There are events happening every day, things which I face in my 42 prior years I never had to really work through. I have said many times, life in the US is like a small wavy line going across the screen, some ups, some downs, and with the exception of a major tragedy or death to a family or close friend, relatively pretty smooth. Life in Rwanda, working with the cyclists and their families, with governments in not only Rwanda but also Ethiopia and Eritrea is akin to a heart beat, a quick spike up, then down, a bounce and repeat sometimes these ups and downs coming more rapidly, depending on the heart rate.
If I let my emotions (besides the anger emotion) bubble to the surface every day I would without a doubt have a good cry daily. I call them my “All Righty Then” moments. When I say “All Righty Then”, it is something that grabs my heart and soul from body, rips it out and drop kicks it across the floor.
Eric, 15, junior rider for Team Rwanda, 3 years of school, father dead, mother raising him and 3 siblings by another father who left, living in a mud hut, dirt floor, no bed, no money for clean water or bananas to train, handing his mother $40 to feed her family better so Eric can race better and she saying God Bless You…..All Righty Then.
Rocky losing his eye, his daughter almost losing her leg, his brother dying last month…All Righty Then.
Here’s the deal. If I let the tears come they don’t stop.
When I got on the plane in April to head to South Africa,after minutes prior to boarding and learning about Bona’s blood clot in hisbrain I started to cry. For 4 hours Icried. Luckily the lights were out and I was in a window seat so I curled up by the window and softly sobbed for the entire flight. I thought about Bona every second, how fragile my strong, funny, talented rider looked in that bed, how he couldn’t even squeeze my hand as I held his.
It was a big big cry as Jonathan says. The kind of cry when you wake up in the morning and your eyes are three times their normal size and stuck together with gunky eye cry snot.
I have only cried like that two other times since being here, one when my divorce was final, divorce will ALWAYS suck, even if amicable. The other when I was in Kenya living alone, almost being arrested and missing the team.
Last week Bona went to the US. As the photos have been coming through from Mr. AM in the emails showing Bona riding along Carmel beach, riding in Wyoming at the ranch and petting horses for the first time I get so emotional. He almost died….we almost lost him. I treasure every second of Bona’s life…every second he is here with us.
Today Bona is with me at the Little Savery Museum in Savery, Wyoming. He's learning about the history of Wyoming and I'm pounding out emails and writing blogs because this is the only place I can get internet...9 miles down a dirt road from the ranch.
Bona spent the morning training and then driving the Polaris around the ranch. He loves to drive!
This past weekend in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Bona raced like a cyclist who had been training all year round and not laying in the hospital 5 months ago. Every minute I spend with Bona I am happy. He makes everything good in my world. I love sharing my world with him...so far from Rwanda. We are the lucky ones.
Thanks Bo Bickerstaff for capturing these moments for us this weekend.