NOTE: This blog should have been posted two days ago, but oh, the internet! Hopefully I’ll post my Day Six blog tonight, and get my Tour wrap-up blog done before the weekend is finished! Thanks!
Distance Travelled: 109.9 km
Saddle Time: 5 hours, 36 minutes
Total Ascent: 1,638 m
Calories Burned: 3,754
Average Speed: 19.3 km/h
As I sit down to right this, I just can’t believe we’re almost done! Tomorrow is our last ride, as regionalized violence here in northwestern Burundi has cut Cibitoke out of our route, so tomorrow we’re heading to Bujumbura, but not without a detour to the Rwandan border first!
It should be a 150 km ride, which would make our count 652 km in 6 days. Not bad, eh?
It has been a blast sharing these precious last few days I have in Burundi with these men, laughing together, sharing stories and just enjoying pleasant company. It’s crazy to think that in less than a week’s time, I’ll be taking some of these roads again, on my way out of Burundi on my journey to Uganda.
I’ve so appreciated this final chance to spend time experiencing this country that I love so much. Whether it’s convincing a little boy named Mamert that I don’t want to eat him and he can come closer, or summiting a climb and looking out at a gorgeous view, or even barreling through a massive rain storm, there’s just so much to love!
I want to thank my wife Nadine, who has been diligently working and spending time with our staff during this month of transition. Not only while I’ve been in Bujumbura getting started with LifeNet, but particularly over this last week as I’ve been off on this adventure. A certain aspect of the ride does include spending time with significant donors and supporters of BYFC projects, and that’s important, but let’s call it what it is; an adventure. My wife is incredible, and she never batted an eye when I talked about doing this for a third time, she simply helped me figure out how to make it work. She is awesome!
I also love that this is an opportunity to gather support from you all as well. I want to thank you all for your participation in this with me, as you’ve sent encouraging messages, read these blogs, and looked at pictures, and donated financially. It means a lot to us that we can not only leave the health center with a strong team, strong leadership and capable hands, but also with the finances necessary to accomplish their goals in 2015.
This year, the health center will expand its laboratory and purchase a hematology machine!
Proceeds from last year’s tour helped secure shipping for a solar-powered medical fridge, and state-of-the-art solar equipment that will allow for 24-7 electricity at the center, opening the door for overnight hospitalization.
Also on that container are several vital bits of medical equipment, supplies, you name it! The container should be arriving to Bujumbura soon! I’m gutted that we’ll be missing its arrival, but Food for the Hungry Burundi/Canada have been incredible in helping to sort out all of the details.
Installation costs for the new solar equipment will also be covered by this year’s bike tour funds. Once the project is completed, Shammah will be fully self-sufficient!
Also coming this year, our malnutrition project will continue to develop and grow under the watch and guidance of BYFC and Shammah. Funds will be used for land development, purchasing of seeds, plants, and tree cuttings, as well as helping to sponsor the first families who will be able to take part in 2015.
God is doing great things, and you can be a part of it by supporting this year’s bike tour! All you have to do is click on the donate button through our website to make a difference in the work being done here at the health center.
As this comes to an end, I just wanted to say how grateful I am for this opportunity and privilege to represent the work that so many are doing here to the glory of God, and a genuine mission to see this country transformed. It’s not just Nadine and I, but in reality we are a very insignificant part of what is being done here to change lives in very real ways.
I’m going to enjoy throwing my riding gear on tomorrow morning, getting my bike prepped, and attempting to shovel some pancakes down my throat, all because they are very much some of the “lasts” that will occur over these next few days. Even the pain of grinding up some of these ridiculous hills, I’ll be thankful for!
God bless you as you go about your day, and I pray you can find something to be thankful for as well.
Can’t wait to write about our final day here on the tour tomorrow. It should be a blast!
Thanks for reading,