I sat, white-knuckled as Jon braked, swerved and breathed a prayer of relief as the donkey made it safely to the other side of the road. It seemed like it wanted to run straight into our vehicle.
Picture a 4-H parade, people and animals filling the streets. Now try to drive through it. This is what a town looks like on market day and we drive through a lot of towns from Injibara to Addis Ababa.
Because it is the rainy season the roads are in worse condition than 2 months ago. At one point, (I was driving at my husband's insistence) Jon said, it's okay, our vehicle has a snorkel. I laughed at his funny joke and then realized he was serious. About 2+ hours of the 10 hour trip, it is like trying to make good time through a freshly plowed field.
Ahh, the wide open road...
There are portions in the Blue Nile Gorge where they road drops 2-3 feet with little warning. The Bradt Ethiopia Travel book describes the Blue Nile Gorge as such, "A truly magnificent gorge…is often to be cited as the largest canyon in Africa…you will cross the gorge on one of the most chilling roads I have ever seen. Built by the Italians and supported by viaducts in several places it is an awesome feat of engineering…"
Add on top of this the people, oh the people. If you hit a person, it could be jail time. If you hit a donkey, sheep, goat, cow, dog, horse, you need to stop, find the owner and pay for the animal. While I was driving, a woman walking in the middle of the road wouldn't move, no matter how much I honked, I tried to hit the brake and hit the clutch. Needless to say, Jon yelling "BRAKE!" was a bit frightening for all of us but I think he was the most scared I was going to hit the woman. We think she was mentally unstable, usually someone who just roams and wonders like that is "crazy".
All of that whining aside, it is seriously probably one of the most beautiful places in the world and around every bend, we see something, a way of life that we have never seen before. Here again is our paradox we find ourselves enjoying so much here.
I describe it to you, only so you can know how much your prayers are literally a life line.
Okay, here is some of the trip.
Definitely the highlight is seeing the baboons. They aren't so nice, but fun to watch from the vehicle.
We saw a few too many of these.
Two months ago, there weren't many waterfalls but because of the rainy season, we were blessed with many cascades.
So glad for Addis Ababa to come into view but dismayed by the smog over the city.
We stayed at SIM headquarters (where we spent our first few weeks) and today we moved to our apartment for the next three-five months. More on this tomorrow.
I unpacked things and Jon went to go finalize on our vehicle! When he got home three hours later, he had some very disappointing news, the vehicle had fallen through. Vehicles are so difficult to find here and so costly. He had even flown down to Addis this summer to make sure we didn't miss this one. We trust that God is sparing us a vehicle full of hassles. The Lord gives and takes away.
We have until next Monday, when we start language school to attend to loose ends in Addis.
Two prayer points:
1) God would provide a vehicle for us within the next three months.
2) We have found a woman to watch the girls in the mornings when we are at language school. Please pray they would immediately feel comfortable with her and secure and settled here. She will start in two weeks. Next week, the girls will come to the school with us and we will have someone watch them there.
God bless you all.