Accompanied by Dau, SIM’s South Sudanese water project supervisor, I met the AIM AIR plane carrying Dau’s new set of wheels. With gas at $12 a gallon, having a fuel efficient vehicle is important. Dau, excited to have his own transportation to help him supervise projects, asked if I could give him a bit of training on the new dirt bike.
We discussed theory and basic maintenance. He had one question I didn’t expect, “What do I do when I meet someone on the road?” Initially I thought, “just make sure you are on the right side of the road so you don’t hit someone!” I quickly realized he actually wanted to know how to stop so he could greet people he sees on the road.
Greeting people and relationships are highly valued in this culture. It is worth disrupting your trip to visit with people along the way. Once I understood the meaning behind his question, I explained braking, using the clutch and putting the bike in neutral so hands are free to be offered in greeting.
After purchasing fuel I gave a driving lesson. Dau figured out the clutch and shifting quickly, as the concepts are similar to cars he has driven. His moped riding experience also made the transition to the dirt bike easier.
The bike is an answered prayer for reliable, fast fuel efficient transportation to help aid Dau’s work to improve community health by providing clean drinking water