Sunday, April 12, 2009

Move over Mario Andretti, WE can change a tire in 2 hours!

In Africa, everything has thorns or bites! As is "normal" around here, we picked up an acacia thorn in our tire. We were 5 handy men... we can handle ANYTHING! ;-)

Pulling the spare, we discovered it was flat too! Someone else had found the thorns too, but forgot to fix the tire. No problem, we are in Arerti, Ethiopia - a town of 20,000 people. We ran down to the local tire repair shop - no Goodyear Shop - only a pile of old tires, a canvas tarp and a compressor. What else do you need?

Well, there was no electricity, and had not had any all day, so the compressor did not work. Ugh! Hey, we are guys... so we will figure it out. Aha! The well we put in 2 years ago has a Deutz 5 cylinder diesel generator. But it is about the size of a tiny car. It also puts out 44o volts. Guess the tire repair guy would not appreciate it if we fried his compressor! Also forgot to say that it was over a mile away! That won't work. So off we were, trying to find someone that had a generator.
It happened that we were near a school and a couple pastors from the church we work with are also teachers here. And yes, they did have a generator we could borrow. A horse drawn cart came to our rescue, taking the generator and our two flat tires to get repaired. Sorry Toyota, your new Hilux 4x4 pickups are less reliable than the old fasioned horse! Needless to say, we did make it back to Addis - 2 hours later than expected. Hey given the situation, not even Mario Andretti could have beaten our time in changing the tire!

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