It’s 11.15 pm. We just got off a very uncomfortable four hour bus ride, and we still have a 300km drive to look forward to. Naturally, I am exhausted and hungry. All that I want is food and the embrace of my bed, but we are in the middle of nowhere so neither is an option. We get to the car and like he always does, he goes round it to inspect the tyres, returns with a grim look on his face to announce that the front tyres are almost flat. Driving late into the night, on a meandering road with barely inflated tyres can be quiet scary. At this point I am more than glad to just park the car at a gas station and fall asleep, worry about it in the morning, but even that is not a viable option seeing as the place is so deserted we would be sitting ducks.
So we decide to risk it, start the journey hoping to find a petrol station that is open and has a functional pressure pump.
First station, pump is broken, but they direct us to a nearby station, so my hope is not beat.
Second Station, pump is broken, I begin to despair.
Third station, no pump at all. Now I am really losing my cool. ‘This can’t be happening to us. I just cannot deal with this right now. We are probably going to be attacked, raped and killed in no particular order out here’ – when my mind goes on a rampage, scary territory!! How is he so calm? Does he not see our sadistically painful deaths slowly beckoning us?
Fourth station, they have a pump but they have about 10, 22-wheeler petroleum tankers blocking it, and yes, they are parked for the night, their drivers being the reason we can’t get a room anywhere in this God forsaken town. We drive out the station quietly, but deep inside I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I am too pretty to die like this. This is not how I pictured I would be going out.
Fifth Station, at this point I am not even trying to hope for something. He rolls up to the pump, gets out of the car and goes to try. I have my eyes closed and my face facing the roof of the car praying to the God of Ann Waiguru to grant us some of that undeserved favour . He returns to the car, it doesn’t work. I can feel tears building up, so I ask him, what the next move is, he says, with all the certainty in his voice, “we keep going”.
Sixth Station. This is not even a station, it looks like a kerosene pump in the middle of nowhere. Only one pump, one guard and somewhat of a pressure pump at the far end. Instantly, I disregard it, advised him to not bother and just drive off into the unknown. “This just might be it”…a silent, hopeful voice came through. He parked just beside the pump , got out and tested it. True to his words. That was it!!! After 6 attempts, a hopeless co-driver..the proverbial silver lining!
Got our tires fixed, breathed a sigh of relief and drove off more confident than ever. Through out the rest of the way we pointed out all the various ways things could have gone wrong 🙂
When your faith fails, but you have someone unwavering in hope it’s a beautiful thing. We overcame because he didn’t loose hope. I wish I could have his optimism and his desire to keep going.
Well, it’s a year of change and am certainly taking notes and learning how to self improve and be a little more resilient and courageous.
Next time you are on a dark, windy , foreign route…keep the faith it will see you through. It doesn’t matter how impossible it may seem just don’t tap out…..