Everybody in Ghana rides motorcycles…EVERYBODY… the old ladies, the young men….entire families can often be seen screeching around the streets of Tamale taking their lives in their own hands.
So I asked Jesse, our roommate, if he would give me-the humble volunteer- a 60 second course on how to drive this beast….and so he did.
And I got to tell you, I thought the lesson was actually pretty good. Covered all the basics, really.
I spent thirty seconds going up the quiet dirt road in front of our home, and another thirty seconds coming back. Cool…I had this cased.
Now for the test. Driving about 500m to get water. Simple enough right?
It was a pretty nasty header…. The bike crashed hard on its side as I was thrown out onto the ground. Again, at least I was smart enough to take this practice run inside our small village as opposed to the centre of town, that could have been worse.
I had some nasty road rash on my hands and legs, and my left shoulder seized up every time I tried moving my arm, sending me down to the ground in pain. Not good.
How embarrassing. I was so pissed at myself.
The rest of the day was spent at the doctor’s clinic and getting x-rays. He told me I fractured my collar bone and should be in a sling for three weeks.
Two days later, the second doctor I went to said my collar bone was fine, and that I needed to slowly start stretching out my shoulder. I was a little nervous as every time I stretched it too far, my arm seized up to the point where I was sure my shoulder was dislocating. But so far, I am taking his advice and things seem to be slowly working themselves out.
The good news is, I will be fine. I am sure of it. My goal is to have full range of motion for the Christmas week surf camp Shawna and I had signed up for, three days before the crash.
More good news, although the bike repairs and doctor visits weren’t free, they were much less than I thought they would be… totalling about $300 CDN.
And the last bit of good news….I now know one thing NOT to do when riding a motorcycle.
I will be much smarter next time!