Tuesday, July 18
Riding Days, Monday and Tuesday: some bumps but mostly smooth-wheeling.
Yesterday, we were told, “Don’t try biking Chiweta Mt. It is too long and steep and the road surface too dangerous (bumpy doesn’t begin to describe it); just put your bikes in the truck and begin at the top. Cut me a break. Pass up a chance to bike up one of the most challenging mountains and poorly maintained roads in Malawi. So, after a beautiful, hot, leg-wearying 17kms ascent, sidelined by 10s of monkeys to boot (with one of the aforementioned monkeys stealing one of our a PB&J sandwiches off of my bike seat two feet from where we were sitting),, we skimmed the mountain ridges for the next 95kms (making 307kms of progress the first three days).
Today began with a thoughtful, prayerful, generous meet and greet at the Synod Office in Mzuzu at 9am. The attendees included Synod leadership, pastors, business owners, and nurses (we’re fundraising for hospitals in this Northern Synod of Livingstonia because the hospitals can’t afford to have many medications on hand for their patients well-being). At one point, they placed a big plastic bucket in the middle of those gathered to collect their donations. Then, we were off, biking mostly downhill for 75km back towards Lake Malawi, since we had to come inland due to the fact that, for this stretch of Lake coastline, there are only small isolated fishing villages and many streams without bridges.
My legs are considerably weakened after the first three days, but we have a day off from riding on Friday! Then, it is 6 days, with the traveling mercies and strength God will provide, until we reach the border between Malawi and Mozambique. (Did have a flat tire easily fixed by my riding mate, Hamilton.)
One other bump to mention. Had a low-impact collision with an older rider coming from the opposite direction. No damage to the bikes, but when my left thumb hit the ground, a little bone broke between the bottom of my fingernail and the knuckle. It doesn’t hurt to look at; only if it is bumped or pressured. Deb says it will heal in 6-8 weeks. Nothing to do but put a little splint of protection around it. Changing gears and going over those rippled rows of speed bumps are bothersome.
Feeling blessed and strengthened and supported. Blessings to you and your beloved and prayers for those who need our love.