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James D. Brown of Kingston reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
James D. Brown of Kingston reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and loving every moment of this extraordinary and unique trip. First of all I must say again how overwhelmed I am with the sweetness and generousity of the people I see and meet.
I find myself feeling like I cannot go slow enough to take it all in and absorb this experience into the fibre of my soul. The difficulties of riding these very rough roads that at times are little more than well used trails that test our cycling skills mightily; are matched only by the rewarding vistas and villages we encounter.
This was a grand dream and well conceived and I am thankful toHenry and Michael for having the initiative to attempt it. I am over 4000 km from Alexandria beginnings and cannot get enough.
The early morning rides out and through some of the villages have been magic. The streams of people coming into market wiith cattle, donkeys and walking are amazing to witness. This is the daily pulse of life that we would be hard pressed to see anywhere else.
I have found myself ridng along savouring the moments with tears of joy and gratitude as I feel so priveledged to be alive and feel so alive! The gracious greetings with a quick hand jester and a baring and slight bow of the head speak of a culture of respect and caring in a land that can be very harsh. The children move me as I feel how hungry they are for acknowledegement with a smile, a wave, kind words or a touch of the hand as we ride past.
The ride has many physical challenges and everyone has met them. We all have our stories of trials met and conquered and of course embellishments are part of the lore much like the fish that got away. Truth is that anyone of reasonable health and a desire to do this, will find it within their capacity. Certainly the ride has some of the toughest elements most anyone will meet; however one need not build Rome in a day. Pacing is the key word for those of us who are touring and care not about time other than the shortage of it as we open ourselves to Africa and its people. Indeed I find my penchant of tea stops as a few have come to call them, leave me abit short to reach camp by days end.
Signing off till next as I discover a world that our press seldom covers.
James D. Brown
PS: Hello to my family and friends. I name a few only to leave others for later. St. Lawrence College boards, faculty and students of Kingston. Belleville, Cornwall. President Volker Thompson please convey my best. Frank Lockington as well at the Foundation. My Wednesday (church group) regulars Rob,Scott, Tom, Mac, Rod and of course brothers Paul and Phillip. To my sweet children Sommar and Drury and of course Meghan. My most excellent Browns Food Services staff and pals.
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