So life is back to normal, or at least the normal I've been used to for the past couple of years. When I was back in the US enjoying all the amenities and nice weather and just ease of life people would ask me, obviously questioning why I had so much "time off" in the summer, what I do working for the Team. One very animated and curious woman at a fundraiser in Colorado Springs this summer told me, "I'd give anything to have your life. It's so glamorous."
Now, glamor would not be a word I would use to describe working for Team Rwanda. The now 20+ chigger bites all over my body making me itch out of my skin I'm thinking is not so glamorous. The bucket bath is not my idea of hygienic much less glamorous. An Italian super model world...that's glamorous.
Let's start with reality Wednesday.
My day started at 6:30am, with four more chigger bites on my side after bathing in a shower of DEET therefore shortening my life span by a good five years. There are 13 boys and 2 girls at camp this week. They will be here until Friday. I also have one large dog and one tiny cat who are very vocal about the fact that if they don't get food in the next 10 minutes they most likely will die of starvation. Breakfast takes me about an hour to prepare after laying everything out the night before. Breakfast consists of:
1 kg of rice
2 loaves of bread
2 kg of beans
45 eggs (all cracked by hand)
15 cups of tea
Generally I can get everyone fed within an hour and the riders are great about cleaning up. That's the rule, you cook, you don't wash dishes.
I actually love the mornings with the riders and the controlled chaos of the Team Rwanda house. The boys all have such great laughs and the energy is always good.
Today, we were running behind as Max, who had been in the garage since 6:00am, had so many bikes to repair, tweek and shake his head in frustration over. For example, it took him 20 minutes to unscrew the cleats from Samuel's shoes because they were so worn down after working for over a month in them on the road between his house and the tarmac. This was after we told Samuel to not walk in his cycling shoes. These are our typical and many battles with keeping equipment running.
Finally by 9:15 we are ready to roll out. I am taking Diane and Angelique with me. Angelique is a new rider who tested very strong on the Velotron last month before Jock left. This is her first day on a "real" bicycle. The biggest challenge we are facing this morning is getting her to clip in and out of her pedals.
We head out staying with the boys for the first couple of miles. Angelique actually does incredibly well and on a morning I'm feeling like I'm 80, this 22 year old girl makes me work every mile of the ride. We did 37 miles with the first 18 having over 2,600' of climbing. She caught on quickly with the gears and thank goodness she still can't descend and I was able to still beat her home. Not for long though. She's the real deal.
After the ride I shower, wait for the boys to return and walk over for lunch. By now it's 2:30. I knock out all my emails, register the team for the Continental Championships in Eritrea, secure hotel rooms in Eritrea (try calling from Rwanda to Eritrea and explaining what you need!), make fish and rice for the dog and cat and do four loads of laundry. I manage to squeak in a 30 minute power nap and then knock out a few more emails and go to dinner. After dinner we have a meeting and I get back to the house after 9:00. I wash the remaining dishes, try to write my blog, talk to Kiki, Obed and Nathan, get all the cups ready for tea in the morning, feed the cat...AGAIN and grab the remaining three loads of laundry off the line because once again it is raining. Did I mention how much I really despise rainy season?
So, it's 10:30pm and I have to get up at 6:30am and do it all over again...this is my glamorous life.
At least we had water and electricity all day today! And I did get to ride...
Always the little things!