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: 45.0 km (Accumulated: 28745.0 km)
Elapsed time: 04:15:53
Start 19:30am., 28c, half clear & light wind, at km-stone "900" on hwy. 1N. Finish 16:52pm., 33c, clear and same, at km-stone "945" on hwy. 1N.
Right of Way.
Today a puzzeling scenario unfolded as I ran my 45km's in what by the way was the first really warm day since many months back.
...While I was just setteling into the rythm of the run on the first 10km of the day and coming up to my first supply-stop with my support-driver Wilmer waiting with water and a few bisquits for breakfast - I was met by a strange scene:
A man seemed to be dragging a cross along the empty road. I thought at first that it might be the heat which was getting to me, making me imagine things; and regretted that I hadnt made sure to drink more water in the tent last night ! Surely, there arent any people dragging huge crosses out here, where there is around 100km to the nearest city in eighter direction of the Panamerican Highway which Im running on.
But about a kilometer later, after my rest-stop and after having made sure that it wasnt lack of water which made me see this qurious display, I did pass the man - he was dragging a large wooden cross behind him. He was accompanied by a small kid which showed just as much determination in his expression as the old man with the cross himself. Obviously I had to stop and with my limited spanish ask what was happening ! :-)
Ofcourse, it was obvious that they were pulling a cross. But apart from that ??
- It turned out that he was on his way to Piura, the nearest large city up the road in my direction. Two days further walking, and already having walked atleast a few days by the look of the shape he was in.
He asked if I had perhaps a bit of water (I was surprised to hear that Wilmer, while beeing a very 'loud' christian, had found himself without any water to spare for the man and the kid when they passed him, as he was waiting for me). Luckily the supportcar was still near me and I could easily wave it to the side of the road and hand the man a bottle of my water and a packet of buisquits for him and the child to share. They would have a long warm road ahead of them, the temperature already having passed 30c and later climbing to 35-37c a bit past midday, and I could imagine they could use all the help they would get.
Wether it was my sparse spanish language I dont know, but I couldnt quite figure out exactly why the man and the kid were moving a heavy cross several hundred kilometres through more or less uninhabited semi-desert. It could be that he was walking towards a job of working in the mines near Piura - I had already met several others bound for that; but ofcourse it wouldnt explain the cross ! He didnt really offer any explanation himself reguarding the cross; and I have to say that I respected that ! Often across the continents I've met religious people of all kinds and more often than not they are keen on explaining their special mission - and why it urgently needs money from other persons; preferably in cash, instantly.
This man, not so. He was happy for the water and buisquits, but in a very dignified way which made me respect him even more. Without knowing much of the happening or of his story, I fealt a kinship: Travelling a long road, not really offering an obvious explanation to people who stare in wonder as he passes by; taking on a difficult challenge - which he could easily have avoided. Perhaps only himself really knowing the full reasons. Yes, I could in a strange way relate to what he was doing.
...Seeing him walk off' while I talked w. Wilmer at the car about where to wait with the next supply-stop, I couldnt help thinking how much more difficult this mans journey was from mine. Even if I, at times, do find my own run hard; then his painstakingly slow pace, no shadow to find from the sun and the same danger from the fast passing traffic: With his cross he couldnt easily get out of the way when the big trucks and especially the large tourist busses (which are by far the most dangerous/careless along the Panamerican highway in South America) often swaywed' to the side of the road leaving him not much space and taking a big bite of his safety' each time. How I knew this situation and how it fealt...
But also other sides of the curious incident came to mind during the rest of the days run. How strikingly, the way that my good support-driver would at any occation proclaim "Ohh Senior Jesus !!", hand out religious leaflets, proudly display christian announcements on the streamers of the car and quote biblical passages - yet, when one was truely in need of a Christian act; there was no water to spare.
Its puzzling how we are often strong in our belief, untill it comes to its test. No matter what belief. The words are easy to say, and its easy for us to believe that we are true to them. But this we can only know once they "come with a cost". I was appauled that, in all due respect to this man which is doing A GREAT Job for the world run ,as all the other support-drivers which I have had the joy and honour to work with - that he didnt have a dime to spare when his loud belief came to a test.
Its important to understand that I respect all religions, and that I sincerely believe that they all, without exception, in their offspring hold profoundly good values. But it seems to me, that the strength and the initial energy, Vision and 'extra' which they all contain and which makes them flower and spread - that somehow it diminishes over time as the decades, centuries and millennia pass. Almost as if a religions foundation has a ''half-time'' as the energy-rich atoms - slowly fading as they spread their energy. Said in respect, it appears to me that we through those centuries and millennia tend to turn any strong religious value into 'outer value', into impressive buildings (churches), gathering of wealth, gathering of outer power, etc. While the initial, original values of the belief - fades away leaving the impressive and towering buildings and bureaucracies of belief, empty inside. Later, often to be used for the political powers at hand instead, unfortunately.
Perhaps this goes for all ideas; also the common ones which we base ourself on; as democracy. It appears we are moving towards a loss of the original values there too, while busily spreading our 'political belief' to other cultures and leaving our home-bound problems in the shade.
I Enjoyed how this man, dragging his cross, didnt show any of this. And how I could glimse some of the remains of the original values of his belief.
Myself, I am not religious in that same way. But I do believe in values and the importance of them. To me, three values are enough; 3 guidances of rights of way:
That our culture, no matter which culture is ours; has'nt the right of way over others.
That our own life, no matter who we are; has'nt the right over others.
That our species, no matter how important we find ourselves; has no right over other living species on this earth.
- To me it an ideal to show this respect. But its all words untill it comes with a cost. As it does, if we want to avoid forcing our way-of-life to other cultures, and our disrespect-of-nature to the enviroment.