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9.21.2010

What was unusual about my transit?

The answer is... nothing!

This is standard MIDDLE CLASS African travel.  There is a whole level of travel below this for the poorer class.

MIDDLE CLASS travel means:
Unpredictable schedules - Standard
27 hours for a 16 trip - Standard
Filthy toilets - Standard

Eating once in a day while traveling - Standard
Sexual Harassment  for unaccompanied women- Standard

At risk for Theft - Standard
Cold, tired, no place to wait comfortably - Standard
Drunk and dangerous drivers - Standard

Terrible road conditions - Standard
Dangerous equipment used for public transport - Standard
Oppressive  and illogical bureaucracies - Standard



During one of the legs of the trip an African business man inquired about my mission and when I informed him, he puzzled "Why aren't you on an airplane?  It was a good question.  Upper Middle Class Africans take the plane these days. David Niyonzima  takes a plane if be has to go from Buja to Kigali.  My desire to see the country and experience at least once the way in which my friends live, was a privileged whim. I was "slumming." Knowing that I could leave at nearly anytime. None of the other people on my bus had that option in reserve.

Getting yourself killed while slumming would be an ignoble death.

I am glad I did it.
I don't think I will do it again.



Comments:
Perhaps it is not a bad thing to know one CAN function in such conditions if one really must.

Perhaps it is very important to know that a percentage of people one expects to participate in some or another activity may face such realities in travel.

Then there would be the matter of prayers for those for whom such conditions are standard and perhaps especially for those prophetic voices called to service in the zones between "standard" and Acceptable
 
RantWoman speaks my mind. Not a bad thing for readers who have never been to Africa to hear what is standard there, either.
Rosemary
 
How can you understand the people you talk with if you don't share their most common experiences?
 
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