A quick blog this week as we are heading off to Lake Navisha for a few days, photos and blog will come post trip.
This week is reserved for our loyal, kind and overly (at times) patient driver, Frederick. Frederick does not own his own car, he rents one, so as you can imagine, his profits from dealing with us all hours of the day are little. Yet never is this shown in the way he treats us, or the tireless efforts we all make in ensuring his car is on the road at all. I say on the road at all because upon approaching the vehicle, one can determine it is far from fit for the roads we take it down. Hills, mudslides, rocks, boulders, bigger rocks, mini-mountains, rivers, itty-bitty bridges, somehow we manage to roll our way (often by ripping through 1-3 gear in one go) through all of this, but it is for sure a team effort. This week especially saw myself, Morgan, Sylvia and Pauline pushing Frederick's car up more than a few massive mud hills (all while being spit in the face with direct petrol, the result of a lost exhaust pipe earlier in the week, Frederick had battled an even bigger hill and the hill had won, claiming the exhaust pipe in return for our pathetic attempts to conquer it). It also saw many a shaken head on behalf of onlookers, who burst into laughter at our ridiculous efforts to get this vehicle going. It seemed like we pushed it more than it drove, let's just leave it at that. All of this is said without direct documentation, but today, was the behemoth...and we got some of it on camera.
"Road construction, great," I turn to Morgan and we both give a look of concern.
Road construction in this case meant a bunch of men shovelling rocks, yes, rocks, onto the road to give it some traction. These transactions in the roadways usually see us waiting for everyone to pass, as it doesn't take much for other drivers to assess we stand no chance of making it through alive and they don't want to be stuck behind us. This scenario of course played out again. I have learned enough of the language to know that when the man in the car in front of us (often we are head on with other vehicles, vying for space in a one car road) told us to "back up and turn your wheels to the side, common man, back up", I out-loud said, "No! You can't be serious! We can't back up!" But it was too late, Frederick looked at me questioningly for a pure second, before revving the car backwards, into you guessed it, a ditch. Well, first we hit a motorbike, who shook his fist at us from the shrubs, then we rolled backward into the ditch, then revered forward into the ditch, then finally came to a rest entirely in the ditch. No movement. This is the point when we all on key get out of the vehicle, but this time things were too bad for us to handle alone...
Frederick sized up our situation.....and decided we needed help.
These men literally stopped their work and physically picked up the car, in the front and back, and placed it back on the road.
Off we were again, to face more road adventures, or the car just flat out dying (as it did on the middle of the tarmac on the way home the day previously).
While this is simply a happening here in Kenya, many people at home will get a laugh out of our situation, while I am left with admiration for our rescuers and of course, for Frederick.