Saturday, August 3, 2013

Traveling to Kitindi (Day 2)


Not designed for vehicular traffic, several bridges went “crack”
as we passed over them…hmm…how to return.

We walked ahead without fear, and wondered how exactly
 the hot box would pass the next obstacle…and the next…and the next.

The true jungles of Congo were depleted of their former wildlife
but bamboo blockages remained in abundance.

Friday, July 19 at 11:30 am

It was simply too easy to slide off the narrow wet rails left by some passing tractor and to get one end or the other hung up in the muck.

Friday, July 19 at 12:00 pm

Notice this stuck was perhaps 5 minutes after we were finally released from the second. A trailer broke down and was left overnight, though it was still there upon our return. Our only option was to go around it, doing so, though, meant filling in a swamp. Of course, the swampy ground was much MUCH softer than anticipated…and there was a tree stump just below the surface. This was just all kinds of stuck that I didn’t even want to watch.

Friday, July 19 at 2:16 pm

Perhaps 5 minutes after the third stuck…we were stuck AGAIN. Notice how slick the clay is and the high spots were deceivingly soft and positioned in all the wrong places.

 We began thinking we might never get unstuck, or at least that we might not reach Kitindi before nightfall, and so sent ahead for three motorcycles. The idea was to send the guests and the muse (mosay or wise, respected man…Kizombo Sr.). An hour from the spot from which we sent the messenger, an hour to return, and an hour back to Kitindi would get at least a few of us to arrive before dark. Off I went on a motorcycle.

Now…before I tell you this next part…I must say something as a pre-defense of what is to come. I grew up on motorcycles. Dad had one, boyfriend had one, I had one. I’ve ridden boda-bodas more than 10,000 times in traffic and on roads that were pretty dangerous in and around Kampala. I’ve even driven myself in the outskirts areas. What happens not 50 feet from where we began? I got dumped. Yep, the motorcycle slid off a high spot and we bit the dust. Kizombo Sr. then demanded I get back in the truck. Good thing I love him so much…or I’da argued in fierce protection of my pride. (Sorry, I was too busy falling to take a picture.)

The hot box and the motorcycles kept time together and finally a walking bridge (two logs sprawled across a deep river gap) presented itself before us. Wobbling our way across that bridge and up, up, up to Kizombo Sr’s home, the neighborhood children greeted us from afar. This journey wore us all down, but…wait till you hear about the return trip.