Monday, June 07, 2010

Driving After Dark

The first year that Sara, Dan and I came to Zambia (2008) to scout the place out. We were advised by many who had been here before not to rent a car. We didn’t listen and we rented a car. We were also advised by many who had been here before not to drive after dark. We did listen and we did NOT drive after dark. There are many reasons not to drive at night here. 1) Lots of people walk at night and you can’t see them very clearly, 2) there are very few street lights, 3) there are many who are drunk and unstable as they walk in the darkness and they can stumble into your path, and 4) there might be animals in the dark!!!

Last year (2009), I had to drive in the dark once or twice out here on Namwianga property and I had to drive a short distance in Livingstone in the dark. I survived but it was a hair raising experience.

This year I have already been driving around in the dark like I have good sense. First, I drove the whole group out to Victoria Falls and back to the hotel in the dark. Then, tonight we had a situation. Webster, our night watchman was ill. I am not sure exactly what the illness was but he had already visited the clinic and received a couple of kinds of medicine then was back on our porch shaking and obviously in pain. I told him that he should go back home if he was ill and he said, “No, Madame. I can not ride my bicycle.” I could not let him sit there in pain so I asked him where he lived. He said in Kalomo and I said we are taking you home. So I rounded up Dan and Ian, we put Webster and his bicycle in the back of Khaki Jackie and we headed to Kaloma. At 7:45 at night. In the dark. In Zambia. We had to stop once for him to be ill but we plodded all the way to Kalomo. Then we had to get to his house, In the back roads behind the hospital. As he was telling me to turn left and turn right on dirt lanes with NO street lights I was wondering how we would be able to find out way out. As if reading my mind, Webster said, “Madame, when we get to my house my brother will ride back with you to the hospital to show you the way back and then he can ride the bicycle home.” And that is exactly what happened but first Webster had to take off his boots so that his brother could have a pair of shoes to ride on the bicycle in the dark. They share a pair of boots.

So, I drove for about an hour in the dark tonight and discovered that I am wealthy beyond measure because I don’t need to share my shoes with anyone.


At 7:21 PM, Blogger Casey said...

That story makes me count my blessings!

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Casey said...

That story makes me count my blessings!

At 12:02 AM, Blogger David and Linda Gregersen said...

Guardian angels have to work overtime when you drive in the dark in Africa. I'm so grateful that you were able to help Webster. Please keep me updated on his condition and tell him we're praying for him.


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