Excerpt from Page 26

Published December 5, 2016

The Last Missionary | Bob Walters

Excerpt from Page 26:

Tenke to Mulungwishi

When our 2010 team leaves Tenke, there is an excitement about launching this expedition. Joseph Mulongo had left the day before on the bus for Mulungwishi. Shabana, Prospère, Éléphant, and I would ride.

The morning air is crisp, and our legs are fresh. Mornings can be relatively cool and damp with a lot of moisture in the air. It’s jacket weather for my Congolese colleagues, but still T-shirt weather for me. We make a few last-minute adjustments to the bikes we had packed the night before. There’s a filling breakfast of coffee and bread. Team photos are taken. Then we kick off, slowly negotiating the ditches and potholes between the house and the street. I’m out last.

We ride the 7 kilometers to the main highway in a parade fashion, everyone riding faster than we would be able to maintain. Bike bells do their dinging. We wave greetings to everyone outside their homes doing their morning chores. Men look up from their gardening and women from their laundry to wave and give big smiles. Children run along with us. One young boy on a bicycle rides as hard as he can to keep up, even racing ahead for a while, until he runs out of steam.