Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A Little Road Trip

Last Friday, I excitedly set off for my first weekend away from N’Djamena since I arrived in September, to a ‘resort’ for a retreat about 1 hour away. The direction to which were as follow: Go North out of the city, take the left road opposite the Castel Beer sign and then the next left. The chances for getting lost were minimal, what could possibly go wrong?!

With a car load of fellow Nasara’s, 5 hours later we arrived! My car was obviously also very much looking forward to a decent run out of town and in its excitement totally froze- that’s right, the rear wheels decided to stop turning while driving at 60mph! Not good. Thank God there was no one on the road at that precise moment or else the results could have been very different. But I managed to keep the car on the road and we came to a grinding metal, burning rubber filled stop, diagonally right across the middle of the road. The road then refilled with its usual traffic and we were soon surrounded by lots of animated Arabic chatter as various passer-by’s stopped to provide their opinion on what went wrong and after lots of shoving and banging of hammers to release whatever had frozen we were pushed off the road.

Amazingly, in the midst of the chaos I looked up to see the familiar face of my neighbour’s taxi man and he took control of the situation, phoning for the Fifth Emergency Service- i.e. The hospital’s driver and a mechanic. As we waited for our ‘knight in a not so shiny white, not running very well Nissan’, we watched the sun near the horizon, while dreaming of the swimming pool that awaited us and enjoyed the kindness of the chief from a nearby village, who had taken his wife to our hospital just the month before!

When Dogo the hospital drive turned up I could have kissed him! Instead I did a little dance- he laughed as he is used to me, the mechanic however looked slightly scared!!

As the sun set my car was driven away (still grinding and not smelling very healthy) and we were fetched by some other friends for the weekend’s retreat, during which I reflected how well protected and looked after we had all been!

You have to worry when your 'rescue' car looks in as bad shape as the one it's rescuing!

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