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9.12.2010

And Then it got Interesting

So, to review - here is the map of my transit. In the story so far you can see that I have covered almost half the distance and am resting comfortably outside of Eldoret up at the top of the map. (clicking the map should enlarge it,) I drove that nice long stretch through the National Parks and beyond. You can see why I thought that the next leg from  there to Kigali should have been no big deal.  Kigali is not marked on the map for some reason, but it is where the red and green lines merge.  (the green line being my 07 trip to Goma)  Everyone, including me, thought I would be tired at the end of the trip, but everyone, inlcuding me, thought that it would progress without any real trouble and that I might even enjoy parts of it.  Zarembka had done it many times -  I remember him saying that he would never do it again, but he blamed that on being an old man, and he had no doubts about the wisdom of my plan over flying back to Nairobi and flying to Kigali. Turned out that my hope of getting a puddle jumper straight from Western to Rwanda was impossible.  And I have this travel allergy to retrograde motion - it has gotten me in trouble before and will no doubt get me in trouble again.

What I was forgetting was the African Relativity Theory,  Which states that the difficulty of traversing any particular kilometer can be inversely proportional to the level of difficulty anticipated. translation: "Whatever you thought? - It ain't gonna' be so!"  This often combines with intermittent temporal anomalies.  Where Time slows down or rarely speeds up in unpredictable ways. Also a factor is the African Amnesia effect - Just because you really should have known better does not mean that you do.

Resting comfortably at Chez Zarembka, I was told that I would need to go back 60K to Eldoret to catch the overnight through bus to Kigali.  This despite the fact that the through bus would pass right by the road to our village. But they knew the "Good" coach company, and it would be the  big bus, not the matatu, once I got to Eldoret. Much better to be on the express than the local line.  It should be about 5pm on the Bus and in Kigali by breakfast time.  Dave and Gladys needed to be about other business on my departure day, and this made Gladys a bit concerned as she wanted to see me onto the right bus, but Dave and I had spent a day swapping travel stories, he being a 40 vet of the region and he decided that any woman who had done the Congolese border crossing on her own without French could manage a bus in Eldoret.  Being, as it was, Africa where you just don't count on doing more than one task in a day, it was decided that I should get my ticket a day ahead. But being, as it was, Africa I didn't actually need to do this myself, and there were several young relatives at loose ends who could be assigned the task. So two young nephews of Gladys, Pat and Mike, were sent to Eldoret  with a handwritten note from me requesting a ticket and my money.  They came back about dark successful, with a ticket clearly marked for the next day, 5pm, through to Kigali with no layover in Kampala. Supposed to be 16 hours.

Now a diclaimer:
Why I will never be a photo journalist. 
When things get interesting, I get engaged. I get interested. I get involved. My memory clicks into hyperdrive - albeit in a story-teller, sometimes 'pert-near true form. And I completely forget that I own a camera.
So there will be no pictures till Kigali.
But I wrote it out immediately upon reaching safety.
And that it what you will get next.
Serialized.

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