The second title to this blog post is "Everything is Purple"
We started the day watching the children start theirs with songs, drumming and running around "campus" and around the block (which was a good distance for these kids, especially the little ones). There is something about their voices that reaches me at an emotional level and if I let it go tears would easily be possible. Even the thought of staying to teach and learn from them crossed my mind. The power of their song is incredible.
All of the blooms on the jacaranda trees, the sweaters of the school kids, most flowering plants seemed to be purple both yesterday and today. It was supposed to be a short day running, but we ended up covering 37 or so kilometers, 3000ft of gain and a bit less loss. We made our way back up near the forest, running along the fire line mostly, and near the massive farms that border the park. On the west side of the mountain now we are where more westerners have settled. They originally settled here and then there was a resurgence in the 80's bringing more whites to the region. Tonight we are staying on a 6,000 acre Dutch Farm. I wrote this entry upon returning from a farm tour where we picked corn, cabbage & carrots for dinner and got to see a bit of the land. Willem (the owner) added a bit of fun farm driving to get our mellowed bodies a bit pumping with adrenaline. It was fun and we were still laughing as we piled out of the mud covered jeep back at the farm.
The finishing miles into the farm felt fast and challenging. Simon and Iddy were turning on the speed over the open dirt road that led to the farm and I was doing my best to keep up. There was promise of a hot shower (my first since arriving in Tanzania) and good food so I found motivation in the bit of speed work to get there faster. After finishing I ran back out on the course to cheer in the rest of our crew and we all piled on the front patio while waiting for our gear. The shower was better than promised and the lunch that followed was an unexpected hearty and filling meal. Nap time would have been smart after all of that, but by day 4 I had made my way through all of my clean clothes and took the opportunity to do some laundry in the sink.
I can feel the training taking effect. Mostly just being out 5-8 hours a day, my metabolism is going like crazy and the knees & hips & ankles seem to be stabilizing more and more. Thankfully we are not likely to get any skinnier for all of the eating we are doing :)
** that was the end of this journal entry, written in route to an amazing dinner hosted by the Simba Farm.
start 8:22am, 37km, 3337ft gain, 2808ft loss, high point 6962, low point 5171, run time 6:47