We thought that our journey going out to an island in Lake Victoria was adventurous enough, but it was nothing compared to the journey home! Some may dream of island cruises to celebrate Valentine's Day; well we will never forget our first trip to the island... although it was rather far from romantic!
|Backpacks and lifejackets|
|Coming off the boat|
|First views of Kome Island|
We ordered some "lupper" (lunch/dinner) when we arrived at 4:30pm and sat to wait for it. It finally arrived at 9pm! But it was very tasty rice and tilapia fish.
After a good night's sleep amid the noise and activity of the island bar, breakfast was chapatis, eggs ... and fish. Lunch we ordered at 1pm... and that was so late it was dinner! We finally ate our ugali and yes, fish, at 6pm! But we had an amazingly interesting day! I think I will save all the amazing interesting bits about the island work for the next blog and get back to the backpacks and lifejackets of the journey for now!
We rose early this morning at 4:30am ready to return. We had forgotten our flashlights (torches) and it was no easy feat getting the four of us ready to go in the pitch blackness - even just aiming over the enhole was pretty tricky. And we didn't even bother trying to clean our teeth and spit! But we were out to meet our daladala ("local bus") at 5am for a different way home. The six of us sat there with a whole load of others crammed into one little vehicle... waiting for the driver. He arrived. Nothing happened. Some guys fiddled with the battery under our seats until life surged into the daladala. We were off. At breakneck speed over the bumps in the darkness. A little tingle of nervous apprehension! We sped across the island, arriving in time for the 6:30am boat. Still in total darkness, we clambered out of the daladala, bought our boat tickets and boarded the small ferry boat. We sat on metal benches in the darkness, waiting as antiquated pickup trucks and dodgy daladalas drove on. The state of the vehicles was unbelievable! On one truck guys were securing the back wheel with rope! Another had a terribly flat tire. Others were ridiculously overloaded.
|The early morning boat|
|Fish beside my green sack "seat"|
|Overtaken by the truck who fixed his wheel together with rope!|
|... and again!|
We arrived at the next town (Sengerema) at about 9:45am where we had to pick up another mode of transportation to get to our next ferry. We found a taxi, and all happily fell into the car, only to find that he was seriously overcharging us so we exited to find another daladala. We found one, and piled in, with backpacks and lifejackets and significantly less water. After half an hour sitting in it going nowhere, a fight broke out. Police arrived. We were kicked out and our driver was taken off with the police. We found another daladala which was empty. But then sat in it for an hour (now pretty hot!) while the driver waited to fill it to capacity. Which he more than succeeded at. Now Tim had his knee up an ample woman's bottom (no, not mine!). Now was real fear as the dirt road was straight and the driver just stepped on it. We flew over bumps, careening on the road. I wondered how the tires could take such a beating ... until we came to an abrupt halt. Puncture! Yet another wait on the side of the road. Seriously cannot believe this journey!
|Waiting in the final ferry line ... with the lifejackets!|
So we are thankful for God's sovereignty! It was definitely Him protecting us on our journeys ... as our safe arrival in Mwanza, you can clearly see, had nothing at all to do with human responsibility! And we are thankful for an amazing time on the island, which I will tell about next time!
How many husbands can top this for taking his beloved wife out on Valentine's Day?
(Actually, I think this was a real "love" adventure in lots of ways!)