The roads of Uganda. They are nothing like that of Kenya, Tanzania or Rwanda’s roads. Uganda is known, throughout all Africa, for its horrible roadways. To maintain these roads is not an easy task. Uganda has two reliable rainy seasons every year. The first year we were in Zzana and they documented that in the month of April it had rained over 200 inches in 30 days. That is some serious water. So, if the road is not paved or paved correctly, after a single rainy season it can become unusable. When we first came to Uganda in 2013, the first couple months of driving and riding my bike were adventurous and even fun. But experience and wisdom soon revealed to me that it is flat out dangerous. Many ‘missionaries’ I’ve met in Uganda have chosen to stay clear of riding their own motorcycle, due to some bad experience they had in the first year of living here. God has no doubt kept me safe as He continues to reveal bits of Uganda road knowledge to me. Many Ugandan drivers have very little driving experience and tend to jump behind the wheel with no drivers permit or testing. I noticed this inexperience the first day on the roads.
Now that we are near the Nile River, we have partnered up with a village called Kirugu. Our number one goal with the people of Kirugu is to equip them well with the Word of God.
I am currently meeting with a group of men in the evenings to go over our relationships, and what the Bible says about them. ‘Men and their wives’ – ‘Men and God’ – ‘Men and work’ – ‘Men and the world’….the discussions are epic. I should actually be recording some of the topics to document some of the problems they face – nothing like the western world.
My family and I attend Sunday church service out in Kirugu at New Hope Christian Church. To get the family there, we drive an awesome 1998 Toyota Hiace Van (Big Bertha, as my kids have named it). She has taken us all over East Africa. Big Bertha has been the ideal vehicle for our family. With some help from a Ugandan welder I fabricated a trailer for her to pull around Uganda. We also had to design and fabricate a tow package for the van, as it didn’t come with one. For you trailer pullers in the states this is no big deal. I remember strapping a trailer to my first car when I was 15, a Chevy Cavalier Station Wagon – some good memories. But to pull a trailer here is unheard of. I had to get a special Ugandan License. And I have only ever seen one other trailer being pulled here in all of Uganda. So, I’m pretty proud of it.
Unfortunately it seems Uganda and I have been pushing her to her limits. I keep forgetting she was built for Tokyo Japan and not the depths of Uganda. On a dry day, I have little concern about driving the van but I’m quickly reminded on the way out to the village that she goes through a lot.
I travel out to the village between 3-6 days a week. Some trips are so horrible that I arrive hours late, others I simply have to cancel due to the weather or a riot. This was a great day for a ride…
My wife has grown accustom to the Ugandan roads, and drives them very well. She relies on the van for many things; which means she relies on me to fix the van when it has a problem so she can get her many things done. Like the kids and their schooling. The benefit to homeschooling is she gets to take them on field trip adventures to learn about what they’ve been studying, and they attend a Home school Co-Op on Fridays with several other missionary families.
Big Bertha is now currently in the shop. She needs a new gear box, which had to be ordered from Nairobi, Kenya. She also has a long list of shock, frame and electrical problems that will be tackled throughout the next few weeks. We are praying through whether we will continue with Bertha or replace her with something that can handle my daily commute to the village.
We currently have a couple 125cc motorcycles. Both the same make an model, but one has been modified to 200cc. They have been great for transportation, and when we have guests its been great to be able to hop on the bikes to get the job done. We’ve accomplished a lot with these little bikes. But when the rains come, or the when sun falls, riding a bike in Uganda may not be the wisest move. Constantly thanking God for His hand of protection.