Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 5 of 30 -- A Picture of Somewhere You've Been

There is not one picture I can choose that would do the year proper of all the places I have been.  When I was looking through all my photos what I realized was I had been to some of the most beautiful places on earth, ridden my bike in places I had only dreamed of and at the same time walked through the worst of the worst, places of complete despair with streams of raw sewage, places only in your nightmares.

When I visit places that leave me at the brink of tears because of their vast poverty I cannot help but wonder what went wrong in the world.

Places like Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo...

...10 years removed from a major volcanic eruption that swept away half of the city, still in the midst of conflict and a country that is de-developing.
Goma, a border town where one of the sisters of a Team Rwanda rider goes to school in hopes of being a doctor some day...this is her school...
How many doctors have come from schools such as this?

I have also traveled to places simply breathtaking.  Where everything seems so perfect...Italy
Dinner overlooking Lake Como....light years from the school in Goma
Could there be a more beautiful place to ride a bike?
I traveled through northern Italy into Switzerland where I visited the UCI Training Center.  Hopefully this summer this will be Gasore's new home for a few months.  
A trip back to the US to ride Highway 1 in Northern California on my new custom built road bike...
And then Kibera...Kibera the largest slum in sub Saharan Africa inside the city of Nairobi.  

You can't even begin to imagine the contrast.  One thing I know after walking through the streets of Kibera and Goma I have such appreciation for beauty, such appreciation for a ride through the streets around Lake Como in Italy.  When you experience the worst places on earth you cannot help but be incredibly thankful and feel completely blessed to have the life you do.  I just need to help the people in Goma and Kibera see the beauty in the world and know that they too may someday see places like Switzerland.  Just like Gasore.

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