Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Early Morning Drama

My wounds are all pretty much healed now, so I've started going out running in the mornings again. I've been running the track instead of the causeway, because it's easier on my body.

My rib still hurts when I breathe deeply, cough or sneeze, but I went to Dr. Isaac yesterday and he said it's not broken. He thinks it probably just sprained, so it'll heal in a few weeks.

After I had run about ten laps this morning, one of the women who was walking asked me, "Are you the guy who rides the bike?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Some kid just rode off on it."

Sure enough. Even though I was on the other side of the track without my glasses on, I could see it was gone.

I sprinted over as quickly as I could, but the thief and my bike were nowhere to be seen.

Another woman told me that she had seen the kid hanging around. He waited until I was running away from the bike, so I wouldn't see him leave. Meanwhile, the woman who spoke to me first caught up to us.

"Come on," she said, "let's go after him."

So we hopped in her mini-van and off we went. My hopes weren't very high, because there are so many places to hide: little trails and dirt roads are everywhere. We drove to the main intersection and didn't see him in either direction, so we went back.

She claimed that she knew that there were some trouble-makers living behind the SDA school, so we drove down a two-track deep into the jungle.

Sure enough, we rounded a corner and saw the blur of someone running into the jungle.

"That's HIM!" she said.

She drove up to where he had disappeared into the jungle and stopped the car. She started shouting after him in Pohnpeian and I started looking for the bike in the jungle up and down along the road. My hopes for success still weren't very high. Although I knew he had dropped off the cycle along the road there, the jungle is extremely dense and I could be looking right at my bike and not see it.

But after about five minutes, she called over that she had found it! What an amazing sleuth! I had to work my way through the marshy jungle and over the rocks to get the thing out; I was amazed he could carry it in there so quickly.

As I rode my bicycle down the two-track out of the jungle, a baseball size rock whizzed past my ear. Looks like someone was ticked not to have a new bicycle!

What an amazingly nice woman to take me on the search for the bicycle. Without her there is no way I would have ever gotten my bike back. She didn't have to help me to the extent that she did, she didn't even know me. I would have considered it enough if she had just expressed sympathy to me.

But her spirit is what is wonderful about living in Micronesia.


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