Getting from Kampala to Nairobi was a series of "adventures" from beginning to end. I wanted to record it so that I can go back some day and remind myself of our first weeks here.
January 13 - Adventure #1
Did I say a 7 hour trip? Where did that come from? Let's try 15 hours. This story actually starts yesterday when Lynn and I were packing. I found some paperwork to fill out and it needed our passport numbers on it. That's when I discovered that my passport was missing. I looked everywhere and could not find it. I really believed that Lynn had misplaced it because I didn't remember even seeing it. We continued to pack but looked for it as we went. By 10:00 p.m. we searched everything again --suitcases, drawers, under furniture, in the trash -- everywhere again and again. At 11:00 we called our leaders and explained that we would not be able to go because of the missing passport and we went to bed. Our ride was to come at 4 a.m. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and started to look again and Lynn just a little while later. We still had not located it by the time the Wrights came. (You have to understand that we don't own much so there's not too many places for it to be hidden). Our friends wanted to help look so we searched everything once again with no luck. Finally, we prayed again and Gene found the passport under the front of our mattress?!?! I guess I did that, but I only vaguely remember it. So, we left at 5:30 a.m. Traffic was not good, but it was what one would expect as people were starting to work.
Our second experience was at the border. There was no one to register the vehicle so we went to get our passports stamped. They didn't ask for money so I felt pretty lucky until I realized that that was just a stamp to leave Uganda. We hadn't gotten to the Kenyan side. We drove back up to the office where Lynn and Gene got the vehicle work done. Then, over to the Kenyan side. More vehicle stuff, so Lynn went to work on that while Angela and I went to get our visas. They weren't going to stamp Lynn's without him being there, but the guy finally did it after I kept standing there after I paid the fee.
Vehicle done, passports stamped --then Gene remembered he had to register the car with the police. The whole process took about 1 and 1/2 hours.
The whole trip was about people and traffic. There isn't much space between villages. People walking, people riding bicycles, people on the side of the road selling things. And the road was another experience -- one lane most of the way. Some of it was deeply rutted. Twice we took detours which were "washboard" with ruts, speed humps and potholes that your car could get lost in.
At about hour # 12 we had a blowout! The tire was completely ruined. It was good that Lynn was there to help because it was a big job. Meanwhile, I tried to take pictures of some zebras across the road. 150 kiolmeters left to go and it would soon be dark. We prayed again for safety.
One last adventure.
We were close to Nairobi when we had to go through our first police check. (common occurrence) The policeman told us to get ""lifesavers" in our car. (Lynn first thought he was talking about the candy ) Lifesavers are reflective triangles that are used in emergencies. He said that he would "have mercy" on us and let us go on.
A little farther down the road, we had to stop at another police check. This policeman started yelling at us because Angela and I did not have seat belts on. (We didn't tell him that they were both broken). He started quoting the law and said that Gene, because he was the driver and responsible, would be fined 10,000 shillings (about $125) and so would those in the back seat -- 30,000 shillings in all. Then he demanded to look through our luggage, one piece at a time. Meanwhile, we were in the cab praying. He told us we were under arrest and that we would have to come back tomorrow to the pay the fine. (What he really hoped for was ?) He kept saying that he had the authority to "forgive" our crime. We finally did get to go and did not have to come back. The Lord does protect us! We made it to town, had a nice hot shower and went to bed.