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Monthly Archives: August 2013
GIZ… (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
The presentation at GIZ, Frankfurt was among of those talks which satisfy me personal. Apart of yield good result interns of creating awareness it also motivate me with the level of understand, participation and communication I had with audience. It increase my optimism I have for the level of individual to the foundation of such company with practical ethics if sustainability. The questions and comments were quite thoughtful which for me demonstrate deep moral responsibility to make participate in the positive changers to our big human family. There were also sympathy and emotions for those who knew the situation. I was glad to hear from the young lady from Sierra Lion who said she was motivated and think of doing something.
Talis and his girlfriend give me the tour of commercial city, full time busy with plains landing and take off. On place which catch my interest is the church where new German constitution was sign after Second World War.
Back on the road, now towards south west the wind is in my face and rain is just few meter from my heard. This part of German has more closed canopy forest, I guess hence the name ‘Black Forest’ Also beg rivers; Mainz and Rhen break the momentum of landscape cities and fields. There are also valleys and rolling hills on the vineyards and forest, these curt off my milage up to half distance for a day plan.
I made it to Trier the historic frontier Roman empire city. Pitch into valley with it roman buildings attract tourist. I wonder along the river mainland and this flat terrain brought me half way to Luxembourg.
I was pretty knowing nothing about this small country of Luxembourg. Apparently is I cycle in I
didn’t notice any difference apart of German tongue grew less and French peak up. It very small country I think small than Pemba island of Tanzania. Next day of cycling I was in the city of Luxembourg which I fit the description of ‘Concrete Jungle’. Wilf, a Welsh friend residing gave me a quick tour which answered lot of question.
Seem like Luxembourg have seen, feel and preserve huge part of expensive European civilization. From Roman empire, Spanish Yard, Napoleons, amy be brief to German Nazi and to today severity Luxembourg. Served as mental production center to prevent already destruction of technology development. This make me to think how devastators it can be when we develop and grew technological but poorly develop our inner human values such as good moral, compassion, ethics, etc. Isn’t that rather worse poverty?
Today Luxembourg host european parliament another phase of history is documenting itself here, I guess this time show lots of improvement!
Before I cycle off the city it start pouring this if continue will ruin the day. Louise, friend from Gent visit with great anticipation of cycling. Despite the weather focus claim that it was going to be wet and grey day, the rain kept of missing us by inches till the end of the day.
I was at Bar de Luc when I that I am one day behind my plan day to arrive in Paris and hours before dead line to meet potential donor in Paris. This stretch particular in the central Western Europe have been tough rather than it supposed to be. Constantly straggle with cities and field have prove to be hard for touring cycling. Mental the region provoke lot of questions, try to avoid but nothing much have been bread than internal battle result psychologic fatigue.
With hope for inspiration at the end of cup of tea there was no any to be found. A man set next to me who happen to be music produce comment that I looked very thoughtful , I wonder if this was since I was born. We chart for a while and learn that for 14 Euros I could test fast train. It total against my description of moral will but may be I am not very discipline follower even to my self. The train was another experience, 316km/h for 14 Euros? Before third page of the book I was in Paris, I can not compare that with two days of pedaling and sweating if not wet with anxiousness of searching for direction into massive city. Though the experience didn’t reveal my psychology situation but still hope for better transformation soon.
Paris, how far can someone travel back into history looking at all those preserved buildings and so forth? Well, there should be lesson to be learnt if the past ever teach us rather that taking pictures. Looking at things like Eiffel Tower with the number of people around I was suppressed but at the end fascinated; Seem like doesn’t matter how old we grow we are still entertained by toys but this is giant toy.
I was delighted to meet Tanzanian ambassador in France, a wonderful lady with all the patient listen to life time story. That make it, first Tanzania office meeting. There was also Tanzania UNESCO permanent delegation the people who we share same view of education. Thanks to Angie and France 24/Africa for short and great coverage. Thanks to Eric and his family for amazing host!
The next leg of Paris Lisbon sound like different though long one.
In the first evening I made to small town quite relaxing, the hills ware me down. I pull in the small cafe which happened to be run by young Italian guy, Ivan. Ivan help me out with packed dinner and breakfast and good recommendation to the place for illegal camping.
I checked my position on map just to realize that I was about 50km out of central London, this is not very couraging while I spent whole day in the saddle. I vow to by GPS which I will use with my shimano hub dynamo and USB-WERK. I am now equipped with Gemin though make me lazy but save hug amount of time.
Dover was rather stunning this time compare to last time when I arrive here when it was grey cloud and raining. This time it was clear blue with white patch sky reflecting crystal clear sea. After my last dinner of Chips and Fish I climbed to the top of hill for another illegal camping. This hill give amazing view of the random green hills with highways wondering into valleys. I shared the camping with young Latvian man who have been hitch hike from Latvia on his way to London where he plan to work and save money to pay his school fees in the coming winter. We made fire, sitting in the hill with panoramic view looking the flame consuming the woods listen to the stories of former soviets union It seems to me as the our ignorance is fire consuming as well as the humanity.
Back to the mainland cycling was rather ease compared to island, I enjoyed the small traffic less farm roads with tail winds. In France I was so suppressed t find out that town were almost abandoned, everything is so quiet, I learn later that this is vacation month. The whole country is in vacation and seem like they take this moment very serious.
I sort camp after dark not very far from the road. In the morning I was awaken with call ‘Bonjour!’ half sleeping I was wondering where I was. The call continue, now with long sentence I realize I am in France. I emerge out of my tent half necked to be greeted with three polices semi cycle my tent with reasonable distance. They ask me to to come out and approach them, I felt very bad since I hate this kind of treatment. They asked what I was doing while the see my bike and tent. Before I search for my French one of them answer ´´passing´´ so I had to say yes. They wanted to see the ID, I handle them my passport which they spent good amount of time, unfortunately there is no French visa. After asking what is my name,my community and realize that I am poor cyclist passing by. They were friendly enough to recommend less hill road though not sure how I could get to Lile without using high way. I wonder if they were at all embarrassed with their military approach to a sleeping cyclist.
In the late morning I passed Lile just like most of towns up here are characterized with a lots of North Africa immigrants. Stop to refill my water in the cafe I end up testing real social life of old French. The cafe is run by old French man half Morocco half French, there were bunch of other old people, farmers, tobacco seller and whose not . I’m not sure how the conversation start but I end up spend two hours with this old folks. Subjects were flipping like pages sometime with intense defiance of agenda, it feel like House of Lords.
One subject which last long was about the system. Here are folks which lived the high optimistic times of Social Democracy, Communist, and now in the peak of Capitalist and imperialist.
This conversation remind me what I have seen in different. Again it remand me about UK which was recent experience. I am overwhelmed with the thoughts of what is the effect of civilization of this big island has to hug part of the world. The system which evolve from here was introduced and enforced in the places like India, Africa, Carribian. With what seem to be selfishness and greed, the system kept on exploitation and denied all other facts which determine the growth and progress of humanity. With example of where I come from, we are trained direct or indirect to become part of this system. Majority migrate to follow the root the rest remain in their respective areas to maintain it. In the west I see more misery than I have seen in my village. I am convinced that this sort of system will not sustain and allow growth of our humanity. In’t the time to do something about it now…?
I was glad to improve my French though with real intense vocabulary which are accompanied with physical motion, probably the best way to learn language is to live in the area where they speak it. I excuse myself and cycle of with burden of questions but soon I remember Gandhi said; ‘Imperialism, like dictatorship, sears the souls, degrades the spirit and make individual small.’ ‘But in the history of the world this system which based in the exploitation have never live long’.
With the time frame set for Frankfurt, my route wonder with rivers up stream from France to Belgium; no different at all especial here where is French Belgium. It was quite pleasant cycling, folks are quite enthusiastic , I received more ‘Bonjour’ than ever before for such small region.
I was able to make it on time to give the talk at GIZ, Eshrborn Frankfurt. Thanks to all who helped to make this possible, all the energetic participants and my host family (Sabina and Michael)
Next leg Paris…
‘Into past and back to present’
The cycling into the midlands of England and Wales apart of reveling the beauty of landscape and culture under what is consider to be definitely exceptional weather. It was also the journey to the history which more or less effect the whole world.
Chester or Camp as would be referred by Romans, the wall rounded city, was founded by Romans ruled up to north up here and stay in use till the recent Victorian before turn tourist fascination with great historical value.
Liverpool and Manchester is where the major industrial revolution stated. As I walk into relative small authentic city with outskirts of abandoned warehouse, railways and canals. Looking into building of sophisticated architecture and fascinating decorations. I try to imagine the place where comes the ideal of revolution and expansion which will, dramatical, transformer global social, economical and political. Here is were among the most human exploitative system was born, later will travel to drive slavery, colonies and today neo-colonialism and capitalism. Early when I started to see these kind of building in South America I was taken with great amazement and fascination which I can only compare with fascination of the child to toys. Today I wonder about the price laying behind as well as superiorly which speaks louder but possibly not loud as the Pyramids of Giza! I wonder if we will be able and willing to pay the environmental price which seem to be the case of our existence and ultimate happiness.
At some point I come across the build which I was told is where some people who foresee the effect of the new system and possibly driven with human nature they try to oppose what seem to be very immoral system. It is the building where Carl Max and other used to meet.
After testing what is the remain English culture and straggling to exist, Welsh. I made my way back to London, my brain occupied with more question than I had before. I find myself staying longer into the city which I think the main purpose is maintain system which has root from here.
43 Days to exit Schengen Region…
The main surprise this time for visa was to learn than I can not apply for Schengen visa since I am not a resident of UK. It seems like even the one who insure my first Schengen visa wasn’t aware because they provide me wrong information and on top give single entry visa. The matter become complex with countless trips to the city, phone calls, emails, fax long days of arguing and set waiting for my fate to be decided. Final my case was consider, calculate the days which I spent in Schengen region. Out of 90 I still have 43, I am given back 43 with full payment but not new visa. Anyways I am grateful for German Embassy, London for assisting me because for two weeks I didn’t know what to expect. Now I have to bike rather fast to get to Morocco.