina pets were 5cm close to the human here it is 2cm; restriction to what you can do to one’s pets it maximum, the behave of the pets are almost of spoiled child, some dogs carry their own backpack not sure what they carry in but also where they go for a walk or hike?   Arizona being my first state this seem it just only begin.

Sub goal…$30 000 till the end of first leg

Now in Tucson enjoy the home stay, review the progress of project, it seem like the end of the first leg will have lot of effect on the continuation. In that regard I lunch sub goal of raising $30 000 begin here in Arizona till the end of summer which will be the end of the first leg as I’m heading up north. This will give chance to 3 students to start their studies which will be my great satisfaction as un achieve of the main goal.  This is also the great motive and pushing power behind cycling 150km under devil hot day. The first week goes with good began for the presentation at REI in Tucson, 3 more to come before resuming the cycling toward west with first stop at Phoenix then San Diego before carry on to Los Angles. US make a good target for my fund raise lots of friends suggest to fly to Eat coast for few events this also will be another reason for visa issues. But with narrow budget I’m searching for the support to get me across the country and bring me back to my cycling route.  The failure to achieve the sub goal might mean the postpone of the project which is the hardest pill to swallow.         

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Sierra Madre Occidental…back to Pacific

The accent to this pass would start early in Zacatecas but it was more gently and landscape was more interesting. The valleys were lively with life, the memory of Chile. The breeze blow from rolling hills come with aroma smell of peppers, there were long stretches of pepper farming varying from red hot chill, green, red etc. Actual in the valley I stopped for lunch it called ‘Rio Colorado’ which supposed to mean ‘Red pepper’.  Mexicans are good consumer of pepper, the mail come with three different of pepper from low to high mixed into nice salad like avocado ‘the waca mole’. I have bad experience with pepper from Indians friends who are good into spice just like Mexicans, so I maintain a good distance with pepper till when I’ll feel into trap in Durango. It was sweet but pretty 0hot food so I wasn’t sure about the amount of pepper I was consuming, my friend Omar who is quite used to said to me if I’m not used to I shouldn’t eat but I with sweet I eat more than I anticipate.  The shit-show start after finishing, it takes good amount of cold milk cream to calm the mouth down, the tongue remain like it have been shocked with electrical but that was the begin the next morning was almost crying in the toilet. It was the longest toilet time I had so far, on the way I’ll lose all energy of cycling as I had to run to the bush every after 2hrs or so.

The plains of Zacatecas gives last good climbs to the planted forest of Durango, the center of Durango is in the highlands valleys which make it hot and humid I this time of the year.

From here the climb start to intensely, I find out no matter how I’m used with climbs the same mental preparation and take on will required.  First person tell me the climb is 100km, second says the new high way it pretty much flat. I left Durango in the Sunday morning, I come across a good number of weekend cyclists, some follow me for the will just to study the loaded bike, some cheer up conversation while some shout ‘Bravo’ as the race by.  The one make me remember him was the one said ‘approx 300km to Mazatlan it pure climb’, it was fun the time he said that but in the midday alone and climbs get into my nervous I course as he was the one create them! The worst thing about asking topographic from ‘Not cyclist’ they are more likely to tell you their luxury bus ride experience.

Thanks to the rain at the evening, temperature dropped but with rain in the narrow road without shoulder with heavy trucks that was another challenge. I stopped at El Salto (2800m), the town was in the good mood of Sunday; business most of business closed, bars full of people vehicle with loud music throwing out Corona and Modelo beer cans.  I spot for coke, chart with folks who has same Mexicans questions ‘Are you alone?’ ‘Have you been robbed?’ after clearing their worries they worn me about ‘El Salto drugs crews’ and encouraged me that it ‘Pure downhill to the ocean’; I’m not sure if word ‘Pure’ means something else to them but definitely it wasn’t even half way down hill.   They also offered me ‘Michelada’ half a litter beer mixed with chill source (salsa picante), lemon and what no; all make it test like stomach cleaning African herb drink.

The road become slippery, passed one accident; clouds and curved corner make it worse also temperature was already too low, 10km out of town I thought I was wise to find camp. It pine forest, wet and green but all fenced, I pull in the farm house to ask for camping space but instead I was offered worm house. Rodrigo; the host, quite a fun man drink a bottle of dry tequila which so far I can’t handle, telling the story of losing his 24 yrs son, the only child, worked as policemen killed by drug cartel. He has his picture in the wall lighten with candle 24hrs and protected by saints. The woman cooked for us that evening 30yrs with 3 children with husband in jail for drug and arm trafficking, what a crises!. Rogrigo’s understand of Africa is hot so he was concern with black fella being in the cold, he offered me mattress and couple of blanket in the next to fire place which was hard to leave in the next morning as it was cold outside.

The road was rolling steep hills, I cycle expecting to find long downhill to the ocean but till lunch there was nothing like that so I just forget about it. At 4pm it when the ruin start to be more heavy and there were long downhill which took me from woodlands to bush land. In the highland the cold was irritating in the low land the hot and humid take a while to get accustomed to. I made it at small town of Concordia at 5pm, here I find out Osmara a friend from Couch Surfing in Mazatlan has invited me to spend a night in her sofa. I take on last 43km arrived in Mazatlan in the dark made the total distance 244km.

Mazatlan, Sinaloa is a town in the California gulf not quite historical as the other interior city I have been but not fell apart at all. The town seems to be busy any ways in Mexican seem to be hard worker but Mazatlan has atmosphere of more western culture and less Mexican which is quite relaxed. In the morning I left the city, alongside long stretch of beach was quite crowded with folks running, walking, cycling and what not all seem to do the best to remain feet, it was an impressive scene. Most of the main road here are two high ways one for free and one which vehicles ha to pay. The one you has to pay it two ways and has wide should it also safe for me though always begging with sigh claim no bikes but since no one has stopped me I make the most of it. The high ways goes alongside the ocean though not such close; two first days were clouds all the way to Cualacan.  Culiacan, Guasave and Los Mochils are valleys cities quite fertile to bust Maize, Tomato and other several farm products. The farms are worked with machinery this kind of scene remand me home picturing myself with hoe taking couple of weeks to cover several miters square to have enough maize and beans  for season.

Novajoa welcome me to the dry of Sonora, seem like temperature increase every single day as time keep push back to make days long. Ciudad Obregon was too luxury to remind me my exhaustion but with expense and time table to catch up I had to keep on.

In Guaymas now is from the coast to the desert about 410km to Nogales the border to United State of Amrica. Now my dreams are becoming more clearly; the land of Mc Donald’s is so close, I’m going to eat the biggest bugger? I’m about to entire the country which it popularity and influence has going beyond the earth. Is every one live as I have seen in the Hollywood?

Latin America lie behind with it dramas, positive experiences, amazing support from individual to the media with their enthusiasm of finding out there is country cold Tanzania. North America (popular as America like it only America!), seem to be quite complex with their mode of life, wonder what kind of seen I’ll make with my missions; Environment, Education, Development. So far I have great support from this part but looking forward for more practical experience.  

Having Howard Fredric, my adviser who in Tanzania see my madness to be potential and eventual become one of those who make me do what I do, I’m very excited to have him along. It will be almost 7 month since I have meet with close tie, I’m sure he will be happy to drop the blog post regard the coming cycling and up to date of fund raiser since he is a man behind huge work of directing the project.                                           

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