Friday, December 24, 2010

Kyamagemule Roads

Scrape, scratch, thunk. Kyamagemule roads have not changed since the first trip or the second trip. This time, though, we made the journey in a standard-carriage car that scraped along a good portion of the dirt road. The first two-and-a-half hours of the drive were on tarmac. But Gabriel skillfully navigated the treacherous, gully-ridden, rock-infested hills in the hour-and-a-half-long drive that followed the tarmac road and went deep into the remote village.

The ongoing problem is that the photos don’t do justice to just how horrid these crevasses really are. I’m sure they’ve swallowed whole cars before…or at least a boda and its passengers. In some places the high points of the road were so narrow that the wheels of the car slid down into the gully with quite a thunk to the undercarriage. Reaching the homes of the sponsored children by car netted a new plot of long grass growing from that same underside of the car. Finally emerging onto paved roads after the work was complete, Gabriel stopped and inspected the car. It’s a good thing he didn’t check underneath.

The drive, though, is always filled with beauty. Quaint little brick or mud houses were tucked into the thick undergrowth here and there. Children yelling “mzungu” played on the dirt plots in front of those homes. A vast array of purple, pink, and yellow flowers bloom sporadically throughout the hills. Cattle roamed freely while shepherds used a switch to gently guide them to greener pastures. What a magnificent place.