Thursday, May 17, 2012

Driveover or Rollover

Big semi tractors sway from side to side as they inch down the improvised road of soft-earthed bean fields. Hope reigns as tractors passing in opposite directions wobble in opposite directions thus potentially smunching one another from the top. Vehicles heading in both directions vie for right of way on the narrow strip of earth now destroyed by hundreds of trucks and cars. I fret over this loss of food and income for some family.

By the skin of my teeth the semi truck hauling petrol eeked past my car. Breaks screeching, the sound of air being poofed out as they do. One centimeter forward for me, one centimeter forward for the truck. I finally come upon a cassava tree and can go no further until the taxi driver behind me gets mad and yanks out that tree. Apparently he didn’t have the nerves of steel that I did to get his bigger taxi past that same dangerous truck. Back and forth goes the exchange of space until we’re free from potential doom. Each vehicle in its turn repeating the same exercise in a long line of vehicles (mostly semi trucks) headed in both directions.

The drive toward Iganga where Dennis leads Shelemiah Orphan Care Ministries netted two semi trucks rolled off the edge of the roadway. On the return trip, we reached the second rollover just in time for the crane to reach the same spot and stop traffic in an effort to right the rolled tractor. We, and so many others, turned around and entered an off road space where cars and trucks having earlier foresight began passing. Among traffic headed in both directions, this narrow pass made me wish I waited on the roadway. And darkness falls.