Thursday, March 3, 2011

Just going home...

After a fun “outing on the town” to celebrate Chrissy’s birthday, we left the Hotel Vanilla. Scott Will and I were going to drive the Zoolander home. (The Zoolander is a Isuzu Paharo that was so named by the team because at one time it could only turn left. To go anywhere one would have to carefully plan the circular route. I took it out to town today to keep the battery fresh and see how it was running.) Lilli, who does not like our family being spilt up, asked where I was going. I told her I was just going home…

Unfortunately, we found the beloved Zoolander leaning to the left with a flat front tire. After piecing together a jack, Scott Will and I replaced the tire in record time (webele Heidi for keeping the car together while you were here).
Scott and I ordered some cold bottles of water and the waitress was baffled to find that Amy drove away in the other LandCruiser. She exclaimed, “ehh, she is like Patrica Abbott. She knows how to drive!”

Scott and I then got on the road and Amy called us. She alerted us that there was a man in the middle of the road. Since it was dark, she thought it wise for her car loaded with 3 children and 3 women to go on. Lillian scolded Amy for not stopping like the good Samaritan, but she assured Lilli that I would stop and help when I came by.

Sure enough, we rounded a blind curve and saw a pair of legs sticking out of the reeds into the side of the road. Scott and I pulled over and checked the man. He was not moving but was breathing and had a good pulse. He did not seem to be hurt, and he did seem to be rather intoxicated. A friend from the health center happened to be coming by on his boda (motorcycle). He stopped and we discussed what we could do. It was not long before two other bodas and a truck filled with cocoa and 20 men stopped to see what was going on. The general consensus was to move the man to the side of the road and leave him. The side of the road dropped rather steeply down 40ft into a swamp and Scott did not think this was safe. I also knew I could not go home and face my tender hearted wife and 6 year old daughter having just left him. So, despite wanting to move on, we loaded him into the back of the Zoolander and went to the Nyahuka Police Dept. We were surprised to find them both present and helpful. The officer on duty was named Johnson- I smiled and greeted him as “brother.” It actually felt as much like Mayberry as I think Bundibugyo can.

We then made it back to the mission and parked the Zoolander in the Bamboo thatch. We locked up and laughed about what a night it had been. It was not quite over…

The night watchmen stopped us and said that water was gushing from the Myhre’s house. So we diverted. At the Myhre’s we found a small geyser pouring out water in the back of their house. After wandering in and out of the house looking for the source, I finally resorted to calling Scott Myhre in Kenya. We came up with an adequate theory that an old water tank was mistakenly filled and now a cut off pipe at the house was pouring water. I found and turned off a valve to the unused water tank. I then dug through some weeds to find a cork that was used to plug up where a tap used to be. I pulled out the cork to let water gush out. We then found a fallen Egyptian palm branch and made a make shift spout to divert the water. We were feeling pretty proud of our work when something bit me in the bum…

I looked down to see my feet being swarmed by mpali or safari ants. I tried to brush them off to no avail. I had ants in my pants. It was dark and we were all men. So I got down to my boxers slapping myself like Chris Farley running from bees. After a few minutes of chaos I looked up to see the nightguards staring at me. They cocked their heads and then said, “Ehh, Doctor, can we go?” Sure, have a good night.

I am thankful for stories to laugh at and Scott Will to be here to laugh with.


  1. This is a great story (from my view in PA), it goes on and on...what a night!

  2. There's somethin' about that vehicle that keeps you laughin' through it all! I love it - and all of it's quirks. And I love that the saga of your day ended with impali! Hi-larious :)

  3. priceless. i will have the image of you & chris farley in my mind for quite some time, travis! thanks for sharing!