Friday, July 1, 2011
A Ten-Minute Bike Ride on Zamtime!
For those of you that have ever been to a place where time is only a theory and not for practical life, you may relate to this story. For those that have been to Mumena and have walked the trails through the bush, you will also find this to be a bit funny. I was out in a village the other day visiting a friend. From there, I was due at a Bible study in a neighboring village. I was on bike and knew my way on the main path to get to the next village. It would have been an easy 30-minute ride. However, my friend informed me that there was a short cut through the bush that would cut my ride time by 20 minutes. Giving me more time to visit. As a good American, I was excited to know of a way to reduce my travel time and decided I would take this 10-minute trail. After hearing the directions, and feeling like it would be a very easy ride, I broke my rule of never traveling through the bush without a Zambian and ventured off to my next appointment. Needless to say, I shouldn’t have. Bush trails are extremely confusing and sometimes even hard to find. There may have been a trail that only took ten-minutes to travel on, but I certainly wasn’t on that one. I was riding full speed through the thick bush trail for thirty minutes when all of the sudden my trail ended and I had no idea where I was. On top of that, it was close to sun down and I had no flashlight, only half a bottle of water, and a vivid imagination of what goes on in the African bush after dark. Not a winning combination. So I immediately turned around and found the closest trail that looked the best and started riding hard thinking that eventually this trail will lead to civilization. After another 45 minutes of riding, I was blessed with a token of hope—an Officer packet (a small pouch sold locally containing a shot of alcohol). No this was not for consummation, but it was a sign that I was close to the village I needed to be at. As I followed the trail of liqueur packets, I finally got to my destination an hour and a half later. I missed the Bible study and barely made it out of the bush before dark. Lessons learned: 10 minutes = 1 ½ hours; never navigate the bush trails alone! -Jeremy