Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I flew solo today. After being accompanied for each trip to Talubin to teach each day last week, I made the trip on my own today. The original plan had been to catch the bus on the way there and the last jeepney as is returns to Bontoc in the evening. Last week however, that plan did not work out so well. A couple nights it took a while before we could catch a ride back. So this week I borrowed a pair of wheels. My friend Pastor Rudy loaned me his motorcycle for my commute. This was really a blessing.
This prospect had Lisa concerned. It seems all the westerners we know who ride motorcycles in the Philippines also got fitted for splints. Add to it that I have not ridden a motorcyle for more than 15 years. But hey, I ride bicycles quite a bit, how hard could it be? One last thing, the motorcycle was fairly old the last time I had ridden one. It had to have the brakes repaired just yesterday. (Rudy must also have been concerned about me because this evening I got a text from him to verify I was okay.)
So this morning, Rudy came by with the bike. After a few minutes I was refreshed on the gearing and brought up to date on things that no longer work - basically anything that uses electricity. Then it was off to the mountain roads.
It was a beautiful ride. The mountains and valleys along the way are breathtaking. The road can also be breathtaking, but that is related to the lack of suspension.
I arrived at the school without too much problem. I did stall the engine once when the grade changed on me as I came around a corner and I did not downshift quickly enough.
Since I am writing this post, you know that I survived. I am not even in one of those hospital beds with cables and weights pulling traction on my various limbs. By God's grace, the heavy rains passed through while I was still in class. So I even made it home dry - which is more than I can say for Lisa when she came home from the market this afternoon.