Life in Africa.
*Our vehicle parked next the village guesthouse*
There truly is no way to describe it. Daily uncertainties are the norm. And if you don't have a sense of humor, don't waist your time applying!
Our new "home" in the North is an 80 kilometer trek from civilization. Down a dirt road, which resembles a wash board and a meteor strike--which the rains have done nothing for. We decided to leave town Sunday afternoon when Zane was through with the Sunday service. With eleven children buckled in, a rather large load strapped to the rack and fuel in the tank, we headed out of town.
*Zane atop the Land Cruiser*
About 40 kilometers out the rear end of the vehicle (a 1995 Toyota Landcruiser) began acting rather strange. Upon closer inspection, my husband discovered that both rear shocks had completely busted--partly due to the current road conditions as well as Saturday's trip to the farm deep in the bush. We knew we needed new shocks, but finances allowed only for a little welding work to keep things together--which obviously had runs it's course. Needless to say, here we were, in the middle of nowhere, with two busted shocks.
After a lot of praying, Zane got to work. The way in which the shocks broke was causing them to rub against the tires--causing a lot of friction and a potential for two popped tires. The first option was to unscrew the shocks. The attempt(s) failed as we did not have the proper tools. Option number two was to saw open the shocks, releasing the lubricant in order for the shocks to easily be pushed up. This attempt was successful, but short lived. What we needed was wire to hold the shocks in place, but we had none. But lo and behold, over the hill came a boda-boda (local motorbike transport). We flagged him down and asked him if he happened to have wire. Nope. But he did have a break cable. After paying him .50 cents, Zane tied the one shock up with the cable. And we were on the road again. This too was short lived. Within five minutes the cable snapped. Once again we flagged down a boda-boda and paid him to drive to the next village for bailing wire. Thirty minutes later, and after a lot of haggling over the price, Zane was back under the vehicle, this time tying both shocks secure with bailing wire. Now I am no mechanic, but I learned the shocks hold the springs. And broken shocks means a potential for the springs to "bounce" off, at which point we would be stuck. Therefore, we drove at 40-50 kilometers per hour, with the back end of the vehicle bouncing all over the place. We finally made itto civilization just as the sun was setting--let me remind you, we left at 2pm and this leg of the journey was only supposed to take a little under 2 hours.
Over the course of the next 8 hours we had to replace the bailing wire four times. Our max speed never exceeded 60 kilometers per hour. At one point we reached a section of the road where there were speed bumps 30 feet a part for over a mile. We laughed. We prayed. And to stay awake we made up some very, very silly songs--at least Zane and I did, the children were sleeping peacefully. Finally, at 2am, we rolled into the guesthouse.
Ladies, thanks you so much, those of you who prayed specifically over our journey.