I had a great long run today. 20K (12.4 miles) out in the country on Ndamukong road. After I got back, I realized that if I'd gone the other way on the road to Mforya, I would have gotten really close to the village. So I'm guessing it's probably about a half marathon to go there and back (quite close to where I was living a few months ago).
I received the replacement for my small camera that got stolen (sometimes the mail works REALLY well!), so I was excited to take it with me for my run. Check out my Flickr site (link on the right) for a couple of green, green panoramas. It's raining almost everyday now (usually only for an hour or two, though, not constantly), so things are growing like wildfire!
Today after I finished running, I was standing in front of my building filling my water buckets (for some odd reason, all the rain has not helped in resolving the water crisis in my building, hmmph) and this woman walks up to me and starts talking to me. "Ah so you are back," she says. (I'm confused.) "I saw you down there the other time." (I'm still confused.) "Where did you go today?" Still confused, I said I'd gone out Ndamukong road almost to Mforya. "Oh that is very good," she says. As the conversation progressed, I finally realized who she was -- the Cameroonian woman runner who I've seen a couple of times when I've been out running. She's quite distinctive for being about my age (I think, maybe she's older? She looked older in her civilian clothes), being in excellent shape and wearing actual running clothes. So now we are chatting and she's telling me about her training regimen (way more speedwork than I do!) and that she's on a team. She tells me the racing season starts in November with a half-marathon in Yaoundé and then there is a marathon in Limbe at the end of November. She also said she runs the Mt. Cameroon race. We're having a nice chat and inside I am like, "oh yea! I have hit the jackpot. This woman is hooked in to everything I've been trying to connect with since I got here! Yahoo!" In the end, she tells me her name is Som Imelda and asks if I'd like her to introduce me to her team and coach (would I ever!). So, we set up to meet at 7am next Wednesday at the municipal Stadium because they should just be finishing their workout about that time.
Yipee! I am so excited. And this is so incredibly African. Everything here happens through relationshps. All information is passed from person to person. It was impossible for me to find information on the Internet or through the newspapers or even through the Ministry of Youth and Sport. But I nod to a fellow woman runner on the road, she likes my style, and she reaches out to me. I love this about Africa. And now I am so psyched. Geez, maybe I'll actually workout with them once a week and start doing some speedwork!
"Happy, happy, joy, joy," as Ren and Stimpy would say. Life is good, ladies and gentlemen. Oh so good.