Tuesday was the day that we traveled to Lusaka. Audrey, Tom and Denise’s flight was to leave on Wednesday afternoon. To avoid the possibility of problems we left on Tuesday. I was also interested in seeing about some used tires for the truck. The ones on it are about finished. They also wanted to pick up some gifts from Zambia for folks back home
There is a village replica where craftsmen display their various African wares. We visited there on Wednesday morning.
When you visit a place like this you are almost “attacked” by the craftsmen. They are “high pressure.” This becomes annoying but it works to your advantage because all the prices are negotiable and if you are sharp you can get some really good deals.
When that was done we visited a “take away” and got something for lunch and headed out to the airport. As usual you must arrive several hours early for you flight. We left them at the airport at about 1 pm for a flight after 3.
I want to get going and look for tires and get on the road. I do not do well at night driving in Zambia. Night driving is not recommended due to hazards that are not seen until you are right on top of them.
A church member said he knew of a Lebanese man with good used tires. So off we go. He is right. He gets his tires from Europe and places not Africa, The prices are a bit more than I want to pay. But they look really really good. We ended up getting 3 nearly new tires and new rim for our spare for 2000 zkw (just over $300).
That done we are ready to get going. The only problem it is now about 3 pm. This will mean driving some in the dark going down the mountain. Off we go. At this time of the day the traffic is not bad so we negotiate that fairly easily. The problem is that they are redoing the roads between Lusaka and Chilanga.
I do not know who lays this all out but we are on a road that is only two lanes squeezed between work on both sides. On top of that the two lanes are maybe just that with no room to spare. The traffic is bumper to bumper. Somewhere in all this mess the truck in front of me stopped short and I rear ended him. I found out a drawback (I was told by a mechanic) of ABS systems. You don’t stop as fast. That combines with the dust and gravel on the road… Well I hit him. There was no damage to his truck. I can’t say the same about mine. We were to follow to another place but as I started moving it was clear there was a problem. So I pulled into a shopping area and we never saw them again.
I was fortunate that a couple of young men from Mazabuka were relaxing in the parking lot when we limped up. They jumped in and looked at what was going on. It turned out the damage was minimal but there was a problem with the radiator. They worked on it for an hour and got us going including a problem with the computer and we were able to get back on the road.
No one was hurt (except my pride and nerves). The damage to the front of the truck will need to be assessed in Siavonga. But we made it in about 9:30pm.
The next day we found a “beater” to work on the truck. He is a mechanic but works on the body of the vehicle primarily. We had left Chilimina at Masompe (I think I said Mapoto in the last blog) to do the well apron and hoped that we would finish in time to do a well in the afternoon.
I watched him take the font end apart and reshape the parts to the original form. It was fascinating. All the work was done by hand. When he was finished the front was generally back to the original shape.
We had planned to flush and clean the cooling system (inside and out) so that was done. Several leaks were found and finally repaired. The result was good but we were unable to work on the well.
God was surely looking after us in all of this. Tomorrow we will attempt to repair four wells in a day.
I appreciate your continued interest and support. I need to let you know if you have questions etc. You can communicate using my e-mail at chill. At this time I can check it every day.
More to come…