Driving a trailer with a big tank through the Ethiopian Countryside

July 24th, 2010 Addis-Shashamene

Abera and I awoke at 4:00 am this morning, hooked up the trailer to the truck and headed out of Addis.  We were pulling a 15 foot trailer which is unheard of in Ethiopia.  I have only seen one 5th wheel trailer my whole time in Ethiopia.  On the trailer we had an eight foot diameter 12 foot long plastic water tank. It looked funny with our little truck pulling such a big tank.  After the tank was loaded on the trailer yesterday Mogas, our transportation director was worried that we couldn’t drive with it and suggested that we just let him line up a big truck to haul it to Kokosa (probably cost 4000 ETB or $300).  I told him that we would be fine.
The new water tank for Kokosa. We hauled it from Addis on this small trailer.
It only sprinkled on us a little bit a couple of times so the roads were really good.  We didn’t have any problems with traffic at all.  We were pulled over by the roadside police outside of Ziway but when they saw me driving they waved us through.  Teddy calls this “Farenge pass” or foreigner pass.  Abera said that if he would have been driving they would have asked him all sorts of questions.  We had prayed for safety and protection before we left and we felt that we were blessed. We only stopped a couple of times to adjust the ropes holding the tank on. We left the tank in Kersa Illala near the orchard complex.

Abera and I stopped at six different plumbing/hardware shops in Shashamene to find a one inch pvc pipe coupler.  None of them had it. One shop had a fancy coupler but they wanted 85 ETB ($6.50) for it so we passed.  I may have to resort to duct tape.

We stopped in at the Shalom juice bar and I bought us fresh mango juice.  It supplemented our breakfast of bombolinos, donut shaped scones.  Abera dropped me off at the Lilly Valley hotel.  I spent the day doing office work and catching up on some needed rest.

This evening I had a really good talk with Erika and our future. Sometimes I feel bad about the hard things I have to do but then I look around and don’t feel as bad.  I have been listening to the biography of John Adams and have been amazed at what he and the other founding fathers of our country went through so that we could have what we now have.  My challenges are nothing compared to what they had to go through.