Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Phew! (02/11/10)
TITLE: My worst (and best) journey!
By June Dickie
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The first stop had been at the border post, some few hours into my journey. All had gone well processing the paperwork, but just as I moved off, someone alerted me to the fact that my fuel-tank was leaking. Phew! Anxiety mounted! This was Sunday, and mechanical workshops would not be open. And me, a woman driving alone, who knows nothing about cars! I detoured into a gas-station, and much to my relief, an attendant was able to help. Phew – this time with relief!
The next stretch of the journey takes one through a farming area with very few habitations. The majestic baobab trees rise out of the dusty earth, with their branches looking like upside-down roots. Large slabs appear out of nowhere, and rest precariously on other huge rocks, looking like the playthings of giants. It is a lonely road. One may pass a butchery-cum-bottlestore every few hours, but there are no towns at which to stop. On and on the two-track road travels, seemingly without end.
About three in the afternoon, with the sun having passed its zenith and the temperature at last beginning to cool, I suddenly felt the steering-wheel jump. I tried to correct it, but it pulled away again. Oh, no! A puncture! My mind ran all over the place. What to do? There had been a butchery some miles back. Perhaps I could limp there and get help. And so driving in first gear, I inched along and went into the store for help. The owner was very accommodating. Before I knew it, he was unpacking the Landrover to get at the spare-tyre. Out came all my supplies for the next six months! Boxes and boxes of food, and various other necessities to keep me going in my isolated location.
Within half an hour, I was on my way again. Phew! Thank You, Lord! Once again, the miles dragged by, and with the sun setting, I was becoming drowsy. Suddenly I felt the steering lurch again! Surely not! Another flat tyre!! At that moment, I came over a slight rise, and there before me was another of these very sparsely-scattered butchery-bottlestores! Phew! Perhaps they can help ... but now I don’t have a spare! Oh, dear, what to do?
This time the owner, a kind farmer, took me to his home, and while I sat with his wife and enjoyed a soothing cup of tea, he stripped a tractor, took the tube, and replaced it on my car! Wow! These must be angels in disguise! Thank You, Lord!
As I got back on the road, the sun was just beginning to sink in the west. A prayer hovered on my lips: "Lord, three times today you have come through for me. But I’m now emotionally spent. I don’t think I can cope with another breakdown ..." Then came the idea, "Get into aggressive warfare! Shout and declare your trust in the Lord. And sing His praises with all your heart!" And so I did, all the way to a little town about half an hour from Harare.
And what of my friends with whom I was to convoy? Where were they? I had not seen them on the road, but with all my breakdowns, we must have missed each other. Thus, expecting that they would already have arrived, I decided to phone them and warn them to expect me within half an hour.
I pulled into a small gas-station and idled the old diesel engine while I searched for some small change. Just at that moment, another vehicle pulled into the precinct, and someone waved at me! Could it be? Yes, it was ... my friends, with whom I was to convoy!
Phew, Lord, your ways are amazing! Through it all, You are there!
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