Driving here has definitely been entertaining. All of my co-workers complement me on my driving skills, and ask if I was a professional driver back home. It’s funny that, even though I am a decade younger than most of them, I have been driving longer than all of them combined.
Congolese roads, for better or worse, are not too different from dirt roads in Texas, that is, when the roads are dry at least. This is a problem for me because it rains about a million times more here than in Texas, and so I have to go through mud that can come up to your waist. Yesterday, I got stuck for three hours over two different instances, and had to pull two other guys out of the mud. So, this is proof that it wasn’t just me. Even with four wheel drive, toe-hitches, trucks/land cruisers etc., everyone gets stuck. The ground is like 99% clay, and with it raining all the time, it’s bound to happen.
This is the second time I got stuck, and it took about 2 hours to get out. Finally had to walk a mile or so to the nearest dump truck and have them pull me out.
My army of helpers that came to dig me out unsuccesfully (the bulldozer got us out).
First time I got stuck, shoveling my way out, which the locals appreciated. Also, notice my rocking the cowboy boots.
Typical traffic jam.
One of our drivers getting stuck.
My oh so classy and official Congolese drivers license. Yes, those are staples…
Not exactly fun and exciting, but I thought that you all might get a kick out of the differences in even the most simple tasks, like driving, between Texas and the DRC. Also, in a not entirely unrelated subject, my Lingala and French is getting much better (helped that I had to ask for help a lot), and my cowboy boots handle mud and water just as well here, as in Texas. Though, the cleaning crew washing them with bleach, or something of the sort. So, while they lasted 8 years in Texas, they didn’t even last a week in Africa…
Doko Monana (Until later)