I wanted to share our Singuaya trip on Saturday the 24 as a separate post because it was a pretty epic day. It was one of those days that you thought would never end and you wish you could just say “time out” or “do over” so you can gain your bearings or just scrap the day.
The morning started with me realizing that there was no fuel in the Land Rover. While everyone else ate breakfast I ran to town to get some diesel so we could make the trip. No big deal I could eat along the way… I wish that was all the hiccups we had for the day. Once we got off the main road and into the interior we came to a barrier in the road and as we went under the barrier the Land Rover just died. Now keep in mind I JUST got the Land Rover back after an 800 dollar ring job and fuel pump replacement and now it is dead. Smack dab in the middle of the road under the barrier bar.
I turned the key a few more times and nothing but clicking. At that point I was pretty steamed inside. Kenya, Sadie, and the kids were in the car and we had people waiting in Singuaya for teachings. We also were caring the food with us for fifty people that we were afraid was going to spoil already. My immediate response was I dropped my coffee and the chapati I had been eating in the floor and tossed my keys to Kenya and told her I would be back with the van. Thankfully we broke down at the barrier because there are like 15 motorcycles sitting there waiting for customers. When I got out to hop on a motor cycle the men that run the barrier check point asked me if I wanted them to push the car out of the way and I said no but then I said they could talk to mama who I was leaving with the car.
Two motor cycles came flying over trying to be the first to get to me. I hopped on one and told him not to wreck he said no worries I will go slow I told him no don’t go slow my family is stuck just don’t wreck and go fast. Then we were off. Really I was pretty flustered inside again since the Land Rover was just worked on. About ten minutes down the road I started to think clearly and thought I should have checked the battery or under the hood but in my frustration I thought the best thing to do was go and now that these logical thoughts were coming to me I was a pretty good ways into the trip and decided to go on to Malindi knowing that if I went back and was defeated, my emotional state would really be compromised. Ok I would blow a fuse…anyhow.
As we were riding I reminded the motorcycle driver that there was a check point at the bridge and he said it was no problem. I wanted to give him a chance to drop me off before the check point if he did not have his license or insurance which is common with the motorcycle taxis. When we got to the police check point at the bridge the police officer stopped us and sure enough the driver had no license or insurance and the police officer was giving him a hard time all in Swahili. I spoke to the guard in English when he spoke to me, asking me where I was going. I told him about the car breaking down and that I was going to get my van so I could pick up my family. He said something about the situation to me and I said I just caught the motorcycle and that I did not know. The officer arrested the motor cycle dude and I got off the motorcycle paid the guy and said, “pole sana uko na shida sasa” “Very sorry you have a problem now”.
I took off walking on foot across the bridge and still about 3 miles from home. Thankfully a Tuk Tuk passed by and picked me up on the other side of the bridge. I was contemplating taking my shirt off and jogging but thankfully the Lord sent a ride. The tuk tuk dropped me off at our road and I walked the rest of the way to the house and got the van. When I went through the police checkpoint again my motor cycle guy flagged me down and said they wanted 1000 shillings and I told him sorry but that was not my problem. I had warned him and he should have his license and issurance. I reminded him that I did pay him well and that they would likely get tired of him and eventually let him go but I had to go on to get my family. He accepted that I had paid him well and that it was really his fault. I told him I would tell his buddies he was stuck. I felt bad for the guy but again I did warn him and he should have license and insurance.
When I got back to the Land Rover an hour later everyone was happy I was back. I decided to try and fire up the Rover again and it fired right up. I was still unsure of the problem and reasoned in my mind that it was a connection issue or something with the battery and I would have been able to fix if I had not left so quickly. I spent a few minutes going back and forth from the van to the car because I wasn’t sure if I should send Kenya and Sadie out to Singuaya alone and take the kids on home or if we should all go. Finally we decided to all go on to Singuaya but about five minutes into the trip Kenya called from the van and said that it only had a quarter tank of gas which was not enough to make the trip so once again we switched vehicles. I turned around and took the kids to Malindi while Kenya and Sadie went on to Singuaya to teach the ladies.
When I went through the police check point this time at the bridge the same police officer that had stopped us on the motor bike stopped the van and he recognized me. This time I spoke to him in Swahili and told him I made it to Malindi and that I picked up my children from the broken down vehicle. He was shocked that I knew Swahili and very quickly let me go on through knowing that I heard him giving my motorcycle guy a hard time and hinting around about a bribe.
We got to the house and I checked on our water situation and threw the foot ball with Josiah then was about to sit down in the house when Kenya called and said that the Land Rover had quit…again and they were still not to the church. They were close but not quite there. I left the kids at the house and got in the van with some tools and chains in case I needed to pull the Land Rover home. I grabbed by Bible and notes thinking we might still make it to the church for teaching even though we would be a few hours late.
Before I got to Kenya and Sadie in the Land Rover they called and said that they got it started and were at the church. I was almost there when Kenya called so I told her I would come on and we would leave together after the teachings. With all the delays and everything, the food we had carried out was starting to spoil. It was edible but we paid for it for the next few days after eating it and there is no need to go into details. After we all ate the men and women split. Our main focus for coming was for Kenya to teach the ladies on marriage as they requested her. I met with the men that came and we did some planning then I answered several questions from the Bible. It was a great time of fellowship and teaching.
Kenya said the ladies class went great. She felt like the Lord spoke through her. She left very burdened for the ladies and some of their situations but also very encouraged at the fellowship and hunger for teachings. The men and I had a great meeting so it was well worth the rough morning to get to Singuaya but our day was not over yet we still had to get home.
I went in front of the ladies in the Land Rover so they could help me if I broke down again. Also Kenya was driving slow in the new van because the roads were terrible. We hated to take the van out to Singuaya but we did not have a choice. I did break down again, well technically I stopped when I noticed that the heat gauge was in the red. I popped the hood and realized the problem when I saw steam coming out of the top the engine. When the Land Rover was repaired there was a plastic cap that had gotten broken and it was fixed with “super glue”. The fundi told me about it and I even saw it but I thought when he said “super glue” it was just another way of saying some type of sealer. No…he used super glue and of course when the engine got hot, not to mention the pressure built up, the super glue was gone and all the Engine coolant went with it. I added water and had a miniature Old Faithful coming out of my engine.
It explained why the engine, once cooled off, kept restarting but anyhow I had to plug up the hole and get home. Kenya and Sadie pulled up as I was working on making a cork out of a stick to hammer into the hole. I used my lucky machete and whittled out a cork, filled the Land Rover up with water, and tried to fire it up only to have nothing happened. The battery apparently was not charged by the alternator because of all the heat the engine was generating. I had Kenya pull the van over beside the Land Rover so I could jump it. We got it all hooked up and the Land Rover fired up. I backed up so Kenya could get the van back on the road but she was unable to… I asked her very calmly, “are you stuck?” and she said yes very calmly. I hung my head in disbelief then got out of the Land Rover and tried myself to get the van out but to no avail. Then a guy passing by helped push us out with three teen boys that had been watching the entire scenario in silence.
I gave the guy a ride that helped us out and we were back on the road. By this time it was nearly dark. Then it started to rain. I made it to the gate of the house when Kenya called to confirm if they were going the right direction. She said it was so dark and raining buckets of rain that it was difficult to tell if she was on the right road. Then as I was talking to her she said they spun a 180 in the road but were not stuck. To which in my mind I said AMEN! Once she got turned back around they were at the main road. Thankfully by 8pm we were all back to the house after a crazy day. But we got the teachings to Singuaya and it was so good! Bad news was there was still no water… and the bad food we ate was working hard on some of us….