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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Another Road Story

Another day, another road story–this time from Kenya. The trip out to the village to visit the wood carvers went smoothly. Three hours outside Nairobi. By mid-day, we were headed back.

A few miles down the road, we stopped at a Sikh temple for vegetarian Indian food for lunch. The food was free, but a donation to the temple was expected. I’ve never before been in a Sikh temple, so didn’t know what to expect. One of the things I noticed was that there were dozens of sinks for washing hands. We loaded the food from a buffet on big divided metal trays. One “rule”was to clean your plate, to not waste food and to eat everything you take. (The Sikh Clean Plate Club?) We stopped in the prayer room to take a look around when leaving (covered our heads and washed our hands first), and then paid the requisite donation.

On the road again, I was hoping for a glimpse of a giraffe, since I had seen one on this road before. I did see some big monkeys, but no giraffe today.

Rolling along, our driver said, “Small problem,” and pulled over by the side of the road. After standing around and various people tinkering with the car, it was decided that it was too dangerous for us all to be standing on the side of the road, and we were sent to climb into a semi cab to ride to a nearby gas station. This was my second new experience of the day. I have never before been in a semi cab. There’s a lot of space in there, and, damn, it’s really high up off the road.

After learning that the problem was the fuel pump, a tow truck was located and sent out. But, the tow truck ran out of gas (in only one mile!), leaving both our Land Cruiser and the truck out on the highway. About this time, the cell phone battery of the woman who was with me died, so we lost contact with the people still on the road.

I’m not sure how all this was resolved. We waited about 3 hours at the fuel station, eating ice cream and drinking soda. We speculated that perhaps we had done something incorrectly at the temple that was causing us afternoon craziness. Our car eventually ended up at the filling station. And the group I was with sent someone from Nairobi to pick us up. Hours and hours with nothing to do but hang out, and laugh, and wait.


Blogger meno said...

I wish you had seen a giraffe. How cool would that be?
I guess when travelling in these countries, you get lots of chances to practice patience.

12:56 PM  

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