Team is Team

Rachel wrote today’s post about our travel to Rubavu:

It’s hard to believe it is already day five of our trip. The days have flown by, packed full of adventure and life giving joys.

Today we took the five and a half hour bus ride to Rubavu and Kivu Tents. Along the way we stopped at the Team African Rising Cycling Centre – “Team is Team;” home of Rwanda’s finest cycling team well known from their movie “Rising from The Ashes.”

Rwanda’s cycling team has about twelve members, and they are now starting a women’s team too! We enjoyed presenting Blaze, the team’s tour guide, with a Wellspring jersey and a Lake2Lake jersey. It was cool to see that connection of riding and representing Rwanda as we shared some time and smiles together. We toured their campus, enjoying seeing where the team eats, stretches, bikes, and where they store jerseys and helmets. We laughed together as we took turns trying to lift the heavy weights used by the team, with some…. mild… drama from our exuberant team members.

After our tour we got back on our way, watching Rwanda’s own U-Haul cyclists, carrying tables, chairs and who knows what on the back of their bike, as they sped past our bus and down around curvy hillsides, seemingly blind to the oncoming traffic. Thankfully, none got hit… though we did see a huge truck overturned on a ditch lying with it’s cab crushed in. Hopefully the driver managed to get out unharmed.

For lunch we stopped with Jeff Komant, our Wellspring friend Emmanuel, and our bus driver Placide at a hotel diner along our route. The food, traditional Rwandese, tasted amazing and I think we ate until both our stomachs and our hearts were full.

Our team this year has been phenomenal with mild drama and minor incidents. I appreciate the companionship and the joy we share together wherever we are.

When we drove through the outskirts of Musanze the air got colder as we gained altitude and started approaching the volcanoes on the Congo border. Waving to passing people on the road brought such joy as they smiled and waved back, happiness evident even though their life in an economically disadvantaged village is less than ideal.

Our team shared moments of fascination as we watched children running along the road with their goats or pigs, while adults gently herded their cows and sheep along our hilly route. One truck passed us with about ten cows stuffed in the back of it, teetering dangerously back and forth as we turned the corners.

What seemed almost an eternity later we spotted Lake Kivu, glistening in the mist of hidden beauty. Our bus weaved back and forth again through the hills a while longer beside the lake until we turned off onto a dirt road that led upwards onto a hill.

We drove on the bumpy road for about ten minutes before turning onto a steep incline, our tires spinning ineffectively in the gravel. On the third try we reached the top of the hill, breathless with anticipation and apprehension at what would have happened had our bus’s tires gave out and we slid backwards over a steep decline.

The view from the top was astounding, Kivu stretched before us disappearing like an ocean into the midst of the fog that penetrates the outskirts of this region. Flowers decorated the grassy slope all around us as we checked into the lovely Kivu Tents, tent like structures that overlook Kivu and provide an astounding view of the Rubavu district around the edges of the lake.

I cannot predict what will happen in the near and far future to our team, but I do know that all of us are currently enjoying a drink, listening to jazz Italian music in a banana leaf decorated cabana overlooking the glistening lake and the beautiful creation of God.

Murabeho anjye inshuti, Goodbye my friend.