Wednesday, July 18, 2007


While back in Blyth, I began wearing a pedometer, just to get an idea how much I was walking since it seemed I was moving nonstop and didn't have time to walk in the evenings after dinner. I was concerned that I wasn't getting enough exercise...until I accumulated more than 8 miles in an afternoon. That was my first indication that it wouldn't be hard to get exercise on the Africa Mercy! That's still my record for a workday, but most days I manage to get 2.5-3 miles in and then I push it over 5 miles by walking from one end of the dock to the road.

Today I was short of my goal, so after dinner three of us headed to the dock, black clouds gathered above. After only one lap, the showers began and I wasn't in the mood to get soaked. (I'm not a wimp, it's just that the average daily rainfall in Liberia at this time of the year is over 4". That's a lot of rain.) We all headed in and I consoled myself that I wasn't too far from my goal. After checking emails, however, I decided I really did want to get my 10,000 steps in for the day. I remembered that the deck 4 corridor, aside from having the ugly pink linoleum, actually provides a nice walking track. There are no high thresholds and you only have to backtrack if you want to do the single corridor all the way forward. It's climate controlled and less crowded than the dock, where one must contend with toddlers on tricycles and joggers. A complete lap is 300 steps, so it would be a tedious way to do a few miles, but not bad for less than one. Now if only I had my roller blades with me...

I'm looking forward to being home in three weeks, heading to the mountains to climb trails there and wandering through the neighborhood. I walk a lot less when I am in the US. There are few sidewalks and lots of traffic. I can't quite picture myself walking to Walmart, although I will ride my bike to the ophthalmologist's office.

Another things I'm looking forward to is picking blueberries. Mom's almost finished with the 17# I picked two years ago.