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The Bike Girl

Christine Kitaru
Photo by Tim Cohrs

While not being able to go back to Nairobi in East Africa, Lamar University student Christine Kitaru found many new ways to entertain herself and keep her creativity in Coffeyville, Kansas, during the pandemic. During her summer in Coffeyville, she found herself surrounded by international students without cars while needing a quick way to transport to places. “When there is a will there is a way,” Christine says. “We needed a way to get food, and as we all know the bike is the easiest way to move around while also exercising.” Instead of buying a new bike Christine and her soccer teammates decided to get creative and make one for themselves out of parts. “The bikes had been outside for years, the tires torn, and some parts rusted,” she says. “In Kenya we learn how to fix things, so we put our skills to the test. We bought new tires, found grease, and dismantled the whole bike and put it back together again with the new parts we found.” After assembling three bikes, Christine and her friends used them to get to places nearby. “We would ride to Walmart, which was a pretty far ride, but instead of having to depend on other people, we decided to have the power in our hands,” she says.

Category: UPbeat