Thursday, July 26, 2012

Niger Public Transport

On Monday of this week our family needed to travel to “town” which is two hours away to do some banking and check on post. We were also going to spend some time with fellow YWAMers that are doing a Kings Kids outreach there this week. Our lovely Bush Beast as we call our vehicle is not yet running and needs a bit of work before it is functional. We had to take public transport to get there. In Niger you have two man public transport options. One is a Toyota minivan that they shove as many people as possible into it (like a clown car) and then on the top and sides overload the vehicle with all of the passengers belongings which can include and is not limited to many forms of livestock that you wouldn’t normally attach to the top of a minivan. They cram as many people as they can into the vehicle and you likely end up being squished into a pretzel like form in between two large housa women with babies in their laps. This is the slower option as the vehicle makes many stops and will likely break down a couple of times before arriving at your destination.  The other option is the bus. They have busses like greyhound except you have about as much seat space as when flying economy on a small plane without the reclining seats and the cushions are well past their prime. We like to call this Mr Toads Wild Ride in the steely trap of death. If you are not of the praying persuasion you will likely be during this wild ride. 
           The road between Abalak and Tahou is not really a road it is more like an exhibition of the many different potholes that can destroy what once was a road. Some of them seem like they are big enough to swallow a small car. These potholes don’t deter the bus drivers in the least from getting ready for their racing career.  As they speed along and through the pothole exhibition you are praying that the bus will not tip over, or that you won’t shatter your kneecaps or your skull as you are lifted off the seat.

The steely trap of death was our choice of public transportation. Micah tried to nap while on the bus but he wasn’t too successful. Every time he bus would plow through a pothole and he was lifted off his seat his eyes got as big as saucers and he said hold me tighter papa.  We were thankful to put our feet on solid ground again after two hours of Mr. Toads Wild Ride. While waiting to get our bag from the luggage compartment four men were hard at work under the front of the bus hammering and wrenching on something that wasn’t right.

We just wanted to share a Niger travel moment with you. Have a great weekend!


mosgomamanpapa said...

I love this piece. You are a great writer and I like the humorous take on life there. It also helps us see what daily life is like. We will pray that the bush Beast gets fixed soon! Gale M

Anonymous said...

I loved this story as it is a very real part of the life that you have chosen to live. I can just picture Micah bouncing off the seat. Todo, were not in Humboldt anymore! God bless you as you face the challenges of each new day! I love you nigernomads!

Michael said...

My heart is with you and your family Donnie. I can not really imagine this stuff. It all makes for great family stories at some point in the future, at present God bless you all! Michael baggot