You know the saying one day you will look back on this and laugh? As I am about to type this I am laughing to myself over what my last two days have been like. So this week has been extra wet… and when I say wet I mean huge storms of rain that will last for three or four hours! So you could say that it makes driving a challenge. Two days ago I had to take a friend to her house and drop some groceries off. As I was heading back to the orphanage from her house I got a little turned around. I somehow found my way back to the Kirabuni lodge (a place I am quite familiar with) and started to go my normal route home from that location…what happened next I was NOT expecting. I have not been to the Karibuni for a week or so, so I had no clue how much rain we had gotten. I turned down a road to get to the main drag to the orphanage and it was a foot deep of MUD!! The roads are not paved in Kenya if that tells you anything… and I couldn’t turn around because there was no were to turn, so I HAD to go straight into the mud. So as I’m driving there were two tracks that was fair soil that I could drive on. And to the right, left or in the middle of my car it was ALL MUD! So if my wheal slipped or turned even the slightest I was going to be a goner… keep in mind I am driving a tiny Toyota with only front wheel drive. So as I am driving along and going pole pole ( pronounced pol-lay pol-lay and in Swahili that means slowly slowly) and my tires start to turn…not because I was turning my wheal but because driving in mud is like driving in four feet of ice and snow.
That was it. That little turn of my tires had done me in. My FRONT wheels got stuck in a mud hole and I had nowhere to go. At this point I just shook my head and started to laugh…YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!? I was stuck. No way out…just plain old stuck. Before I started to drive Pastor Richard explained to me if I were to ever get stuck to call him and he would come and help me. If anyone else offered that was around me I was to tell them “No I’m okay. I have someone coming to help.” Reason one being you can never trust people you don’t know (especially when you are a tiny white girl, who speaks hardly any Swahili and there is a whole bunch of Kenyans around you) and reason two being, because of the fact that I am white, Kenya’s see me and they see money. So if they help me they would be asked to be paid a rate that is ten times what their service was worth. So what did I do? I called Pastor Richard and said I needed him to come now! At this point I had probably ten Kenyans wanting past my car and five of them wanting to help me move my car. I felt like a zoo animal being watched by everyone. I was the main attraction! Finally after fifteen minutes pastor Richard showed up with a few guys to get me out of my predicament. They pushed and pushed and I was FREE!!! I have never felt so happy to be out of a situation! I came back to the orphanage and all was great! Or so I thought…
That night there was another huge storm…the roads by the orphanage are usually okay but this storm took a toll on the mud. I was on my way to the school and I got to a spot where it was one big huge puddle of water and mud. There was one strip of good road to put one side of my car tires on but the other side I had to drive in the puddle… I knew this wasn’t good. But I knew I had no way around it. So I started to go POLE POLE!! And my tires started to slip… that was the end I was stuck AGAIN! At this point I wasn’t going to call Pastor Richard; I was so far away from where the school was. It was going to take him way too long to get here. There was a few farmers watching me and a man on a motor bike that stopped. I watched how they carried themselves and tried to see if they were safe enough to ask help from. My window was cracked a little so I could hear what they were saying. One of them asked, “Madam are you okay? Would you like me to help you?” All I said back to him was that I didn’t have much money to pay. He smiled and he said “No I will help it’s okay.” So he and a friend pushed and pushed and pushed for a good 15 minutes. Finally I was out!! The farmer said to me “WELCOME TO KENYA! You are Kenyan now!!” I laughed to myself (yeah… really…welcome to Kenya! This was a great welcome! Ha). They asked for small “favor” so I gave them one hundred shillings to split which is like a dollar in America. They seemed overly pleased with the amount and said “If you ever need help again madam, you just call.” I said okay thank you and I was on my way!
I felt pretty proud of myself for handling that situation on my own. I guess I am becoming Kenyan…if I can get myself out of mud I think I can do pretty much anything! Both of these experiences taught me something…one that I have amazing people to rely on here, like Pastor Richard and Helen. But also I have learned that I am a lot more resourceful and independent than I originally thought. God has his hands on me while I am here and he has blessed me so much with coming to Kenya. I know He will continue to bless me and protect me in any situation I find myself in. As Kenyan’s say “God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good!”