Posted by: Diema Village Ventures | September 20, 2017

Encounters along the route through Africa

With a mighty bump and bang my car shuddered to noisy standstill, after I had fallen into one of the deepest gaping potholes, covering almost the entire road, with no advance warning at all…giving me neither time nor option but to hit it head on….I wasn’t a happy bunny, although I was still alive to tell the tale..

I hadn’t been driving slowly, but to smash right into it caused my new tyre to burst on impact, the noise horrendous as I gently squeezed the brakes, so I didn’t swerve out of control..

The temperature at that time was between 40/ 43..as it was the whole day. Tooo Hot!!
Still annoyed I’d walked back to the hole taking a rim I’d found, hoping others would see it and avoid such an issue themselves..I took several photographs as well..as you will see later…

I guess one reason I hadn’t been aware was because I’d seen a black Mercedes on the side of the road..I was thinking it was still in good condition..what had happened!!! It was almost opposite the pothole.. should have been a warning sign!!! All it did was distract me..grr

I tried flagging the next car..it slowed down, hovering a little to see the problem, the guys seemed to snigger as they drove away.. luckily within a few minutes of standing in the sun beating down upon my body, a local 4×4 came to my rescue, quickly changed my tyre and mercifully the tyre fit into the slot it had in the boot of the car, and I was on my way..now beetroot red, dripping wet, covered in sand which had stuck to my body as the winds were incredibly rough
I was relieved to continue my drive..
Although I still had 260 plus to do without a spare tyre..
I hadn’t been able to change money.. could only do that in Nouakchott..so by Faith, hope and prayers I had to drive onwards… hopefully without incident…
Without incident in Africa is impossible..
I could also see time was moving fast, another 2 hours or so it would be dark and I needed to arrive before having to put in my night lights..
Because I only had side lights and headlights and they were too bright..
Causing me issues… another story.

I had to drive 55/60 miles per hour so as to make good time..
But without incident on these roads impossible.
So I was very aware of being in a vunerable situation.
Donkeys favourite pastime is to stand right in the middle of the road,even with car horns blasting, they do not move..so driver’s have to slowly manoeuvre around them, trying avoid killing one, or even themselves.

I had several skirmishes yesterday along the route donkeys,cows walking across the route.
Goats are somehow more intelligent they do listen and move when a car hoots it’s horn and move out from the road/ track, most other animals are oblivious and saunter along in the heat of the day.
One of my latest encounters of yesterday apart from passing through the villages everyone buying and selling carrying on their daily routine whilst vehicles both large and small try to pass by.
Garbage is strewn everywhere and its pothole haven in most villages…deep crevices can break an axle if I don’t look closely..local vehicles, would all be scrapped, most barely moving..no mirrors, no lights and no brakes on many..it all makes for a journey full of hurdles..but one of my latest encounters happened just as I turned a corner on a rough road..
Keeping my eyes everywhere, or at least trying to, a large group of young camels jumped out of the bush, it seemed they were tethered together…anyway the shock of our meetup made me slam on my brakes and they seemed to back of quickly with fright..my adventures of the day were almost at an end as I could see the dim lights ahead in Kiffa.
This was the town where I would sleep, take rest from the harshness of the powerful sun’s rays beating down on my car and myself..
Although I also knew that would be sleeping on a blanket on the floor, it felt great to know I would be able to stretch my body and cool down.
Zainabou’s granddaughter decided to put up a mosquito net for me as doors were open, lights were on, millions of bugs crickets etc were jumping flying crawling around..mosquito net up and as I went to enter I realised the net had been left open for me for some time…….I wonder how many bugs I slept with…still I only had a few bites this morning…..
Went to see the work of the sewing machines before leaving, it seems the women have been making hymers, tent’s.. two small one were made from the scraps of fabric donated by a lady in Mansfield..

Just to add a few words from today’s journey to kubeni, the temperature was 47 on my gauge in the car at 11.15 am..so my drinking water didn’t take long before it boiled….that’s life in the real Africa…no shade from the relentless power of the sun.
Already losing weight as I’ve had very little time to eat..I just felt the need to arrive at my destinations.. allowing sufficient time to prepare for these Dr’s..and a few medicine’s still needed..

My guys will be in the border tomorrow awaiting my arrival, I believe exhoneration papers have been sent ahead…what could go wrong…….!!!!!
Hopefully it will be a smooth transition…watch this space…..!

To add to this message as an update some days later..I managed to arrive in Diema with out incident.. yippee..
The mosquitoes are my worst enemy now really.
Although I’m realising how much of a huge program this really is for me to have taken on..I’m in Bamako…

I’ve just had some extra medicines donated, by lions members in Mali..but have paid 1,750 euro just for knives for the operations plus another 1,500 to pay and more expense to pay tomorrow for other medical requirements….all I need are your prayers and I know all will be well..with faith all things are possible..


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