Sunday, July 27, 2014

Going out with a BANG

During my last week at New Day, the kids got to go on a field trip to Livingston. The plan was to take the older kids to see Victoria Falls and the younger kids would go to the crocodile farm. The morning started off at the crack of dawn. We should have known it was going to be a long day when the alarm clock read 4:30 AM. We were supposed to load onto the bus at 5:30 but the bus did not arrive until after 6AM. For those of you who think Africa and think hot..nope. We were all wrapped up in blankets as we piled onto the bus, laughing at our “smoking” breath. The little chocolate faces popping out of turquoise blankets were amazed to watch the sun come up. 

Once we were almost into Livingston, a police car started flashing its lights at us and a man with a large machine gun steps out of the car and approaches the bus. Apparently we were supposed to go through the weigh station. Oops. We just got a warning and were on our way. I went with the younger kids to the croc farm. The kids loved it. I loved seeing their little faces light up when they saw the big crocs and snakes. We even got to hold a baby crocodile. They saw snakes common to the area and they fed the crocs some horse meat so the kids could see a feeding. While waiting on the bus (again) the kids had fun on the playground and open area of grass. 

Once the bus came back to get us, we went to Olga’s- an italian restaurant- for pizza and soda! All Olga’s profits from the restaurant go to the Youth Community Training Center (YCTC). Check it out here - . After pizza, the interns got some delicious gelato before heading back to the bus. Shortly after boarding the bus, the bus driver thought it would be a good idea to stop in the middle of the road while he ran an errand- why he didn’t do this while we were eating I have no idea. Anyways, it wasn’t long until the police pulled us over for illegal parking. They got ON the bus and rode with us all the way to the police station. After waiting and waiting, Blu started speaking Tonga and they let us go. Then, it was back to the weigh station that we had missed on the way in. We didn’t have the proper paperwork or something and ended up having to sit on a sweltering bus with kids sleeping all over us for quite awhile. Finally, they let us leave, but about 15 minutes down the road, the bus started to overheat and we had to pull over at a little town for about an hour to let it cool. Thankfully we were able to find a potty and some snacks. 
Finally, the bus driver decided to give it another go. Unfortunately the attempt was short lived and the bus ended up dying right on the side of the road, this time for good. It was hot and not safe to stay in the vehicle so we all piled out onto the side of the road and emptied the bus out. 
By this time it was about 5PM and the sun would be setting soon, so we put the kids to work gathering some firewood. There was a village not far away so some of the group went over to say hello and borrow a few hot coals to get our fire started. One of the New Day employees, Mulenga, was even able to sit down with the men of the village and share the gospel. While the staff worked out getting more transportation, we were able to get the kids and most of the staff on a public bus headed back towards New Day. The rest of us watched the sun set and enjoyed some star gazing around the fire. 

Finally, our ride arrived! It was a smaller bus so we kinda had to cram in with all our stuff, but we made it. We had a pretty fun ride and sang songs almost the whole way back. We had to stop several time for things like the ATM and to get some tylenol (all our singing gave the driver a headache…oops). We were SO ready to get back and in our beds and then all of a sudden- BANG! The bus hit some deer-like creature without even tapping the brakes. I just knew there was going to be blood spattered all over the windshield. Surprisingly, the bus came out clean and unharmed, but the other interns said they saw it lose a few legs. Blu jokingly said that a true Zambian would go back and get that animal for the meat so the bus driver tried to whip the bus around but somehow killed the bus in the process. So it was completely dark outside, the bus was sitting sideways on the road across both lanes of traffic, and we had absolutely no lights on or way of warning people. We evacuated the bus as quickly as possible. I stumbled out holding a sleeping little girl and scooted down the bank of the road, which was pretty steep, to get as far away as possible from the traffic. The guys immediately started pushing the bus to get it back in the correct lane, then had to push jump start it. Finally we all jumped back on and made it back to the orphanage (after missing the turn off the first time). 
When we got back to the kitchen, the Cooks had saved a dinner plate for each of us interns so we took our chicken and chips (fries) back to the ARK (volunteer house) to collapse after a long day. We hadn’t been sitting for 5 minutes when Ricky came in and told us they had noticed the back door open earlier that day. Since everyone was gone, it was suspicious. After looking around, we discovered that both of the boy interns had had things stolen. Drew’s backpack with all of his money was taken and Sam’s money pouch with his cash, drivers license and passport was also taken. Everyone was just shocked by all of the events of the day but we know that God makes all things work together for our good and that there is a reason for everything. 

1 comment:

  1. What an adventure with all the bus stuff! Glad you guys made it safely back after all of that. That sunset picture is incredible!


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