Van Abanet, onze Ethiopische PR-man: Day one
Day One, October 6th 2012
0 KM – it’s 6:30 in the morning the people of Rema are about to observe one “additional” thing they never seen before. The first thing they’ve never seen before this was the solar light which the village benefited for the last 6 years. Rema located on the north east of the country 250km from Stiftung Solarenergie’s head office Sollar Valley Addis Ababa. Rema is a village where every family has a solar light (Solar Home System) in their houses. Rema is a village it has almost everything compared to the surrounding villages, it has light in every house, water at the center of the village which is pumped all the way from 7 km down hill by a solar water pump.
A couple of years ago the people of Rema had to travel by foot to get to the watersource. Today they get it in the center of their village, it’s here where we will start our Cycle for light journey. Rema even has a solar street light which is one of the important thing for the village’s security and night businesses, Rema is like the solar city of Ethiopia where everyone from surrounding villages want to be in at least once a week especially in market days to do the business as well as take a test of that solar refrigerated cold drinks after a week of hard work.
12.5KM -The first tyre just popped and it’s only been 12.5 kilo meters from Rema Solar Village, the starting point of 250km cycling to Stiftung Solarenergie’s Solar Valley Addis Ababa. “It’s my first and hopefully my last” said the ever energized Noud. In fact he was right that was the last of any sort of bicycle troubles he got for the first 53km of cycling. On the early hours of the morning when we were about to start our journey people were asking me “WHY?” “why take this all trouble of cycling through this difficult and dangerous landscape” I can only say one word “commitment”, it’s what I witnessed from this team of 6 from Holland, people I’ve never even seen before this journey and people who never saw Ethiopia, it’s a commitment and desire to succeed in sending out their message as well as helping the development of Solar Energy in the country.
Cycle for light originated by Noud the team leader of this exceptional journey.
27Km – Tom is taking a little breath as he watches on the others coming from downhill, it’s may be difficult but very much “achievable” said Tom in his assessment after 27km of upwards and downwards of cycling, it seems the same for Vic, Bert, …. And the other four team members whom are the Stiftung Solarenegie foundation’s employees.
53Km – Fetra end of day one, 7 hours of exhausting cycling , there were no injuries as well as no another flat tyer.