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I honestly have no right to complain. Compared to a great many volunteers, I’m pretty much in The Big City. I have to walk five minutes to get to a paved road where I can catch a matatu. Fifteen minutes to the fruit dukas. Less than twenty to the general store. But still, I yearned for more range and flexibility in my movements. This isn’t going to work when it’s a-hundred-and-screw-this degrees in December, I thought myself as I painstakingly schlepped home plastic bags of groceries by hand. What inspired me to buy three liters of milk, two liters of juice, five kilos of rice, AND a watermelon when all I needed was toothpaste?

So … I bought a bicycle.

Please hold your applause.

Before you start doing the mental math of Complete Clutz + Metal Death Machine – Seat Belts and Airbags = We’re So Thrilled The Doctors Said Megan Might Be Out Of Her Bodycast In Time To Celebrate Her Fortieth Birthday, I have a helmet. And BY GOD I WEAR THAT HELMET. And when I don’t, I WALK.

Want to get more strange looks than you ever have ever in your life? Step one: be a mzungu. Step two: walk your bicycle through downtown Malindi because you don’t have your helmet and therefore can’t ride it to the matatu stage. Step three: PROFIT. Someone even helpfully took me aside and offered to teach me how to ride it, since clearly if I knew, I wouldn’t be pushing it down the sidewalk. The logic breaks down slightly when one tries to figure out why I’d buy a brand new shiny awesome bicycle if I had no earthly idea how to make it go, but there’s no accounting for the mind of wazungu sometimes.

It is black. It is sleek. It is beautiful. It caused a small furor reminiscent of dropping a chum bucket into a deepwater trench inhabited by tiger sharks when I walked it past the tree where all the mechanic fundis hang out. And … it needs a name.

My iPod has a name – Sophanisba (after the enigmatic leopard lady of the 1914 epic Italian silent film, Cabiria)

My computer has a name – Krycek (after … well, if I have to tell you, it’s not worth it.)

Even the millipede who used to live on my ceiling had a name – Ronaldo (after Cristiano, because the image of a centipede playing football makes me giggle in a ridiculous and unbecoming fashion.)

SO! Here’s the part where you come in: got any suggestions for my new bicycle’s name? Put ‘em in the comments.

Maybe Alejandro. We’ll see.

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The opinions expressed on this blog do not represent those of the Peace Corps, the United States government, or any other organization. The author is solely responsible for all content on this blog.
Yours truly