We had to travel to Yaounde, a mere 10 hours’ truck drive away, to take care of various items of business, including getting our truck repaired and having a new timing belt put in. Yes, we hit the 100,000 kilometer mark during the trip, and our good friend and mechanic told us to try to get that done.
One of the first big sights that caught our eyes on the way there was the expanse of the refugee camp at Lolo. People and houses stretch a long long way. Last year at this time, this view was just trees and brush. We personally know only a few people here among the estimated 8,000.
You see alot of people taking crazy chances with their lives, taking pain and discomfort in stride in order to get to where they need to go. They sit, crushed together like sardines inside, or take their chances with dust or rain or possibly falling from the vehicle, on the outside. If you sit inside, you’d think you’d want to sit next to a window, right? No! Sitting by a window puts you in direct contact with the dust/exhaust/rain, not to mention the danger of exposure to whatever the goat tied to the rack above you chooses to share with you. Travel on the narrow dirt roads is always an adventure – see how closely these two are passing? Imagine this width of road or less, on a blind curve, with potholes and mud and with the logging truck barreling down on you much faster than he should!
We rarely go on a trip without seeing this – clumps of grass & brush at intervals, warning of an accident or broken down truck ahead. It certainly is a good use of what’s available to give a heads up to speeding cars!
I didn’t take pictures of every accident we passed, but this is an example, though viewed through a rainy windshield, of what is a common sight. Sad. We arrived to the city outskirts in very good time, but then proceeded to be stuck in traffic. It took us an hour to go about 3 miles. At least we had entertainment in front of us. These sheep were headed into town, each tied to a central rope by ropes around their necks, probably to be sacrificed when the Muslims celebrate Tabaski. On that day (about 3 weeks from now), they honor the Lord’s provision of a sacrificial ram for Abraham and his son, up on the mountain. Some of my friends think of the day as a time for atonement of sin, but others view it as a day to eat meat. It is always a good day for talking about the whole sin issue, and I am so thankful for friends who are open to discussion and prayer! I don’t know if you can make out the tangle of wires below this repairman, but that is par for the course in this city. People often latch on to existing wires, willynilly, and enjoy electricity at others’ expense.
After a few days of catch up with friends and taking care of business, we were back on the road again. We started out in the dark, at about 5am, and just a bit later were treated to a glorious sunrise.We passed the plantations of teak trees, acres of straight rows of big trees. Have you ever seen a blue sheep? Apparently thievery has reached an all time high in our border town, so animal owners have resorted to dying their flocks to discourage theft. Glad to be back at our home sweet home!