After being in Bujumbura for the week trying to get some business for the Health Center done, we had planned to go home today. We hop on the motorbike, head up the mountains, and we get hit by a tyrant of a storm! Seriously, the storm of all storms kicked up and just let loose. Within seconds we were soaked, and so were our bags! About 20 minutes outside of town, we had to turn around and go back to Bujumbura. Josh ended up having to spend the evening in our room where I brought him dinner, because he had no dry clothes! Literally none! Our computers got damp, but no lasting damage. We were already drenched when we dropped off our bags at the guesthouse, so we decided to make the most of it and go for a walk in the rain. Let’s try again tomorrow, we thought!
We pack up again, after wringing the water out of our clothes and picking the least-damp ones to wear, get back on the bike and drove out of the city. We were navigating a terrifyingly busy stretch of the road just on the outskirts of Bujumbura, when a man on a bicycle decided to cut right in front of us at the last second. Josh put on the breaks and swerved, but we hit him pretty hard. We almost managed to stay upright, but then Josh had to lay the motorbike down. We suffered some road rash and a few cool-looking engine burns, everything really superficial.
The big scare has been that the bike went down on Josh’s right knee, the same one that he had surgery on twice to reconstruct his ACL before we moved out here. He felt severe pain and was unable to weight bear after the accident occurred, typical of an ACL injury. We know there’s been damage to the ligament, but we are unsure of the extent though. Only time and maybe an MRI will be able to tell us more.
The man who hit us was gone by the time we got up, he had ditched his bike and ran off as soon as the accident happened. Leaving his bike behind, most likely his only source of income and livelihood, was a big indicator of how scared he was about being held responsible for the crash.
Some good samaritans helped us off the road, and instantly a crowd of 50+ gathered around us. My iPod was stolen in the commotion. Police were around but stood by as bystanders and watched everything. Again, our computers managed to survive this encounter, thankfully! So in fear and frustration, we got back on the bike and turned around back into town. We were taken in by Simon Guillebaud and his family and received some comfort from our Burundi friends and family here. My Dad was right when he wrote us “It’s hard not to worry when your travels are like an episode of the Fast & Furious.”
We travel here all the time and we always need prayer for safety on these crazy roads.
So, third time’s the charm right? Nope.
Amidst some of the worst traffic we’ve seen, driving through a thick fog and clouds, we had almost gotten to a small town called Bugerama (normally 30 min. outside of Buj, took us over 90… ) when our back tire blew a flat! Because of Josh’s sore knee, we payed a few young men to walk the bike up the mountain into town as we followed behind. We were taken to a “repair shop,” in reality a shack with a couple of tools, and they replaced the blown inner tube while we talked with the large crowd of people surrounding us. By the time we were finished and the bike was repaired, it was pitch black, and too dangerous to travel the rest of the way home. So, we biked up to a nearby hotel, shivering in the mountain cold with no warm (or dry) clothes, and had JUST enough money on us to pay for our night’s stay and some dinner.
So, we didn’t make it to Gitega, but at least we’re not in Bujumbura anymore. I’d say that’s progress!
So hopefully this will all seem funny with a bit of time.
We are hopefully returning to Gitega this morning, and only to turn around back to Bujumubra tomorrow afternoon! Don’t worry, we’ll be taking the truck!
Please pray for Josh’s knee. It was a tough 2 ½ years with his surgeries, complications, and recovery, and it would be heart-breaking for him to have to go through all of that again. If he needs surgery, it would take us out of the mix here, right at the most crucial time when we are trying to open the clinic over these next few months.
We know that Satan wants us out of Burundi, that is very clear. So please pray that his knee recovers in full, and that any sort of treatment or surgery won’t be needed. Please be our prayer warriors in this time of uncertainty and doubt.
Thank you so much for your support and love.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”