Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stage 7 Hangin' with the Doctor

Stage 7 We weren't too sure how today would go. Plenty of climbing but lots of tired legs as well. As usual there were tons of hills so we expected folks to try to get away. About 10 k in Alex gets a flat which was horrible timing as the speed was starting to kick up a bit. He had to spend the next 25 minutes chasing back on. Jack, being the resourceful director that he is told our photographer on his motorbike to go back and "take some close-ups" so he motor paced him for a few K until the refs figured out what was going on. He fought like heck but finally caught on. Then it got crazy for me. An Ethiopian rider crashed and since I was in the medical car again we stopped. It was quite the scene. There was our car, the ambulance, the other medical car with lots of shouting and screaming. It was 180 from how I like to do things. Despite all these vehicles we still ended up using mostly the medical stuff out of my fanny pack which cracked me up. Dr Albert was really wanting this guy to have a broken wrist I think. He was eager to get an X-ray so we left the race which was odd protocol. Normally the ambulance leaves but the race doc stays with the race. Anyhow this gave me the chance to visit a hospital though. The X-ray machine was probably as old as me but did the trick and no fracture. At this point the racers were only 10 k out so no real need to go back and we got lucky no one else got hurt. It certainly made me realize that although Albert was a nice guy, his form of medicine and how I want my riders treated is a bit different. We stayed in yellow again and the guys were healthy so all is good there. We were back to another hotel on Lake Kivu and whereas our first place at the lake was tranquil, this one was more of a party spot. We were told we have a nightclub at our place as well if we were interested. The furnishings were a bit rough but we did have hot water, at this point I take most things on a scale and hot water and recognizable food are 2 of the biggest items.
I met a very nice guy named Aimable. He was working this week for the organization and helped with stage timing. He was 10 when the genocide occurred. Like many of his age, he lost a large number of family members. It is interesting looking around all week and I have noticed there are very few people that appear to be between 40 and 60. Aimable graduates next week with his degree in PE and is excited to start teaching. Asking him about what was the hardest part of his studies and he said swimming. In the genocide he lived on a lake and people would try to escape by swimming only to have people go out in boats to kill them. He was able to get over the swimming but only in pools, he still can not swim in open water. I gave him a few of my TT1 shirts and some sunglasses for graduation. He has always been a big smile and friendly all week so I wish him well.

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