I found One Bike on the WorkAway website – something I had never used before. I’m a traveller that likes to go with the flow. But when I saw the picture and read the ethos, I had to go. When I arrived, Moshi wasn’t what I had pictured in my head. These places never are. Instead it grew to be one of the best places I’ve ever stayed.
The shop works on a ‘pole pole’ (slow slow) basis. But they work hard and they get work done! They are all friends here, and you can really feel it in the atmosphere. Not one of them didn’t involve me, and they all really took the time to explain things or show me around. It’s beautiful to hear about how One Bike developed from just the one bike, and now they have… well many! Each person who comes to volunteer brings their own sugar or spice and you can see the progression of the shop.
I had little projects of my own; like taking photos for the website, learning bits about fixing bikes and making the sign board. But you can work within your own skills set and direct your own time – if that’s what you want. As long as you give to the best of your ability, I found that what you give you tend to get back. They really are an amazing group of people and I loved spending time with them. I feel like I experienced and learnt so much, and not just about fixing bikes but also about the culture.
I was also lucky enough to go on two extended cycle tours with them. The first was around the base of Kilimanjaro. A five-day 250km epic journey through Masai and Chagga villages, with views across into Kenya that I couldn’t forget even if I tried. Each day was completely different and challenging for different reasons. But the support I got from the boys (Victor and Hillary) was just incredible. The second was to the hot springs, which they forgot to mention was absolutely insanely beautiful. What I loved about travelling on a bike and what they showed me, was that you have the ability to stop and connect with what’s going on around you. So I thank them for brining this into my life.
The team are also setting the example and encouraging the local community to be more environmentally aware. Eco tours collecting rubbish in town and teaching people how to fix their own bikes are just a couple of the things you can also get involved in.
I lived with Hillary and his family in their lovely home. I would wake up every morning and do my yoga with baby goats running around. It’s very easy to get to and from town in a Tuk Tuk or you can cycle. It costs next to nothing and you just ask for the landmarks. But Hillary and his family showed me how to do all of this and they ensured I had everything I needed. I felt very comfortable there.
Moshi itself is a bustling, bright little town. One Bike is situated in the market and mechanic filled part. Great for when you’re trying to get your little projects in the shop sorted!
The respect I got from the local people is like no other. By the end I had babies coming out of my ears, and friends for life. The team welcomed me with open arms and most importantly made me feel safe. Something not everywhere can offer. I couldn’t recommend this experience more highly. Please go and see what I saw, make your own memories and spread more love.