Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mumena Trip - Day One

We got off to an early start on our first travel day. The students arrived EARLY for breakfast, loaded their luggage, and were on the bus and ready to go five minutes before our scheduled departure time. I was gloating to David as we headed toward the Land Cruiser we were going to drive behind the bus. "Well, you haven't left yet," he reminded me.

Sure enough, just then the carpenter dropped by to pick up his payment for a new bed. We couldn't find the keys to the house and were searching for those when Ross called from the bus saying that a passport had been left behind in the safe. He was coming back to get it, so we were to wait for him. About forty-five minutes later we had gotten into our house, paid the carpenter, gotten the passport, and Ross was with us as we set off. We were still quite sure that we would catch up with the bus quickly.

An hour later we were cruising along when I remembered that we hadn't packed the 25 sleeping bags that would be needed for our stay at Mumena! We turned around and headed back as we made frantic phone calls to try to find someone who could pick up the bags and meet us halfway. Roy and Kathi Merritt were just about to leave for Choma when we caught them, and they graciously agreed to help us out. They got the bags and started north as we drove south. We met them and did a quick side-of-the-road transfer and were off again--now about two hours behind schedule!

We called Janice Bingham and Sara Kathryn on the bus and told them what had happened. Since we had the food for lunch with us, we advised them to stop in Monze and get everyone some snacks to tide them over until we caught up.

They had traveled about an hour after their snack stop when the bus had a flat tire. We managed to find them in Mazabuka a little past 1:00. We broke out the sandwiches and chips as the students found places to sit in a parking lot under the tree and had our lunch together.

Through it all, the students had great attitudes--no whining and complaining from this group! The tire was repaired and we traveled on as some of us wondered what would happen next . . .

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