Wednesday, August 22, 2007

BICYCLE MOBILITY IN RWANDA

Recently, a family from our church moved to Rwanda for a year of medical missionary service. I asked them about the way bicycles are used in that part of the world. They sent me this photo and shared the following:

"This is a photo of a bike we saw at Kumbya. It belongs to the zamu (pronounced "zah-moo"), which means watchman or caretaker. I think you'd look pretty dandy riding this around Indy! It might slow you down some! We'll be on the look-out for other bike photo-ops."

"Bikes play an important role in the economy of Rwanda. Similar to India [where I spent January 2007 on a bike] almost anything can be transported on a bike. They are also the cheapest form of public transportation. The "drivers" wear green vests and stand up to pedal while the passenger sits on the seat. Sound like fun?"

"The next step up in public transportation is small motorcycles. They are big enough for 2 people to sit on and most people we've seen on them are wearing helmets. I thought that looked like a fun adventure to try until I thought of how many heads that helmet had been on!"

"For a bit more money, you can ride in a usually very crowded van, and for longer trips from town to town there are bigger buses. I guess I don't know the prices for all of these, but I'll have to find out."

Thanks, Dave and Kathy!

You can go to my Bicycle India 2007 blog to see lots of photos of the various ways bikes are used for basic mobility in India.

Anyone living beyond America who cares to tell me a bit about the way bicycles are used in your neck of the woods? Send a bike photo and 'splain it to me, Lucy.

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