18 September 2012

At the risk of boring everyone to death...

I've got to write about the school run again. All easy-peasy today. Nice tandem run, not too late. Dropped girl off, toodled down to the end of the road, where there is a cycle exit, but a dead end for cars, only to encounter stupid posh car reversing at me again.  (I'm pretty sure this is the same guy who has twice reversed in the street before noticing us behind him on a bike).

I don't know who has priority in this instance. He is doing a U-turn, I am aiming for the red bit that gives me access to Viewforth. Maybe I should have stopped.  In the event, I did stop, but also went and asked the driver if he'd noticed me. He claimed he did.  I asked why he kept reversing if he'd seen me. Clearly we were not seeing eye to eye.

As I cycled off, muttering angrily to myself, I realised that what I really wanted to ask was why did he drive down there at all?  There is no need for him to make a U-turn there unless he is a resident or visiting someone there. Students should be being dropped back here somewhere, where there is a nice easy right turn out to the main road. The only reason he is driving down there at all is because he feels the need to drop his child exactly at the gate, so the primary aged child doesn't need to walk 10 extra steps.

How do I point this out?  Is there some way of engaging with this politely?  I've probably already blown my chances of this.  So, how do I raise this in a way that actually gets something done about it?

13 September 2012

Hit and run

Friend/neighbour got hit and run by a Tesco's van today. By some amazing luck he is okay (and so was his bike). He found the van and called the cops. 'nothing they could do'.  and all this on streets i cycle every day with the kids (as does he). Do we all need to get helmet cameras? or just hide indoors?

Glad he's okay.  


I was given the CFA note above by Nathaneal and his comrades, who I met on my flight to Nairobi. They  had left Cote d'Ivoire the day before, to study for degrees at Africa University in Mutare.  All four young men described themselves as pastor's sons, and said that their church was sponsoring their studies.  

But they were being deported from Zimbabwe, because they had not understood the letter sent from the University which advised them to get visas before travelling to the University (but did not specify that it should be obtained before they entered the country).  

As you can imagine, they were devastated. In Nairobi airport they were able to phone their sponsors and the University, and had some hopes that they could return to Zimbabwe, but the last I heard from them, they were back in Abidjan.  Without some sort of support to buy new tickets, they were not going to be able to return to Zimbabwe and begin their studies.  

I hope that all the students starting their studies again this week appreciate how fortunate they are.  I can't count the many sources of funding that made it possible for me to get my education, but they include my parents, the Canadian government, the Newfoundland government, Cecil Rhodes (!), many small scholarship funds, and the neighbours who paid me to shovel snow, mow their lawns and babysit their kids. I appreciate them all (although that's not really the right word for how I feel about the source of the Rhodes funding...).