October 18, 2010
So a missionary friend of ours is gone for the week and offered to let us have her car! BLESSING!!! The biggest thing I was so excited about was that I could bulk up on groceries and not have to walk 1 ½ miles carrying groceries in my arms! So today we went to do some running around to the different grocery stores near Tana. First we had to get the car out of the yard. Tiana, our guard, had pulled it inside our gate after our party yesturday. We had left it out in the “alley way” so there was more room in the yard. Now, I was told that the car had power steering. Yeah. NOT. It literally took me 8 minutes to do about a 7 point ½ turn....that's right ….. a ½ turn, to get the car out of the yard. At one point I heard a thump. Was that the dog? No, just a flower pot. Upps, sorry Sarah and Daniel, (the missionaries whose house we're renting) we'll have to add that to the list of things we need to replace!
And so, off we went. Not to bad for the first time driving in a third world culture! I could have hit a pedestrian, a scooter, a taxi-be, a car, a dog, zebu, but.....I only hit a flower pot. The boys thought it was a great ride and were encouraging me constantly. Even Randy, at one point said, “wow honey, playing chicken with a taxi-be, you're really becoming Malagasy”. You see, there are “sides” of the road you're supposed to drive on. However, you don't really have to stay on your side if you don't want too. For instance, if you want to pass someone, you just drive on the other side of the road whether there is someone coming the other way or not. How these people don't have more accidents I don't know. To say the least,when we got back home I looked at Randy and said, “I'm going to go inside, get a tall glass of cold water, and be by myself to calm down”.
And that, people, was my first experience driving in Madagascar. Almost like Mario Kart! And though I was nervous I have to say, I kind of liked the danger in it all! God help us.