Saturday, September 1, 2012

Road Trip Adventures

When our summer rush of volunteers died down at the beginning of August, Tom and I decided to take Jasmine and Troy on a special trip to Lusaka. Both of them had birthdays coming up and both had been carrying extra heavy loads these past several months. We wanted them to have a chance to let their hair down and relax and enjoy being teenagers.

Two of our Peace Corps Volunteer friends offered to stay at the orphanage to look after things so we could all get away as a family.

Tom got a good night's sleep and then we started off at 4:15 AM. Jasmine and Troy stretched out on the benches in the back and we were off.

Resting in a crate between Jasmine and Troy was our latest wildlife rescue--but more about that later.

After several hours of driving, I climbed into the back of the car and Troy took my place in the front as navigator and driver's assistant. Tom had just purchased a newspaper from a roadside store and so Troy read the interesting articles out loud. Between the unfamiliar local names and the political jargon it ended up being quite the workout for poor Troy.

Jasmine kept busy with creating 'friendship' bracelets. She has quite a collection on her arms--both her own designs and gifts from others.

We all enjoyed seeing crazy sights such as this incredibly overloaded truck. It's a wonder it didn't tip over.

We had been making great time and moving swiftly down the road, with only a glitch in 3rd gear to concern us, when the car just lost power completely. Tom was not happy as we drifted to a stop on the side of the road. We were only about 2 hours away from Lusaka, but it might as well have been the moon if the car wasn't working.

Not having any real idea what was wrong we decided to check and see if we were out of gas. A short side note--our Landcruiser has two diesel tanks. When one runs out you flip a switch and the other becomes available. We've had trouble with this switch before.

We pulled out our 20 L (5 gal.) jerrycan of diesel and created a funnel out of a water bottle. 

Troy and Tom worked together to get most of the diesel into the tank (only some ended up on the ground). We cranked the ignition, and Praise Be, we were good to go. This confirmed that the switchover button was broken. We headed straight for a gas station and filled up the working tank so we'd have enough to get the rest of the way to Lusaka.

The first thing we did in Lusaka was get the truck into the repair shop. Between the 3rd gear trouble, the tank switchover button and a few other broken items, our mechanic had his work cut out for him. Little did we know the problem was even bigger than we imagined.

But that is a story for another day. We were safely in Lusaka and ready for some fun. Stay tuned....

(Almost) Exactly One Year Ago: Dresses from Pillowcases
Exactly Two Years Ago:  Moments of Panic


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