so an explanation is in order: we (heather, me, and parents) are in rwanda to watch, and help with, the filming of a documentary. the subject of the film is the rwandan cyclist team. today was a big race that would determine the olympic competitors. heather (being an amazing photographer) was invited along to help with photography. she even got to take some lessons from a really amazing professional (more on that later).
i tagged along too but i am far less professional.
the rwandan team was easy to spot in their blue and yellow jerseys. here they are preparing for the race. they have been training for four years together.
this is clearly not a rwandan, but i liked the shot of him and his flag. actually (spoiler alert) he came in first place in the end.
waiting at the starting line.
number 9 (right) is our best competitor. he was anticipated to be very successful today.
that nose totally blocked my shot.
and my dad got to hang out in the helicopter while they filmed from the air!!
everyone waited on the sidewalks to cheer on the cyclists. there was so much excitement!
but this guy was only excited about coke.
i can't remember exactly how long a single lap is (if i think of it, i'll blog it tomorrow). but i can tell you that there were 12 laps- each taking 20-30 minutes!! (and these guys are way fast) the race, in it's entirety took well over 3 hours. between laps we hung out, chatted, walked around, and found places to shoot from. this is linda, hanging out.
then came the pack! see the rwandans in yellow and blue?
everyone on the sidewalk watched nervously.
and this is me hanging out.
heather is great. she took great photos all day (i will point out the ones she took- besides the obvious ones that i am in).
heather took this one! i believe this was the third lap. the front runners began to break away much earlier than expected and this made for a bit of excitement.
they were all so close together but still flying down the road!
a group of boys asked for me to take their picture so they could see it on the viewfinder. they were pretty gangster.
and this is john russell! he is the amazing photographer i was speaking of earlier. he has a fantastic sense of humor and he lives just on the other side of the hawaiian island i am moving to! thanks john for such a fun day!
and this is tc. he is making the documentary. i got to hang out with him a lot throughout the day. he took us all over the race path and put us really close for some great photos. (another heather shot here)
this little kiddo rode this bike in a circle for about three hours. i was impressed. i would have gotten dizzy.
while waiting for the last couple laps to finish, i spotted my father approaching from a small shop. i mentioned to heather that he was carrying some sort of sticks. possibly food? (we were pretty much starving) turns out it was just some goat on a stick! yum? tough. spicy. probably wouldn't make it a regular meal. but it definitely kept me from hunger pains while we waited!
part of the crew discussing important things (probably asking each other if they enjoyed the goat on stick).
oh hey lindsey! *smiles*
why are you taking so many photos of me?
ok i guess i'll keep smiling?
finally the race drew to a close! it ended just in time too- a huge black raincloud rolled in with the men.
so our teammate (number 9) that was expected to do well, had a mechanical issue with his bike toward the end! his number two sacrificed his own bike and traded. despite the trade, it is hard to ride someone else's bike in a race, and he was unable to close the 30 second gap behind the leaders. so they did not win. but there is still mountain biking (which i hear he is fabulous at).
all the riders took long cool down rides around the stadium (just next door). lots of kids followed and stopped to chat with the strong competitors.
they ran alongside the bikes for a long time while the guys cooled off.
then we waited a bit while some post-race interviews were conducted.
and rather than have a huge rainstorm, we had a cool breeze and some beautiful clouds to watch!
heather and leaf say whats up.
waiting in the beautiful weather!
and a beautiful rainbow congratulated the men and waved goodbye to us after a full day of racing and photos.
i also learned that since rwanda is on the equator, even when it doesn't feel hot- the sun is still going to burn you. i look really cool in a tank top now. everyone agreed i looked like i was still wearing my purple shirt at dinner, even though i was wearing a tank top. sweet.
it was an absolutely wonderful day! we couldn't have asked for nicer weather and we enjoyed every second of being at the race, meeting new people, and taking photos. hopefully my internet source will hold out because my next two days are going to be awesome!! can't wait to tell you!