Posted by Miquel Silvestre at 9:09 AM |
African Women. Mama Africa. The real heart, soul and strength of this continent. They work hard, they save money, they care about family and they set up succesful business. They make this world roll. They are great. And now, they also ride motorcycles!
And they ride far, long and over all terrains. Some bikers should learn from them. They get where help is needed and they arrive safe. “They are much better than men” I have been told. “Women use the bikes just for the task they are supposed to be used, they ride with more safety and they do not show off when going into the villages. They just work”. That´s it. Women are better riders.
My goal in Lesotho was visiting the programme of Riders for Health (www.riders.org), an NGO from UK which uses motorbikes as useful tools to help communities in Africa. I have had the privilege of riding with them. They were not expecting me so I could see how is their real work. They are fighting against AIDS and non hygienic habits teaching people about good manners of having sex, cleaning, cooking and eating. They are supporting mothers and children. They make inspections of shops to avoid selling expired goods. They go to the very tiny and hidden villages where no other health worker is expected.
The equation is easy. How much is the cost of one of those big super 4X4 other NGOs like to use? A Toyota Land Cruiser costs about twenty of those small motorcycles and the running cost per Km is about 18 cents of Euro. So think twice when seeing motorcycles just like a toy for bold boys and be smart. A motorcycle on the right hands of an African woman can help much more than one can think.
Anyway. As I was at the hospital with them, I decided using the Lesotho Health System to cure my wounds and remove stiches. The Hospital was Ok and too many people were waiting for assistance. The staff also treated me. But not like one could expect in Western World. You should try once Public African Medicine. You will feel how lucky you are to live in a developed country.
Africa is not for sisis. The nurse put off the dressing over my arm wound and all the thin tissue I had been growing up to cover the lack of skin was also gone. Dammed pain! But I am Ok, if Africans can survive, I will probably do.
The fact is that my stiches were put off and now I feel better having a cold beer after one of the best riding days beyond the Lesotho Horizon. Get for me a stout for Riders for Health, and if you can, help them one day. They make the money ride in the proper way.