World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 33.0 km (Accumulated: 19274.8 km)
Elapsed time: 03:52:30
start 08:57am at white sign \"The Bend Inn\" in Big Bend city, 3km off the main road to Lavumisa border/S. Africa. 22c, overcast and light wind. Finish 13:29pm at white sigh \"Nisela Safaris, Welcome!\" at Nisela Safaripark, main gate, on the main road to Lavumisa border/S. Africa. 25c and same.
Swaziland hospitality :-)
I have now been running 4 days through the small kingdom of Swazliand; a facinating contry of 1.1million people - where I during my 4 days of christmas holiday together with Sarah, in Siteki village near the border, could read in the Swaziland Observer\\' about the latest details of the Kings Inkwala dance: The Inkwala is the main celebration of the year, where the king grants the people of Swaziland permission to eat \"first fruits\"; that is to enjoy the first fruits of the harvest brought on by the monsoon rains. Interesting reading and certainly a different way of seeing government in action (not least from an political scientist\\' point of view): the Agriculture minister, chief of police, departmental top clercks etc. dancing in row behind the king; dressed in leopard skin and necklace attending the dance with the same devotion and concentration in the expression as any cabinet meeting in europe. Though perhaps resulting in more action, should one compare with the achievements of the recent climate meeting in my old hometown, Copenhagen; where apparently the performance of the politicians ended in more rituals than actions.
Back here in Swaziland, where the warming indeed is fealt wether it is global or just seasonal, the rain has been limited for yet another year, as the case also is in the East African contries wich I have passed through during the last 7000km of my run. Drought is apparent, albeit the mountain kingdom I\\'m currently running through is a pleasure to the eyes: Green, green grass; farm fields wich is cared for in minute detail (wich is rarely the case elsewhere in E. Africa); cows grazing; people in villages and cities occupied with trying to improve things a small step further, to make it a little better than the previous day and year - and it shows :-)
When running straight through a contry, big or small, and step by step around the world, you notice the caracter of a contry and its peoples. And for example wether progress and growts is merely a figure in the UN-statistics, limited to the few large cities (as the case is in almost all E. Africa), to a
political elite or widespread. Swaziland gives the same impression as when running through Mozambique: a refreshing amount of initiative just as much locally in the tiny rural villages as in the thinly spread rural districts. Its evident that those two contries are on their way up\\' compared with many of their naighbours in the region - not least due to the combination of everyday-life-initiative to improve combined w. more than a decade of peace (not a given thing on this continent, as unfortunately neighter on a few others).
Obviously there is the huge struggles to be had and won; with seasonal drought, gathering ressources and fighting deceases. For example approx. 50pct. of the adult population here is believed to be HIV-positive; a figure almost beyond comprehension.
And yet, as I slowly get nearer Cape Town and the goal of having run through the African continent running step by running step - Swaziland underlines my main impression: that the essence of wether development and progress is sucessfull depends in its essence on the dynamics and determination of the
people. Not the outside help-programs, not the state or governments; not the amount of media-attention to the problems, etc.
In many of the contries I have seen kilometer by kilometer and village by village there is pleanty of the 3 latter. But where there is no local or general public \\'understanding\\' of how to bring about development and change; the grand initiatives from above or abroad appears to fail utterly. They feed and imploy a large circle of resident civil servants, goverments and international organisations with good intentions but I very rarely have seen them result in benefits to the local population itself. On the other hand, the cases where the people themselves are pushing forward to build their own business, develop their farmlands, take interest in education, improve their regions etc. - That is where I see progress and a lot less of \"who will come and solve this for us\" approach wich may result in immidiate resulution to the problems but on long term - probably makes it even worse, just as in any other case where progress is tried to be introduced from the outside instead of growing from the inside. It may sound arrogant, but in all sincerety my impression is that many of the contries who struggle gravely (and I do know that life in Africa isnt easy; that is fealt daily on my own body and soul throughout this part of the run) - for those it could be possible to feed their own population in the areas of drought as there is still green main parts of those contries waiting to be grown and cultivated by the locals who live there.
A very present example is the locally run safari camp, restaurant and wildlife reserve here at \"Nisela Safari\", sourrounded by farmlands. Not only is it well kept, bristling with visitors in its main areas and giving possibilities to experience giraffes, zeebras, impalas, wildebeast, austridges and crocodiles in their natural habitat. It also overwhelmed us with its Friendship....... As we came running by they greeted us and enquired what we were doing, running pushing a 40kg stroller along the highway in the heat of summer ? When we explained about the world run and the interest in seeing the cultures \"step by step\" along with the athletic challenge of proving that its indeed possible to do the first fully documented run right across the African continent - they asked if we wouldnt like to take a day off and stay with them ! A little expensive for us perhaps, we wondered; untill we realized that the invitation meant that they insisted in setting us up in a luxury hut 3km inside the park - spotting giraffes and zeebras as we walked the paths near the hut ! Meals came complimentary too ! What Hospitality, what Friendship :-)
- Sarah \"We have lost that kind of hospitailty to total strangers at home\". And I can only agree on my own behalf, coming from europe. Lessons in strategies and growth may be had from the developed contries but none less important lessons about hospitality and friendship is to be had from Africa. In contries like Swaziland and Mozambique - and Siberia in wr1. The big Art of development may be to be able to keep Friendship and Hospitality as development picks up pace; also in reguards to friendship towards a nature wich we all depend on no matter which contry or continent.
Such joy that we can still learn from eachother..
THANK You Swaziland :-))
NB: The last days reports and gps-tracking of the run from 25-26/12 will be uploaded once we get internet-connection on the phone; most likely when crossing the border to South Africa. We expect to run to Lavumisa border on the 29/12 and cross the border to South Africa on the 30/12. Then the route is to follow the N2 coastal highway down towards tip of Africa; Cape Town. ..The point wich I untill today was beginning to believe was my end goal after multiple tropical deceases and deep fatigues running in the central parts of East Africa. But a day like today; and running through friendly Swaziland. Makes one want to continue - perhaps another 20 000km to the end-goal, far, far away to North where my home is !