Our 36 Day God Adventure in the Bandundu

Day 8 : Monday, September 12, 2011

Today's goal is to travel from Kenge to Moanza, our next training site.  We have been told that it won't be easy.  That's a bit of  a scary thought.  Apparently there's a lot of sand (!) and the the route is mountainous.  Not really looking forward to this.  Praying it won't take too long and will be less difficult than everyone seems to think it will be. I guess I'll let you know at the end of the day...
Finally by 7:30AM we were leaving Kenge.  There just doesn\t seem to be any quick way to get things packed for this many people.  Mama Françoise gave me a cup of tea which really helped because I'm still not feeling the best with this cold.  Still coughing though not too bad.  This time I brought a scarf with me to be able to cover my nose and mouth in case of too much sand and dust.
Pierre has given his front passenger seat to Pastor Muzau which makes me happy.  Muzau is probably around 65 years old and I worry about him on all these trips, especially when he gets involved in shovelling sand. 
Within the first hour and a half we have gone the 70+ km on paved road.  The rest of the way is off pavement.  We have topped up our gas because for the next few legs, there will be none available and we don't want to have problems running out of gas - that would not be fun!  We have 102Km in sand to reach Moanza, our next destination.  Mama Françoise had made donuts and we were able to have tea as we bounced along. Not easy but we managed nonetheless.  It was 9AM when we hit the sand path and within 5 minutes we were already stuck in the sand for the first time.  The guys got out to dig us out.   Over the next kilometres I don't know how many times we repeated those steps.  I lost track.  Often I would get out and walk ahead.  The views were spectacular.
As much as we had hoped the trip would not be too laborious, it was obvious that that would not be the case.   At one point a large truck that had broken down was blocking the route.  Making another way around it probably took us an hour.  As night fell, it was clear that this was definitely longer than we had thought.  We kept coming to forks in the road and this is Africa, so there is no indication as to which way to go.  We would stop and ask someone walking along or at the next village if we were headed in the right direction.  Sometimes we were and other times we had to turn around and retrace our path.  Finally as we neared a village, we heard singing.  What a reception!  A large group had been waiting for our arrival, singing and dancing.  We got out of the car and walked the rest of the way accompanied by the villagers of Moanza.  Little girls presented Richard and I with small bouquets of flowers.  They had planned a church service but Pastor Muzau let them know that we were all very tired.  So instead, we were shown to our rooms - a wonderful set up with real beds (2 singles) and an indoor bathroom to ourselves (no running water, of course, but at least there was a real toilet and tub).  Does it get better than this?
It had taken us 10 1/2 hours to do the 102km of sand and I wanted only one thing :  to get cleaned up and climb into bed.  Richard went with the others to eat something that had been prepared.  As I drifted off to sleep, all I could think was "what a day!".  Travel day #3 - done!  Surely the others can't be this tough?


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