And now a word about the traffic conditions in Bujumbura. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I HONESTLY THINK THE WORST DRIVERS IN THE WORLD ARE ROAMING THE STREETS OF BUJUMBURA.
It can be crazy busy, and there is not a traffic rule or traffic control device that exists here in Bujumbura. On a 2 lane road you will have 3-4 drivers in a row, not a line, trying to turn left into heavy traffic. Motos dart between cars and go down the outside of the road or down the oncoming lane of traffic. It's sheer madness, a large game of "chicken" and Bumper Cars. The situation on the roads is emphasizing some poor qualities in Gary's driving---he is perfecting the use of impatience and aggression! Should serve him well when we get home! Not!
Anyway, last week we were backing out of a parking spot on a very busy, narrow street. Traffic was totally stopped in one direction, waiting for us to get out of the way. Gary thought the traffic had stopped coming the other way, but the jarring crunch we experienced as he continued backing out told us otherwise. We had backed into a bus. The busses and transport vehicles are notorious for their reckless and insane driving. Due to the heavy traffic surrounding us, (plus Gary was mad), we kept moving, going on to our next stop, an Internet provider. When we finished our business there, we came out to find that the driver of the bus had tracked us down and wanted satisfaction. (Read that as "money.") We had him get in the truck with us because we were headed to Branch one with the Internet employee. I was madly dialing Jean Paul to come to our aid, but no luck. As we pulled in at Branch One, there was Jean Paul. Thank goodness! While Gary worked with the Internet guy, I had the privilege of standing in the driveway and watching as Jean Paul, Domine, and the bus driver went at it, verbally. It was very animated, and in the end, the driver settled for 20,000 BIF ( That is about $14. ) and Gary threw in a Church pamphlet for good measure. That was the 3rd of our bumpers to get smashed in, and before I could blog about it, the remaining bumper got smashed in, too! Two days later, as we were stopped in a line of heavy traffic, a guy in a motorcycle crashed into the back of our truck! UNBELIEVEABLE!
Add to the 4 crushed bumpers assorted dents and dings on the side panels. We were in the truck for 2 of the major dents---one when a car ran into us and one from a motorcycle that got away as 2 guys were fighting over it. The other various dents I have no idea where they came from.
NOTE; ONE OF OUR LITTLE TURN LIGHTS THAT WE JUST HAD REPLACED WAS JUST STOLEN AGAIN!