• Tim Robinson

Cost of being a missionary – freedom to drive.

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Okay, so maybe this one doesn’t quite fit into the series, but having to get from A to B is part of life.

It is different everywhere you go.  Back home, you hop in a car, and the questions are:

  1. Do I take the toll road, or not?

  2. Which nice clean service station will I stop at to use the toilet?

  3. Will there be traffic on the M25?

(OK, that one is more of an observation than a question!)

So driving here can be… umm… well… not always quiet so straightforward.

Pot holes for starters.  Not only in winter, but all the jolly time.  Some bits of road are better than others. If you drive the bad ones often enough, you can get a sense of where the bad patches are.  Dan isn’t so keen on all the snaking around we have to do when we drive for a few hours – he has been known to throw up 🙁

Other drivers. At home, doing driving lessons, they teach you that you need to be observant and predict what other drives might do.  You driving is fine, it is the other road users you have to worry about.  Well out here, multiply that by 100 and that is driving here! Overtaking on blind corners, blind summits (where there is a truck coming straight at you), taxis pulling over, or just stopping at a moment’s notice if you are lucky!

Around town it is even worse.

Police. Yup, I know at home they pull you over for speeding, for being on drugs, for driving like a lunatic.  Over here they pull you over because they fancy a chat with the white man, or because you drive a slightly flashy car and they want a ‘dash’ from you, or some water, or after they find out you’re a missionary they want a Bible – even if they can’t read.  There are 4 or 5 different groups of people who could stop you, all after something different, and that isn’t even the ones manning the ever increasing number of road blocks.

Next time you are in a bit of traffic, be thankful there isn’t a guy with an AK-47 chatting to you through the window. What I would give for the M25!

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#Africa #driving #Nigeria

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