Thursday, April 8, 2010

End of the month gas shortage and CRASH!


Apr. 8th, 2010 Continued

After dropping off the MAI staff I headed to Addis Ababa. I thought that I might need gas before arriving in Addis so I planned on stopping in Ziway.  It became very dark very fast.  It was pitch black before I reached the Sabana resort turnoff.  It was quite an adrenal rush driving along then all of a sudden there was a donkey cart in front of you that you had to swerve around.  I took it much slower than I would have in the daylight. 

There was no fuel in Ziway so I calculated that I for sure could make it to Mojo and I knew they had several gas stations there.  What I didn’t anticipate was that it was the end of the Ethiopian calendar month and they let the gas stations run out on the last day then change all of the prices all over the country at once. By the time I hit Mojo my gauge had been on empty for several kilometers and the fuel light was on.  Both gas stations that I stopped at were out of fuel.  I was considering just sleeping the night in the car but I wasn’t sure when they would have fuel again.  I called Shemelis, Abera and finally got Teddy to translate for me.  He asked the guard to try and find some fuel for me but they didn’t have any at all.  He told me that I probably had enough fuel to get to Debre Zeit where I could either get fuel or at least stay in a hotel until morning. I put my faith in God and headed toward Debre Zeit. 

The car that I rolled and its owner assessing the damage. No insurance  so it cost me $1500 to fix.
I was within about five kilometers when I messed up.  I was coming up on a slow moving truck and started to pull out to pass but saw another car coming so I swerved back in my lane and braked.  In doing so I caused the car to spin around and off the side of the road. There was a steep ten foot bank and the car rolled over onto its top.  I was wearing my seat belt so I wasn't hurt at all (thanks to God).  A bus stopped and the passengers helped me flip the car back over. 
In spite of rolling the car wasn't in very bad shape

I called Teddy and talked with Joe(who I thought was Paul because of the caller ID).  They contacted Ashaber who lives in Debre Zeit.  After several calls back and forth we decided that I would stay in Debre Zeit until morning to help with the police report.  I was really excited to see Ashaber when he arrived.  He laughed at me because I had my computer out sending emails.  I told him that I didn’t want to just sit there being bored.  We stopped at the police station but they told us to come back in the morning. I checked in at the Tomy hotel then called home to tell them to get on Skype with me.  I told them about the accident and that I was without even a scratch.  I said a very heartfelt thank you prayer before I went to bed.

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