Running up that hill

It was a very big white van, a very narrow cobbled street and I was grateful not to be in the driver’s seat.

There were 17 of us with our luggage squashed in the back. We had stopped.

Our route from Rio airport to the destination at the summit would give us panoramic views across this incredible Brazilian city of Rio.

But we were stuck. The van had reached one of the countless tight corners only to encounter a parked removal lorry.

Coming down the hill was a famous yellow Rio taxi. He was faced with the challenge of negotiating the walls, the kerbs, the cobbles and the fact that there was only a fraction of an inch to spare! Everyone in the van gasped as flashes of yellow edged past us and we all heard each other inhale deeply believing it would give the driver an advantage.

Behind us the queue of taxis was growing.

Our celebrations were short lived. Freedom was not at hand. Another taxi poked its cheeky yellow nose around the corner insisting in its right to keep us parked and to find its way, past us, down the hill.

And then another.

And another.

We were stuck.

We were trapped.

We had been parked for 40 minutes with a yellow tail stretching behind us as far as the eye could see in the mirror behind. This was not going to stop.

The removal lorry remained unmoved by its guilt. Yet from behind the passenger door appeared a young man who had been carrying precious cargo to and from the newly purchased home.

I caught his gaze as he glimpsed the crisis.

Suddenly he dropped his load onto the pavement and began to run to the top of the hill.  We lost sight of him but I knew where he was going. I could imagine him, heart pumping, legs pounding, reaching the brow of the hill, placing himself firmly in the middle of the road and signally firmly to all traffik intent on descending to STOP.

10 minutes later the continuous stream of traffik had carefully passed us and there in front of us was the incredible miraculous sight of a clear road.

Cheering, breathing and moving we revved our way round the bend, up the hill and came face to face with our saviour. He grinned as we passed him.

He had known the truth that we were searching for.

If we want to stop the traffik we have to get to the top of the hill and disrupt the system. We cannot stop the traffik waiting on the bend recusing one taxi at a time to escape down the hill.

We need to raise a generation of people across every community willing to climb to the top of the hill and shout STOP.

Join us and be part of STOP THE TRAFFIK in 2014!

http://www.stopthetraffik.org

2 thoughts on “Running up that hill

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