One of the most memorable facets of life, in my humble opinion, is creating lifelong memories. And where children are involved that becomes even more important.  With the huge amount of emphasis we put on literacy and especially literacy amongst women and children it was high time to do something special.  

One of the most common ways of transport in Africa (accept for your feet) is probably the ‘bicycle’.  While most historians still struggle to agree on who invented the first working bicycle it is a well known fact that Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci sketched the first ‘modern looking bicycle’ in 1490. I have learnt that the term ‘bicycle’ was coined in France of all places and that perhaps Ernest Michaux built the first successful bicycle in 1864.  These facts seem not be as important as the FIRST BIG MOZAMBICAN BICYCLE RACE – with all respect to brother Ernest.

Our Grade 1 students getting into their first literacy class!

Writing is serious business!
Getting there!

56,1 %  (70 % male / 42 % female) of the population of Mozambique 15 years and older can read and write.  With a school life expectancy of about only 9 years from primary to tertiary level (male 10 years / females 8 years) it is very important as part of our vision and purpose to make sure that children and adults are literate.  We follow several programs to make sure this happens but to make everyone around us aware of these important issues are important.  How?  Make sure everyone has LOTS OF FUN while introducing literacy and the importance thereof.

Bicycles from everywhere gathered for the 10 km race.
Our youngest contestant for the race …. well she didn’t do the full 10 km’s!
Every cyclist had their own secret weapon for the day.  I’m still not sure exactly what he had on his bicycle but the Regulating Committee (FIA) figured out it was a watering gadget and he was allowed to use it in the race without supervision.

The first bicycle race ever in our area was about to take shape.  There were huge prizes up for grabs and after everyone with a working bicycle was invited …. the games begun.  The tension and the built-up to the event was something to behold.  We started off with just over 40 cyclists and a youth team.  Unfortunately no ladies participated in the 10 km race – something that will change next year as this will become an annual event on the literacy calendar.

The Provincial police and medical services were on standby and local government was represented by a huge delegation.  After the normal speeches and excitement with loud African music it was time for a spectacular shenanigan like never experienced in the area.  But as usual …. let me share the story with or photographers at ground zero:


It’s time gentleman ….. START YOUR ENGINES. 
The road was long and dusty!
Time for the battle of Mucombeze!
Spectators were scattered all along the route to cheer on the brave cyclists.

At just over 20 minutes …. the first contestants came racing into the finishing line!
Something you don’t see a lot of in Mozambique.  Competitors were overjoyed as they finished the race.


The OVERALL WINNER of the day …. winning the 10 km race in a fine
The official delegation and the race winners with their prizes.
The official face of our police force.  Just gotto love these guys!  They came from the head office in the Province to help regulate traffic.  Great service Mozambique!