Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Days 6-7 Kampala to Cape Town 2011

Days 6 & 7 of Journey to Cape Town 2011

Greetings from Livingstone, Zambia! Well, we completed our first week on the road today. I can’t believe we’ve been driving for 7 days! So far the journey has been farther and slower than we expected, no surprise there. For those of you into numbers, we’ve driven 3,846 km (2,390 miles) through 4 countries (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia). From the time we left in the mornings until the time we arrived at our daily destinations, we’ve been ‘on the road’ for 70.5 hours (that includes stops for fuel, food and potty breaks). When I averaged the distance we travelled and the time it took us to cover that distance, we discovered we are crawling along at a mere 54.5 km/hr (33.5 mph). Painfully slow!

We’ve learned that we can’t figure out the distance, say 500 km, and guesstimate an arrival time, ie. “if we drive 100 km/hr we should get there in 5 hours, 6 with breaks.” No, that doesn’t work here at all. You never know how many villages you’ll go through, since the main highway passes through numerous villages and towns, and at every one you have to slow down to 80, 60 or 50. There are always speed bumps before and after every town, and often many on the main drag through town. There are also frequent police checks where they check our drivers’ licenses and vehicle documents to make sure everything is up to scratch. So far we’ve been stopped by traffic police 11 times.

But through it all...the long, slow journeys, the speed bumps and traffic police...God has faithfully protected us. Yesterday we had our first tire blow out. I was sitting in the middle with the boys, John was upfront with Kezi, and Yolam was driving. All the sudden I heard a whoosh!! and thump thump thump thump thump. The inner tube in the right rear tire blew and the tire went flat in seconds. Yolam did a great job keeping the truck on the road and gearing down to a stop. He managed to save both the tire and the rim, but the tube and the ‘gutter’ (?) were in pieces.

I ran down the road aways and set out our emergency hazard triangle and dragged a big tree branch into the road to divert traffic around us, and John and Yolam got to work changing the tire. Thankfully we were in a pretty deserted stretch of other vehicles or people on the road when the tire blew...and it was straight and flat, so it was a perfect location to get a flat. We managed to get the tire repaired at the next ‘biggish’ town at the ‘tire mending tree’...literally these guys were fixing flats under a scrawny tree on the dust-blown side of the road with no building at all...just a portable air compressor powered by a generator. They did a great job, but all the delays turned our 9-hr journey into a 13-hr journey. Oh yeah, we also lost time when we pulled into Barclays bank to get money from the ATM, and there was a Zambian woman with car problems in the parking lot, and Yolam came to her rescue and fixed her car within about 30 minutes. It’s great to have him with us and awesome that he can be a blessing to others, as well!

We slept at the YWAM base in Lusaka last night, and then headed out around 9 this morning for the 6-hr stretch to Livingstone. Today was uneventful with smooth, beautiful roads, hardly any traffic, very few speed bumps and only a few police stops. We arrived at Jolly Boys Backpackers around 3:30, and now John and the kids are enjoying the swimming pool while Yolam talks to some of the workers at the bar. Kezi is shrieking with joy having finally caught the knack of swimming without having to stop every time she needs to breathe. I would say today is the first day of her doing ‘real swimming’ on her own!!! Pretty cool place to learn that!

We are about 10 km from Victoria Falls on the Zambian side, so tomorrow morning we’re going to go and check them out. Then we’re hoping to drive to the Botswana border at Kazungulu, cross with the ferry, and begin our journey south through Botswana on the eastern border. We don’t have a place booked for tomorrow night, and aren’t even sure how far we’re going to get, so please pray for God’s guidance to a good place to sleep.

Tomorrow is also the presidential elections here in Zambia, so please pray for peaceful voting and no problems. We in the West often take this for granted, but here in Africa elections can be dangerous times. Most of the locals we’ve talked to don’t expect any problems, though.

The next few days are a bit unknown in terms of which cities we’re aiming for or where we’re hoping to sleep. Originally we thought the journey would take 9 days, but now it looks like it’s going to be 11. So we still have 4 more driving days to go. God has really been sustaining us, but I have to say...I’m feeling pretty shattered. Tonight is our second night of camping, and although it saves money, it’s tiresome to set up the tents, etc. Plus it takes ages to break ‘em all down and repack everything. Not sure how many more nights we’ll camp on the way.

There are many more observations and things to say, but I’ll stop for now. Thanks again for all your prayers, and we’ll do our best to keep you posted on the journey.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Vikki for the gang

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