Earlier this week I enjoyed my favorite morning run in Africa ever.
The first and last 1 1/2 miles of nearly every one of my runs is spent getting out of town — yeah, it’s a small town. But from that point on, I can run on trails through our national forest and see only a handful of people, carrying firewood on their bicycles. [Yes, they cut down trees in the national forest for firewood. And, yes, that’s illegal but done every day, all the same.] So any run over 3 miles rewards me with both a relaxing run and a great quiet time for praying.
But on this particular day of running, it began to rain. Just a sprinkle at first… but it steadily grew into a strong and cold rain. And I loved it. For two reasons:
- This was the coolest run I’ve experienced in Africa to date. [And a welcome change from running in Dar es Salaam– where I regularly left a trail of sweat and melted shoe rubber in my wake.]
- The roads and trails were empty. Completely. Even in that first and last mile and a half. You see, Tanzanians don’t much care for the rain. When storm clouds move in, people scramble for shelter. And the people of Geita are no different.
I recently learned a new adage of sorts:
Watanzania hawaogopi magari; hawaogopi UKIMWI.
Translated, it means:
Tanzanians aren’t afraid of cars; they aren’t afraid of AIDS.
They are afraid of rain.
Fear is funny like that, isn’t it? It’s not always so logical.
Me, I’m afraid of baby dolls and monkeys. BUT, I was attacked by the latter — so I have every right. [Though my wife did sort of feed the same monkeys (or some nearby ones) the next year, giving her (she believes) every right to tell others about how “horribly dangerous” these monkeys were that calmly ate bananas out of her hand, while they smiled and said “thank you” in three languages. I’m only telling you this because, although my wife NEVER posts on my blog, she surely would have in this one instance. So I’m cutting her off at the turn. Husbands, you’ve got to do that with your wives…]
The baby dolls — well, I’ll admit… that fear is completely irrational. [If you don’t count the whole Chucky series, that is. Or the creepy old woman baby doll in the restroom at Miller’s Grocery in Christiana, Tennessee.]
Of what are you afraid and shouldn’t be? Or of what are you not afraid, yet should be?
OR what was your favorite run this year?