Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's been awhile

It's been awhile

So, I have been travelling and, although I have been running, I have not kept to my same schedule and have only had intermittent Internet access.

This past week looked like this:

Mon:    on the road by 6am
Tue:    on the bus at 6am
Wed:    Maga    7.08mi  1:05:57
Thu:    Maga    4.01mi  36:40
Fri:    Maga    Yoga 15min
Sat:    Maroua  6.4mi   55:47   Yoga 10min
Sun:    Maroua  20km (12.41mi)  1:52:41         Yoga    10min

It felt really great to do a long run this morning and I felt so good afterwards -- not tired at all, which amazed me since it has been weeks since I've run longer than 8 miles. All that rest must have done me some good. One nice thing about the run today is that I got far enough out of the town of Maroua so that people's reactions to me changed. And it felt much more like being back home in Fonta (except in French)--people looked and as we passed each other said, "Bonjour" or "Courage" or "Ca va?". In town, I get more hoots and hollers and "Nasara, nasara" which is Fulfulde (the local language) for "white person".

My pace has gotten much faster since I started travelling and it must be because it is flatter and, in some cases, I've been running on roads rather than just trails. 12.5 miles today at an average of 9 min/mile. Nice.

The human body is a wondrous thing. It's ability to adapt to different environments is really amazing. I'm up in the Far North Province of Cameroon now where it is very, very dry. I would consider this a desert, but they don't -- the "real" desert is farther north closer to Chad. But I have adapted with little problem.

        "God of wonders beyond our galaxy
        You are holy, holy."

I don't really get the issue so many conservative Christians have with evolution and science in general. I've always considered science to be humanity's quest to figure out how on earth God made such an awesome universe. It's been a few thousand years and we know a lot of things -- more by induction or inference than direct experience -- but I don't think we've even scratched the surface of the wonder God creates. I have a friend who is an astrophysicist and she also doesn't see any contradiction between her work researching black holes and her religious faith.

Today, I was running down the road by Maroua mountain and I had one of those mind-blowing moments of wonder -- I'm running, just like I have for years, just like so many other people all over the world, such an ordinary, ordinary thing to do, but I'm running in Cameroon, in Africa! How awesome is that?

After almost 45 years, God, life, the universe, can still blow my mind.

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