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Back on the Bike …

For a day, at least.  A sturdy yellow three-speed, with the saddle too low and chunky tires and a funky shifter that you had to stop peddling in order not to pop the chain.  I was joined by a couple from the Netherlands, and we were led by a waif-sized African woman with mismatched clothes, a jaunty straw hat, a lot of spunk and some very strong opinions which she let fly for the full four hours.This made for a very interesting and educational morning.She issued us effective yellow safety vests, marginally effective helmets, had us sign a lengthy liability waiver and then delivered a lecture about how - when we do this tour - we are not observing the animals in Etosha and staying in a vehicle aiming our cameras at the people.  Instead we are going to bike into the community and be part of the community.  (It is worth noting that we saw nobody else on a bike the entire four hours.)We are not going into the poorest areas with the shanties and no water or electricity and desperately poor people because there is nothing to be gained from gawking and it's not safe ... plus they might take the bikes.  Can't have that.  And we aren't going down the streets with all the shebeens (bars) because that's where all the fighting and dangerous people are and ... again ... they might take the bikes.  And we aren't going into the children's home or the hospitals or other places because she doesn't like tourism like that and this isn't a poverty or a save the children tour.Instead we will see the markets and the houses and learn how Katutura functions.  Because all Namibian people and Namibian life aren't like the marginalized Bushmen and the exploited Himba people

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