The Road Less Traveled, for a good reason

We were on the road to Numbi.  The same road that, only the night before, beat our Land Cruiser into submission.  And the same road considered, by many, to be the most dangerous in Congo.  Which is saying a lot, because pretty much all Congo roads are dangerous.  But we traded in our truck for bikes and decided to have another go at it.

We found ourselves on a thin ribbon of mud, clinging to the side of the mountains.  And there was little room for error, as one side was almost always a drop off.  To make maters more interesting, this was rebel territory.  And white men on bikes, in a place where you never see white men on bikes, tends to draw suspicion.  So we decided to move fast with limited rest breaks.

Girls on the Lagoon

Puerto Lempira, Honduras

I rented a room in Puerto Lempira, on the edge of the Caratascar lagoon in far Eastern Honduras.  I spent the day wandering around town, having drinks, and doing some writing.

While sitting in a cafe, I noticed a group of young girls playing in the water.  Like kids the world over, they didn’t seem bothered by the what-ifs, wants, or regrets that seem burden adults.  And they certainly didn’t care that the town has been embroiled in a, decades old, drug war.

Instead, the girls were living for the moment.  A skill many adults have lost along the way.  It’s refreshing really, and it’s a lesson I try to remember when life’s “realities” start creeping in.

Midnight on the road to Numbi

View of Mt. Nyiragongo on the road to Numbi, Photo: Michael McCabe

We were riding motorcycles through the night in an effort to reach Numbi.  It was after midnight, and the treacherous ride had taken its toll on our bodies and motorcycles.

Exhausted, we took a break on a mountain pass.   The night was dead quiet, and clear enough to see that no animals or rebels would ambush us. We did not, however, expect this amazing view.  The distant volcano, Mt. Nyiragongo, was framed perfectly with Lake Kivu and a couple small towns.

Location:  Sud Kivu, Congo (DRC)

Baby in a Brothel

DRC 2011-06-27 mm 0007

I was in a brothel in Eastern Congo.  One of the prostitutes came to me and asked if I wanted to hold her daughter.  I spent a few minutes with this beautiful girl, the daughter of some random man.   She sat there looking at me, full of joy and wonder.  Like all babies, she knew nothing of the circumstances of her life, or what life could be or should be.

It reminds me of the harsh realities of life.  We all live together in this world but life does not pay us all the same blessings.

Morning Coffee

I was watching the steam coming from my coffee, and it made me think about something interesting. This light escaped the fiery surface of the sun, traveled 90 million miles in 8 minutes, then perfectly slipped through my window just to play with the steam from my coffee.

Just a simple cup of coffee? No, more like a moment of perfect timing, I think today will be a good day.