A few weeks ago there was a run for the feast of St. Joseph. It was from one of our farms about 7 – 8km outside of town to one of our centers on the outskirts. There were a little over 120 people who participated and they were fairly evenly split into two groups – kids and women in the first group and adult men (plus the older teenage boys and the muzungus) in the second.
There are two remarkable things about the photo above – 1) Dieumerci telling the puppy to look at the camera for the photo which makes me laugh every time 2) while I am dressed to run, I did not. I’m not a runner. Give me a team sport (preferably volleyball or softball) any day but ask me to run 8km just for the sake of running? No thank you. Instead I helped at the finish line. I’ll explain more when we get to those photos!
But now it was time for the first group to head to their starting places – a farm about 5km outside of town. This was for the younger kids and the four Congolese young women who also ran. A large truck arrived and the first group headed out!
After about a half hour for the truck to drop off the first group and make it back, Andrew and the Clems (Clem1 and Clem2) were ready to go! Clem2 looks slightly concerned but I swear she was actually excited. Andrew looks excited and is.
While they were out running I helped set up the finish line with a toilet paper banner to run through! We’re legit here in the Congo.
Once that was done I had some time on my hands so I cheered on a soccer match with some of the kids who didn’t run. They were playing in front of a container that has been converted into an animal pen – half of it contains goats and the other half chickens. As I was walking up one of the goats had stuck his head through an open pane of the door to check out the match. Apparently he wasn’t super impressed because by the time I got my camera out to take a picture he had retreated to his feed trough in the container.
What to do when the tennis ball you’re playing with lands on the top of the container? Climb up to get it of course!
And then before we knew it, it was time to welcome back the runners!
Nice work everyone! The three muzungus were not the last ones – they want me to make that clear. They might have been close to last but that’s a different story. However the Clems were the only women to run the full distance (I ran and won a 20ft race with a child while we were waiting so I mean that’s pretty impressive in itself…) and Andrew ran it at their speed so that they were all together. He also (in typical Andrew fashion) said hi to anyone and everyone who called out to them on the route which is a victory in itself.