Vacation in Africa

Vacation in Africa

Vacationing in Africa usually has the potential for many interesting events.  Our trip to Kenya was definitely one that we will remember for a long time.

We had made plans to go with Gabe and Andrea Williams, Jennie Dangers, and Loren, Donna, and Eva Fast to the coast of Kenya to spend several days at a little cottage that we had rented there.

The morning that we left we met up with Gabe, Andrea, and Jennie and headed for Nairobi… And this is where the stories begin.  When we were almost to the border we got pulled over by a traffic cop who was looking for Christmas bribes.  It was a completely bogus ticket and when Gabe refused to pay a bribe the cop eventually sent him to the bank to pay the ticket.  When Gabe came back, the cop had disappeared with his license.  We eventually found him 10 miles down the road at a new post, but he left without telling anyone or leaving Gabe’s license at the office like he was supposed to.  It only added about 2 hours on to our trip which in comparison to other police stops is pretty good.

We made it to Nairobi, spent the night in a nice guesthouse, and left midmorning the next day for the coast.  We took the Fast’s Landcruiser and Toyota Corolla.  The trip to Mombassa went fine until we got just outside of town when the Corolla broke down.  I am going to save some typing here and just copy what Jennie wrote.

“The trip here was eventful, as I said, mainly because first one of the cars we were driving kept dying, which, added lots of time as we had to keep stopping and figuring out what was going on (thankfully all 3 men know a lot about cars!).  At one stop there was a mad/demon possessed or something like that man who tried to get in the car- tried to open my door!  I panicked, but thankfully Mr. Fast (6′ 7”) took care of it right away!  Eventually the car just died, so we had to tow it and the big land cruiser was very fine and able to pull it no problem.  Except the lights and breaks etc… were out on the Corolla because it was a power problem, so Gabe had to “drive” it behind the Land Cruiser and use the hand break every time he had to slow down/stop!  Thankfully it happened about 20 minutes outside Mombassa town.  Going through Mombassa town was CRAZY as it was dark, rush hour, and we were towing a car with no lights.  People kept trying to cut in right behind the land cruiser as they passed, and we’d all yell out the window to look out for the car behind us that we were TIED to!!  (The corolla had no horn either).  That was pretty hair raising as the Kenyan drivers seem to be even worse than Ugandan drivers. THEN, just as we were getting in line for the ferry, a police man stopped us and said we were VERY dangerous and shouldn’t be towing a car.  Well, we didn’t know what other option there was..  He just wanted a bribe.  Loren is really good at dealing with them and just talked and chatted and talked and chatted and talked for a while until finally the guy said we had to put all the luggage in the Corolla and all the people in the Land Cruiser (?!?) So we did…  Except Gabe and Syd stayed in the Corolla- Gabe to drive and Syd to wave his arms out the window at people trying to cut them off.  Getting on and off the ferry was pretty scary, but we made it (people kept trying to cut in and walk in between the cars, etc…  ) We still had to drive 50 km after the ferry, so that was slow and fairly hard, but we made it safe and sound.  The car’s getting worked on, and things are fine.”

Well that wasn’t the end of the story though… We found out that there was a problem with the alternator and got a new one.  However when they brought the “new” used alternator it had different electrical connections.  Loren called the mechanic that got it for him who then told Loren to bring the car back in and they would fix it.  When we questioned the mechanic (3 times) if the car was ok to drive without the alternator working, he assured us that it would be fine.  So Loren took off and about half way to town overheated the car…and we had to tow him the rest of the way again.  They fixed the alternator and now had to fix the blown out radiator.  But this mechanic didn’t work on radiators so they went to someone who super glued it as a temporary fix until he could get the “right” parts.  The next day when he got the “right” parts he fixed the radiator but in the process had given the radiator cap to someone else and consequently tried to give Loren an old, cracked one.  After more discussion and negotiation, they finally gave him a new radiator cap.  By this time it was the last day and we had to leave in the morning.  When we got up to leave we checked the car again and found that the radiator was still leaking and upon more investigation found that the bottom tube on the radiator was leaking because it had been Africanized and was oval shaped instead of round making it impossible to create a seal and keep the water in.  So because it was time to go we decided to not go back to the mechanic and instead found some plumbing sealer and got it to work.  Thankfully it held all of the way to Nairobi.

In spite of all of that, we had a GREAT time at the coast.  Malachi LOVED playing in the sand at the ocean and there was a pool at the place where we were staying that we also put to good use.  It was great to just be away together with friends.  It was definitely a refreshing, relaxing time…a breath of fresh air as we finish our first “term” together in Uganda.

Pool time

On the beach