Driving at night in Africa

One of my favorite blogs is the Myhre’s from Uganda – the team leaders of my brother-in-law’s mission – paradoxuganda . Last Thursday, Jennifer wrote this in a post about an eventful trip to Kampala. Anyone who has  driven at night here knows what she is talking about.

The last hour and a half were nothing short of harrowing:  darkness unbroken by street lights, so only the narrow field in our headlight beams was visible, the crumbling road pocked by random deep hidden potholes, swerving to maneuver around them, while trying to avoid head-on collisions with oncoming road-dominating suicidal trucks on a fragment of tarmac that is not wide enough for two vehicles, being blinded by the oncoming headlights, and just to make things interesting the sides of the roads packed with pedestrians, bicyclists, the occasional cow, students, last-minute market shoppers, carts, you name it, all seemingly dressed in the darkest clothes possible.

I don’t often have to drive at night, and the road between the airport and here is generally pretty good, but there are stretches where I have to apologize a friend I’ve just been reunited with after years of not seeing each other. “Sorry, but I’m going to have to focus on driving.” Add rain (when the pedestrians actually move onto the road to avoid the mud), a foggy windshield, crabbing trucks with headlights misdirected right at my eyes. . . then there’s the construction detour where all you can see is dust and the glare of headlights and brake lights. I’m surprised I haven’t killed anyone yet. My hat is off to those who drive at night all the time without even stressing about it.

2 thoughts on “Driving at night in Africa

  1. Driving at night in Kenya? I assume that’s an evangelism technique aimed at getting people to consider the immediate possibility of the afterlife.

  2. Ben says:

    I was going to invite you over to “deepen your faith”, but I guess hang gliding takes care of that. 😉

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