Tag Archives: chile to kili

Asante Tigo Tanzania

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As I was writing the Chile to Kili project with great assistance from Jessica Mc Manus she was skeptic about my ambitious dream. I remained confident that everyone will be accepting of what I am talking about because it is obvious; We are the ones who are destroying our environment so it is our obligation to reconstruct and conserve our home land. On the other hand there is great need for education, with me as an example. I think we as human’s who share the world as a home we can assist each other to reach a certain level of quality and mutuality.
Due to different circumstances we emerged from history, in this case some fall short of motivation and inspiration. Along the way we end up losing certain qualities; Self-worth, Courage, etc.
I learned about these things mostly during my personal journey, in life; personal realization and confronting daily obstacles and challenges. I found out I wasn’t alone. Alas I am not alone! There are millions like me.
So this was the case, a case worthy not to think twice of, to cycle the world, confronting the unknown; mountains and its unconquered characters. Lush green forests with it rivers and untold life threatening parasites. Deserts with its immense stomach ready to swallow all those souls who venture to test her impassion.
Most thought that I was insane, and I was unable to argue with them. My bicycle and I were ready to start what I called a project. With my ticket to South America and a little stripe of money to start the journey that was made possible form $1 donations, soon I was joined by friends who had the spirit for adventure.
My enthusiasm fluctuated when I failed to convince people, companies, and institution’s to contribute to my cause. I’m glad that my spirit remained intact; I was motivated enough with those few and the skeptics who supported my idea and me. This fired another personal quest; what is wrong with humans? Is it so hard to work collectively to find solutions to distance problems? What if there were mass deaths? Due to hunger combined with malaria and AIDS and children mortality.
At one point I was told that my cause is like an elephant, it is too bulky to eat. So we need time, right?
In short, to raise $ 100,000 remains a solemnly challenge. I remember half way through this journey when things turned more darker; I was left alone and advised to abandon the mission. Little resistance brought new supporters with fresh energy.
Today, I’m energized with the news that Tigo Tanzania, a Telecommunication company donated $10,000 to the Chile to Kili project. Over the 2 years of this project the biggest donation had been $1 000. For a company operating in a developing country like Tanzania where there are so many urgent needs like education, environment conservation, and inspiration for the young people. I imagine it was a difficult choice they had to make. For me this is clear sign that, it is not only possible to raise the remaining $80,000 but is possible to achieve the required level of education, and solve the environmental challenges we have while improving the life of people who live within and keep on developing sustainably.
I would like to thank and appreciate the company management and Tigo Tanzania. Your support on this social cause will help the initiative to reach its intended goal but also set an example. I hope this will be a message to other companies. I would also like to thank the individuals who put their personal efforts and resources to make this donation possible. A Special thanks to Annabel Ross, you have been the change!

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Your Donation and Support

20140120-213938.jpgAs we celebrate the life, achievements, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It remind us we still have to raised awareness of conservation of our environment and need for sustainable development. This could be achieved by investing on education hence better knowledge, quality life, technologies, polices, etc. You support to our initiative will lead to better future that could be built from positive change.

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Freetown to Monrovia

History is history but I think it can answer some questions and can also determine one’s direction. Sierra Lone and Liberia finish 20th and start 21st century with down side of human; war and brutality. But also emerge with new optimism and hope most notable; First elected female president in Africa. Ellen Johnson Sieleaf.

20140119-170104.jpgAs I cycle to Freetown I was curious to see the remnants of decade long civil war, many have fade away with time and the city is booming. Traffic congestion and over crowded small part of peninsula, lack of roads, running water, electricity, etc. Partly explain that while others were moving forward someone here was moving backward. This will be more vivid in Liberia, electric polls, roads and others showed that once there were infrastructures here.

20140119-170215.jpgOne of the account which bring the stories of what other called ”Senseless War” and it madness close to our imagination is from a former child soldier; Ishmael Beah ‘a long way gone’. In this memoir book Ishmael tell the story from the time when his was just a boy in the village of Mattru Jong (which I had chance to pass through), the time things where normal to the time when he will lose his family and forced to become frontline soldier while he was still 13 years old.

Stories still exist in the rural areas I cycle through, I chart with formal child soldiers who are now in the late 20s, old folks, etc. The most effected were venerable rural areas and poor, the victims were uniformed youth, children and woman. War took long time and the madness reach the peak because partly was fueled with drugs, it was hard to tell from soldiers and rebels as most turned into groups of looters and reapers.

Sierra Leone is beautiful country of many rivers, white sand beach, mountains and forest. This natural beauty added with indomitable spirit of it people. Majority of Sierra Leones are kind, friendly and welcoming just like they have never see or experience other side of human character.

It one of the former British colon which I find to preserve well the link. The name of places are like; Water Loo, Kent, York, Liecester, New England, etc.

20140119-170426.jpgThe answers are often ‘Yes Sir’, ‘No Sir’. And most asked question; What is you mission in Sierra Leone Sir?

I was fascinated with their Krio language; broken English with drop of French words and African languages. ‘How de bodi ?, De bodi is fine…!’ that is the greeting goes.

20140119-170308.jpgThank to my host friend and family, Paul Lamin for trying to teach me without much success.

Most of the things are in the bottom rug of moving up, many young people are in the streets with luck of education and essential skills they still have hard time to make their way into economy with limit opportunities.
I was luck to present to young professionals of Environmental Protection Agency, their questions demonstrate the commitment and enthusiasm. One of the thing I will remember this agency is a treatment of proper meal. I can’t think of other country with such simple food which could also be descried as luck of food and passion to prepare it. Most of the meals are boiled rice, cassava sometime mixed with sweet potatoes and plantain. This is saved with ponded cassava leaves or potatoes leaves with piece of fish, plenty of palm oil and hot paper.

….in the jungle…
Out of Freetown I team up with Matias, Danish dude bound to South Africa. After 50km along the coast we were to see if we could hitch the boat to the other side across the bay or make couple of hundred kilometer detour to the town of Bo then down to Liberia.

20140119-165843.jpgWe arrived at the conspicuous port due to the crowd of people and shakers settlements around. Before we though twice about the ideal we shuffled into open wood boat, I was bit hesitant but Mat’s bike was already on board. All the pushing and jostling was like the boat will leave next minutes. Before I remove my shoes so I could walk the depth of almost chest size to reach the boat, a muscles dude offer to lift me up on his shoulder. I though it was kind of joke but the man was serious, of course it is not a free service. It fun looking at him lifting up huge mama.

Arrived at the boat I was shocked with the number of people and cargo. This shock remain with me for the entire 2 hours and half trip which seem to be like two year of my journey. It took about 3 hours of shouting, jostling and engineering to switch on the small yamaha engine. We venture into immense ocean, I didn’t had courage to watch and enjoy the white sand beaches decorated with tall palms and green mountains on the back ground with dotes of colorful villagers. Roughly there were more than 60 people with cargo on the boat, the wooden fleet was so deep one could touch the water. I sat down barry on my book avoiding to look around the blue ocean scared that I might spot the wave like those I have seen in the other coast which could easily cover all of us.

The boat could only make it to 15km/h, it greet luck that the ocean was calm that day. I was so reveled when I saw land but my jubilation was when I set a feet on it and regain my sense of confident.

Chiefs…
At Shenge village we were taken to paramount chief, we were instructed to sit on thatch shelter join with other old mans. I was surprised when old lady emerge from the house we were asked to stand up. For the first time I met female chief. She didn’t bother us much, guess she didn’t had much energy. She offer us banana and instruct that we shown place to camp. If were not lot of formality and old man hang around I wished to have more personal chart with ”her majesty” How did you become a chief? How is to be a chief in this culture where woman not only can not enjoy the same privilege but still has long way to change their mentality to realize the equality.

This will be the same formality for every village in Sierra Leone as foreigner we had to report to chief especial when wanted to spend night in the village. Sierra Leone still maintain chiefdom, it said that chiefs are elected but it can be for life time as it mix of tradition and modern democracy. Most of the chiefs they were very nice to use. I find it interest to talk with them, all of those I met got good education, some have lived in America, some saved a good position in the government and now a chief position seem to be retirement. It seem that there is big gap between their people who are majority illiterate living in the isolated villages in the forest, ocean or river side. Most didn’t suffer with these villagers especial in the time of war. The swagger, respect and fair to these leaders I think it can hinder democracy.

20140119-170954.jpgThe road to Liberian border was quite challenge, there are plenty of roads as there isolated small villages. Most of them are like footpath with so many rivers and creeks. Moto cycle is only fast link. The think forest is rolling terrain. It hot and humid which suck water from the body.

20140119-170702.jpgIn the diamond mining area road get better but huge mining trucks constantly steer dust which cause temporary blindness.

In this road I develop worst saddle sour ever for last 2 years, when the blisters bust contracted with sweat I couldn’t seat neither walk. It was quite painful to try to pedal because there were few options.

Tommy George…

20140119-170859.jpgAt one evening in the village of Maselelo contemplating of place to sleep, Mat was feeling the bottles while I was waiting in the edge of the village. I engaged in the conversation with a young boy was standing there watch the river, I asked him about direction and distance. He spoke very clear with good English which is not common in these remote villages. I went on to ask him where he study. I come to find out that the boy who sound quite intelligent was in secondary school but following the death of his father last year he was now out of school unable to finish two years to high school. He is living with his grand mother. Knowing the harshness of this place, I felt the weight of this boy life. What are hopes and chances for this young man in this remote village ? Look around his grand mother thatch house and small field of cassava and ground nuts. The distance from the last village and the distance to next village with rivers to cross, she can not make much profit if luckily she can sell some harvest.

Tommy, 13 years old. His annual school fees is 200, 000 (leones) US $ 46, this is lot of money for people who are leaving under $1 per day. I decide that I will give the boy my food money.Thanks to Mat who decide to share and contribute for 100,000 (leones). This make use run out of cash in the last villages but glad to see the Tommy back to school. Hope I will hear back from him sometime or my friends of in Freetown can help out.

Liberia….

20140119-171221.jpgEven though I was too tired and with additional pain of saddle sour, I find it surprising and fascinating as we arrive at Liberia boarder. It was like arriving int the lost state of America not only because of flag but the immigration police uniform, military and most notable; the language. Till right now I have had time to understand Liberia English, it is half way american accent spiced with jamaican slang.

Who said this country never colonialized? It was America colon with Ameico-Liberia through American Colonization Society from 1820. Indigenous become citizen 1904, possibly that what make it second oldest modern African state after Ethiopia.

A day cycling from the border (137km) through new villages and few war ruins, tarmac road brought us to Monrovia. Arriving in Monrovia a small city/town but dense populated, It was like entering into Hollywood live scene. Broken buildings, houses with tall walls and barber wire on top, military barracks, slum duelers, lot of UN vehicle racing around, etc. All this at small space.

We were luck to find home in the middle of what is said to be among of expensive African cities, they say this is due to lot of aid workers, huge number of UN staffs, mining companies, etc. Thank you so much Kate and Ivan for the help and share your diversity experience from the farms in South Africa to all the way up here.

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Mauritania

The last days in Western Sahara soon after Dakhla started to become tense. The heat increased the the wind slow down, the desert grew lonely and calm but I felt manifestation of its extreme energy.

20131112-153016.jpgBut nature creat balance event not only to the universe but even with oneself. Hundred kilometers before the frontier with Mauritania it is rocky and dunes over huge expanse of land, it is breathtaking vistas.

The small border village is dust and polluted with garbage. I sort camp in the nearby but due to extensive military activities I was fetched out with man on the robes great military swagger. On my effort try to get information why I shouldn’t camp the situation was intervened with young policeman who present great proffesinalism with more civil tone. He told me that it is too dangerous to camp because of snakes and scorpions. I was taken to only hotel if ever fit in the description, I choose my tent over the room. Camped at concert compound full lighted, roaring of big diesel generator with movement of late sleepers , even after a day of 150km I manage to fall a sleep after midnight and awoken early with new day activities

Next day the young policeman show up to ask how did I sleep, he was so friendly and naive avoiding to ruin his big smile I told him all was good. He said it is very nice place and safe that why he brought me there. He helped me with what seemed to be endless exiting procedures.

About 5km of what supposed to be ‘No man’s land’ now inhabited with people who are deported from Morocco after being caught in their attempt to cross ocean to Europe. Here they run work of dismantling stollen vehicle which litter the desert. Mauritania border post emerge with it two it green flags doted with young moon and start. It also militaristic though here are more lose rather hang out than being on duty but still like to bull people.

Straggled with head wind I reached Nouadhibour, a peninsula city. Cycle down along the long peninsula with it beach was quite nice. Arriving on the city it was less pleasant. It is crowded place with garbage pollution, smoke and dust from old vehicles. As other cities of Mauritania, it is very democratic, every body use the road as he is pleased though donkey riders receive bit more priority; Poor donkeys pulling the loaded cart with riders on top sometimes engaging to deep cell phone conversation, drive against the traffic, just among others more privilege.

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The uniqueness of this country is not only the ‘unquestioned democracy’,

20131112-153457.jpgCycle farther south Sahara loose it sharpness as well as it harshness. Now there are little grasses persisting but they remain as dots because long and hundred of sand dunes decorate the landscape. Herds of camels wonder up and down the dunes to find grasses while watched with the man on oversized robe and turban.

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I had a chance to visit Banc de Arguing National Park, with guiding from Antonia a man who have worked here for 15 years. I learn a greet deal of conservation efforts and challengers. The park has minimum human activities such as fishing with only sail boats and animals keeping, the system which have been there since the creation of the park. The old estuaries and the evidence that there were many rivers run down into atlantic thousands years ago, still exist. Now bust quite a number of birds population. From Pelicans, Flamingos, Herons, to small Sand Paper. Also there are archeological sites showing the remain of shells pilled by fishers 2000 years ago, this explain the movement of people and distribution of activities in the adaptation of desertification and climate change.

It is fascinating to watch the fishing boat elegantly cut through the wave with masculine black shining skin men again the crystal clear ocean. The golden dunes are separated with Atlantic Ocean with white sand beach, here clearly Sahara meet the Atlantic this offer magnificent view especial in the morning and evening of sun rise and down. The night sky is so clear and in this altitude the young moon lined up with venus offer the same image which is in the Mauritania flag.

Thanks to Azeddine Ould Daddah for great help, Hotel Halima for the luxury and comfortable room (http://www.hotel-halima.com/). Antonio Araujo and many more other for the invaluable help and support.

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Meanwhile waiting for Senegal visa.

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El Maghreb

Second year anniversary of Chile to Kili project…
It was a beautiful day as sun break through the dark accompanied with muzihin calling for morning prayer, it is first october 2013 my twenty seventh birthday and second for Chile to Kili since the launch of the project.

Listening to birds call in this calm corner of Rabat, in this morning my brain was occupied so much to process, so much to reflect on this day as I looked around; What I have, behind… Where I am coming from. And in front… Where I am going. Well, what a moment! I wondered back into childhood all the way to current state and position, couldn’t transcend what seem like great fortune to live.

Last physical position of earth like this, last october I was cycling in the California, USA. Opposite position from where I am today. Separated with immense Atlantic Ocean. Honestly, I was full of fear and feelings of uncertainty. The commitment I took on has worn me down, not only by pedaling what seemed like endless kilometers, but also seeing and confronting the wide world of controversial subjects such as conservation of natural environment, poverty, access to eduction and sustainable development. As if that wasn’t enough burden, the effort to gather scholarship funds hasn’t yet produced the expected results… Far from that! In the middle of all this, I need to keep a positive mind, which will be the main driving force: I need/want to continue. Thanks to the experience I bestowed from my childhood till these very days.

Thanks again to Philippe and Yves for insisting and offer a little but worth celebration for this day. And loads of appreciation as well for all the friends who spent their valuable time to send me happy and best wisher.

El Maghreb…

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Morocco, the most western frontier of human movement from Sahara desert and Arabia. Its general environment and ecology describe so many things, for me it is another living laboratory or open book. As I cycled off from Tangier to Rabat, my high feelings of excitement will slowly come down to be replaced with the reality which characterizes continental Africa. The two extreme poles, the high optimism and frustration of poverty or low quality of life. As I cycled in this oppressive heat under a blue sky along crystal blue ocean which offered cool breeze, I though about this place.

20131009-212902.jpgThis place, if not the whole part of Morocco, has been frontier of prominent human civilizations, has been subjected to a number of them and eventually merged all those influences in what Morocco is today. Today progress is hanging on the air, with not only a booming economy mainly demonstrated by spectacular infrastructures but also by considerable social reforms and progress.

The level of liberty is higher than I expected, considering the country being islamic and having Qur’an as a guidance for the majority. Often the merchants will tell me ‘This is muslim’s prices’. It seems that important laws here are neither written or spoken. Who would expect there would be gay friendly bars in downtown Rabat or prostitution in Casablanca? Being so close to Europe, urban areas here have not much differences, people are less and less conservative, especially in the young generation. Though from time to time, I still come across religion fanatics and learn how deeply this kind of brainwashing affects people. Once they learn I am African, they fancy it and claim brotherhood according to islamic while enquire how Qur’an is practiced in the place I come from. As a believer of good education as the way to progressive humanity, I hope every corner of the world will achieve this one day.

To Casablanca…
As I cycled to the massive city of Casablanca, I felt the traffic intensifying forty kilometer before the city center. It is traffic of all modes of mobility from bipedal to huge trucks. The most irritating and painful ones are half motorbike-half bicycles… They are hundreds of them polluting with their half burnt fuel and their noise.

I couldn’t find my enthusiasm while visiting the city landmark, a huge mosque stretching to the ocean with a long tower making it the third largest mosque in the world. I felt an equal proportion of fascination for the human art and frustration if one want to think logically: why would somebody spend such a fortune on this while there are much more pressing needs around? I hope one day we will do things according to the important needs and balance our actions.

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It wasn’t easy to sort out accommodation in this busy and bustling city. For some reasons, I will serve one which I assume to be race prejudice. Thanks to my acquaintance, Jilali, 65 years old, for his tireless efforts of keeping on walking in city to ease the situation with city informations and a spice coffee break. We knocked into eleven hotels to end up into a huge but empty one with windows next to the mosque’s huge loud speaker.

To Marrakech…
Companions have been a great support, especially those who joined for a short ride or few days. After a good time with Nelson, I was joined from Casablanca by Mariana.

20131009-213438.jpgUnfortunately, there were few kilometers to be cycled as I received invitation to present the initiative to a group of American travelers in Marrakech.

The presentation to potential donors of American travel group was short and informal, with no projector for the slides. But the environment was very conducive: the sunset on an exquisite riad’s terrace… I was absorbed with talking and forgot about the slides in the iPad. nonetheless the presentation was well received and the discussion very rich, with lots of opinions, comments and questions. The group had a wide knowledge of Africa, including Tanzania they visited a number of times. As they traveled in different countries in the continent, it was easy for them to comprehend my case, understand my cause, and… who knows… contribute to make my dream come true. A big thank you to Gary, Massimo and Le clos des arts!

Marrakech…

20131009-213336.jpgThe old and modern city seems to lay into a wide valley in the Atlas Mountains. It is a fascinating place for landscape, strong and ancient culture, architecture, art, etc. Morocco with its easy access from Europe, multiple destinations and variety of experiences to offer, makes it a very touristic destination. Marrakech is the peak of these swum of tourists. Just as merchants and travelers where attracted here in the old days due to its unique position, it remains today as a get away to the Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic Ocean.

I am now looking forward to climb the mountains and descend to Agadir, the last main town in Morocco before facing the deep desert throughout Mauritania.

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To the edge of Europe

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It have been five months since I kick off the second leg of Chile to Kili, from Trondheim, Norway and now here at Gibraltar, Spain.

It was long way to convey a mental picture, I was full of anxious and guided with uncertainty but the spirt was high; what to stop the changes we are driving? The motivation and inspiration remain intact though I am far beyond my goal of raising funds. Please if you haven’t or if you have keep on supporting my effort of raising the scholarship. From the snow to the desert, one pedal after another, KIlimanjaro is closer.

It because of your help; your giving, your openness, your actions beyond the inconvenience.

Thank you to all of you, you have my deep appreciations.

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France-Spain-Lisbon

South West France
I use bicycle as a means of transport the fact that is 120% it clan transport add more value. Few years ago in the Tour d’Afrique I was so supprsed to see the dude who was hit by track and his elbow bone out of the skin, insisting to mark the ground where the accident took place so he can come back and resume from there, exactly point. It hard to understand this, is this madness or insanity?, moral, principle or discipline?

As I’m forced to save the few days remain on my Schengen visa, I had to hop on the train from Paris to Bordeaux. Though the situation is clear enough but still I felt unsatisfied with my own decision. I can now start to understand that dude who want the ground to be marked though I’m not certain if is moral or principal.

And so Paris fall back rather quick, the tourist and expensive city. Pulling people with it architecture, food, wines and many other things which fascinate people. I was luck to be hosted with Angelica and Eric, Half Tanzania and half French family,

20130911-145617.jpgit was such great test of home away from home. Asante sana for facilitating the interviews and meeting. Two interview with 24 France Television and radio; France 24 TV
RFI

20130911-145744.jpgBordeaux, weather change dramatical it is family heat, nights and mornings are not cold as it was further north which make it hard to catch up with day momentum. In the north I manage to get out of tent around 8:30-9:00am , I peak up my cycling speed around 1pm as the sun remain I will pedal till 9pm. The first night in Bordeaux hang my hammock in the urban park I raised up with sun which was horizon at 7am. The morning was clear with fresh air, this is real energizing weather.

There is cycling path of quite long distant which wonder into pine forest and the small beach town. Though hot the ocean breeze make it ease, blue sky with crystal clear ocean made cycling here to be such exceptional after long time into crowded cities.

At certain point there was quite a long sand dune, there was lot f tourist so I decide to carry on but the dune cover huge area.

20130911-145844.jpg I lock the bike in the pine tree and hike the dune which reward the effort with stunning view of ocean and sand beaches. The coast seem to be wild but there is lots of caravan camping full of tourist. To find camp I just had to carry my panniers and bike into sand. The effort was rewarding enough as the beach give amazing view of sun down and clear night sky a rare view in Europe so far.

At Urrugne there was home with fantastic host, nice home close to the ocean and the begin of Pyrenees mountains. Touring cyclists, Jan and Ingrid tought me a lot about basik people and their county. Proud though it country without severity between France and Spain, offering other linguistic diversity in Europe with ration to Welsh, Garlic and possibly Irish. Though due to complex politics seem hard to preserve these threatened diversity.

Spain…
First day in Spain prove to be total different culture and country in Europe and later I will come to thing the Mediterenian countries are in between big distinctive regions. With casual observation seem like in mediterenia there is lot of influence from Middle East (Arabia) with evidence on culture, traditions as well as geographical. But at the same time it is Europe in general.

Social life is that of tropic, family/social tire is that one of desert life. Language is used in the fullest here, folks talk ofter loudly. People start conversation every where, this conversation can be very simple but of amazing emotion and intimacy. I think if you are not from here or spend good amount of time you may end up be a listener like me. As I ask directions, information is given with such enthusiasm but I had to pay close attention because it ease to loose track. If in Latin I experience that child amazement of being a black man on bike here it twice though everything is cut short due to the size of knowledge and understand.

In Madrid for visa application the structure of embassies is different of simplicity and unpredictable atmosphere. At Morocco consulate as welcomed with cheerful Arab man asked if I was footballer. I was instructed to search for visa room in the crowded building full of cigarette smoke. Visa man looked quite relaxed and seem like he never miss his 5 prays per day. He was kind and he maintain personal contact rather than professional one. After he consult his superior with sympathy he told me that I will need later from my government or ambassador. Thanks for Tanzania embassy in Paris for quick respond. Though when I had everything the working time was over the visa man took time to sort me out. No work behind the counter, he just type down the visa information ask me to verify and print out, Salaam alekhum!

At Mauritania embassy I couldn’t predict as there was no expression apart of filling long forms it seem like payment was what is important though it will take 5 days to process. It is most expensive visa fro 2 months, 93 Euros. Lucky after long wait it was granted.

In the waiting time I got ride to visit the peninsula country of Portugal which became impossible to cycle through. It is the country I wanted to see for long time, apart of my fascination on it history with the great contribution to awake of Western Europe the other reasons were more pressing feelings than facts.

20130911-150927.jpg As I arrive in Lisbon and through all my few nights stay the feelings were that of randevour. As it immense contribution goes, I think the county has many to offer for the insight of human social development, growth and sustainability. If previously I was blindly convinced that Portuguese succeed Spanish, I found out I was wrong. It hard for Spanish to master Portuguese tough as it is for French to master English. Though borrow a lot from Latin Portuguese also carry lot of Endo-Europia remnant which makes it hard to be masted even to their colonies such as Brazil , Angola, etc.

From Madrid it is about 600km before set foot into mother continent, Allah Akhbar! In this last stretch I am looking forward to share with a friend, Nelson Santos; trans Americans cyclist and only person I know who attempt to descend might Amazon river with self built pedaling craft. Ambitious adventure was terminated with life threat from Brazilian drug deal who will take him as self employed dealer. We support each other in the juggle of Bolivia last year;

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When books are open we find that we have wings….

“When books are open we find that we have wings….”  Ben Carson

Inspiration its one of driving powers which drives us to achieve so many things in our lives, I guess everyone at some stage has been inspired. When I share my achievements with others especially here back home,  it so happens, I find there two main audiences, the first group understands that there is inspiration, motivation, etc. behind me, while the second group thinks it’s a miracle and I just happen to them by chance. This reminds me a beautiful passage from a book by Jane Goodall “Reason for Hope”

‘Africa is locked in a time warp of mystification. Africans mystifies everything. It is the pseudo-modernism of today’s Africa: one foot in the primitive and heavily complexed past and another in Modernism, in a superfluous and destructively competitive way; with no heart in it. It is the same way, through lack of understanding; or un willingness of commit the effort to understand…’

Although I have never given too much thought too my inspiration but when I dothe list is long and varied. A list varying from folks I hear about, who I meet, what I see (Hollywood movies), etc but the one thing I remember very well, is the one I attain through complex process of peaking through an alphabet, combine letters, to make a word, sentence, process it in the brain till I can use it as I knowledge and understanding: BOOKS. |Books carry lot of mystery, this is my list which has greatly influenced and inspired me.

Chinua Achebe’s – These were literature books with fictionalized stories of Nigeria which fit into so many sub-Saharan African countries. His work such as ‘Things Fall Apart’ and ‘Man of the people’ were a stories which before I thought was shame, it was about our awkwardness, but after reading it several times I found out it a worthwhile story to tell. Already at a young age I felt proud of my heritage. I was inspired by the way the author twists reality with a little fun and humor yet remaining serious. I think there are more stories like that which need to be told which, I’m sure to read one day when I find them.

Think Big – (Ben Carson) – I grew up in the Christian family pass to all religions to reach ‘respect others beliefs, mother-nature is supreme’. Thanks to Christianities emphasis on learning more. Ben made it out from huge pool of racial discrimination in the suburbs of Detroit and single parent childhood. His work which connected with Christianity is dedicated to youths realizing their potential through ‘Power of positive thinking’ while inspire with his achievement.

Reason for Hope – (Jane Goodall) I’m motivated to see the conservation of nature made a priority in our daily life. Jane’s story is one of its kind. How she made it all the way, came up with her mission: ‘Education, Conservation and Humanitarian’. I share her optimism.

Into Africa – This book come in when it comes to the question of adventure and history. It combines obsession, desire of fame, passion, etc. of the first Europeans explorers into Africa. Their encounters of which some, are totally unimaginable. It discusses their discoveries, their impact and consequence of such practices such as slavery, the end of slavery and the slave trade, the passing of Africa to colonial rulers.

Paulo Coelho’s – Despite his books having much contradiction and face high criticism back home, Coelho still influences and stimulates many people. I come across ‘The Alchemist’ before taking off on my first long bike ride; It was a piece of work which give rebirth of dreams. It was easy to find all of his books along my travels, from backpacker’s lodges,  hotel shelves and other travelers.

                          ‘The young all have the same dream: to save the world. Some quickly forget this dream, convinced that there are more important things to do, like having a family, earning money, travelling and learning a foreign language. Others though, decide that it really is possible to make a difference in society and to shape the world we will and on future generation’ Paulo Coelho.

Lance Armstrong – Since I switched my awareness in the bike, I’ve to know this several times winner of Tour De France / cancer survivor. Read his bio and achievement, it’s enough to inspire anyone.

The list runs on and so forth, now I’ll be happy to share them here as part of my inspiration and motivation.

 

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