Last week I shared about the Bible dedication that I was able to attend, but the journey there and back was just as eventful. I was driving an older bowered car that has worked just fine for us driving around town in Yaoundé. (We are very grateful that we have a car to borrow)
We were about 100 km outside of Yaoundé when the car starting dying and we were having a difficult time going up the hills. The car was backfiring really badly and a motorcycle even flagged me to pull over because they were so concerned. They told me that I was spraying gas at them. I found out I was only about 15 km from the next town so I thought we could slowly limp into town and have a mechanic look at it. We tried to sing worship songs to keep the car moving, but we seemed to be struggling to remember second verses to the songs.
The vehicle died as we arrived in town right at the first building, which happened to be the mechanic.
I was hoping my French vocabulary for car parts had improved but I don’t have that great have vocabulary in English for car parts, there is the thingamajig attached to the wheel which is making a noise. The word I use in French for thingamajig is truc, which stands for almost anything when talking about car problems.
So after the mechanic looked at the car and told me that the bougies were bad. I thought, when did cars run on candles? In French a bougie is a candle. So I asked him if he could get bougies locally and how much. He told me he could get them and proceeded to fix it, along with his 5 apprentices that were watching everything he did. Then he wanted to take me for a drive to prove that he in fact fixed it.
So after a slight break of an hour or so we were back on the road!
We made it through Douala, largest city in Cameroon, and on our way out of town we were stopped once again at a check point; this was the fifth time today. This was a big check point; they had tons of cars pulled over. Normally they ask for your identification, insurance and registration. They did that and then asked to see the fire extinguisher. I explained I wasn’t a commercial car so I didn’t need one. That didn’t work so I had to go over to the policeman sitting in the tent with a copy of the traffic regulations, and he showed me the line that said I was in violation. I asked for a warning, and he told me that I wouldn’t have to pay again today, as long as I didn’t lose my copy of the ticket. So I paid the $50 fine and we were back on the road again.
The rest of the drive through the banana fields was uneventful.
Not to spoil the next post, but the drive home was even more eventful…