Trip facts. 22,000 air flight miles. 54 hours buckled in an airline seat. 24 hours waiting in airports. 4,000 road kilometers(2,400 miles).
Uncounted numbers of stalled trucks and busses, often on uphill grades. Too numerous to attempt to count pedestrians, bicycles and push carts on side of road. Goats, chickens and cows crossing or grazing on side of road. Hiking an average of 3 / 4 mile into and then 3 / 4 mile back from 121 wells sites all located in the valleys with often steep hillsides. Greeting in the Bena tribe language, “Kamwenia”, 100’s of villagers each day in remote valleys and hillsides where many children had not seen a white person before and did not know to call me the African name “mzungu”.
Being the only American amidst the Africans for two and one half weeks. Learning to order in Swahili, kuko(chicken), wali(rice), maharage(beans) for dinner and omelet and Chipati (like a fried tortilla) for breakfast.. Up between 5:30 to 6:00AM to 10:30 at night. Alone but yet feeling safe. Drive Toyota LandCruiser from right side with left hand stick shift. Travel higher speed and very dangerous paved roads, very rough dirt roads, lanes and footpaths through trees and brush and even fields. Being physically tired with some stomach issues yet mentally strong and having fun. Lose 15 pounds. Accomplishment: 20,425 villagers are now drinking water from a protected source rather than open ponds. Result: less water born parasitic illnesses and deaths and higher children attendance in schools. IMPOSSIBLE? Not with God and Jesus with me. They lifted and carried me. This is just my story of my 4th trip with Marion Medical Mission. There are 30 other similar stories this past year.