Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"'ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle.."

In Africa, the bicycle is coveted and saved for.  It is something everyone does NOT have but those who do have it, have an instant business!! It is like the old saying, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!"  That is very true here in Africa!

You see bicycles everywhere.  In Lubumbashi, there were very few who owned a car and so the next best thing was a bike! This is a Saturday market place.  Spread your pile of whatever you have and it is for sale!

Bidons are water containers that are reused and reused and well.....reused!

Many times the loads are extraordinarily heavy and they just push their bikes all loaded up!

Charcoal is what many people cook with everyday. Many have no stoves or ovens, just charcoal in a small tin cooker.

This photo was taken out on a highway far away from any town or village.  The goods they carry many times takes them all day for long, long distances in good, bad and ugly weather. The heat can be stifling!

Yes, even grass is for sale and is a hot item here in Africa! It is funny to see them in coats when it is 70 degrees.

Bags of grain are carefully delivered.

This is a Bread Store on Wheels!

The first bike  has three red plastic containers full of empty beer bottles. It is called recycling.   The man in the striped shirt had a duck in a basket.

As you can see many people have been delivering things on their bikes since they were young and continue to do so diligently!  Most of the time, it is hard to tell the ages of people because they are in such great shape from riding their bikes!

It seems there are certain corners or under certain trees that bicyclists stop to repair.  Probably, there are people in those areas that carry supplies for bikes.

This men are carrying casava root and onions.

We are looking out our car window on a regular day!  There are always many bikes and many motorcycles and transport buses, especially in Bujumbura!

This is a prize photo taken by Sister Jameson.  Yes those are chickens...MANY Chickens hanging by their feet!

Banana anyone?

Many times as you come upon a loaded bicycle, you really have to look to find out what they are carrying.
This one looked like sugar cane. Notice the support sticks they use.

The colorful load is actually boiled eggs, trays and trays of them.  The bike on the right just had a box full of flat bread, kind of like tortillas but different.

Got a flat?  Time to stop here and fix it!

This man's cargo is maize, or field corn.

I missed the bike but this man seems to be riding by with his briefcase on the back of the bike. Could he really have an office he could be going to?

The left rider has a live goat in his bag with the head sticking out!  The right rider has no load so he scoots back behind the higher seat and rides sitting lower.

Because Bujumbura has alot of hills, bicyclists many times get off and push their bikes up hills.  Coming down though..WATCH OUT..they fly so fast that it is scarey to think what might happen if they needed to stop. They pass us in our vehicles while we are going at a good pace.

Behind the banana load, the load is unrecognizable.  That happens alot! Can you tell what he is carrying?

This place in the city of Bujumbura always has alot of bicycles.  I have yet to find out why. Maybe because they like to be next to one of the highest buildings in the city.

Mystery load # 2.  What's your guess?

Half bananas and a basket full of mangos!

The bike rider is carrying the man on his bike, but the man is balancing stools on his head!

Water barrels are usually empty when there are this many.  But sometimes they have 3 or 4 full ones balanced on their bikes!

Dining room chair delivery service! Literally!

You see resourceful people all over town on bicycles!  They have the same desires that we do, to provide for themselves and their families. It is good hard work! 


With a bike and a strong body, and an iron will, you can earn needed money!

It doesn't seem that any load is too big!  The challenge is taken and met!

Even two of our missionaries are trying out new bicycles to get around town.  This is Elder Mouselle on the left and Elder Kintembila!
Once in a while, there is a race to rejoice.  This was at the election of a new official!  They put the greenery on their bikes in celebration.
Remember the old song, "Daisy? Daisy? Give me your answer. Do!  ...It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage but...'ll look sweet, upon the seat, of a bicycle (build for one)! :)
And if it should wear out, your child will have a new toy!!! This little boys kept his tire going with his stick for a long, long time!  Oh, the resourcefulness of the children of God!


  1. In Indonesia the delivery method of choice is the motorcycle...some bicycles are used but nothing like you are showing here. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Amazing use of bicycles!!! No load too big.

  3. This is my favorite blog yet. It's awesome and shows so well the transportation in Burundi. Great job!