Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Caravan Dispatches - A Stuck Bus Somewhere in Tanzania

14th November, 2011
Somewhere in Tanzania

Hmmm! ‘Gari imekata mafuta,’ whose literal translation means, ‘the car has cut oil.’ This means the petrol is not getting into the right places hence causing the bus to get stuck. Ok that is enough explaining, l need to tell you about the journey. 

So this is the second time this is happening. It is nearly 7.30pm and we are stuck right in the middle of nowhere. The drivers say it is a few kilometers to Dar es Salam. On each side of the road a few huts and some bushes and it is totally pitch black. No really.Here when it is dark, it really is dark and especially if the area has no generators. I want some fear to kick in but it can’t because the people around me are so relaxed. One caravanite says, ‘it is time to do a poem which would be titled..in the still of darkness,’ to which he gets a round of laughter. The driver who is not answering when we ask what is wrong, is working feverishly to correct the problem. The second bus has already caught up with us and its drivers join in. 15 minutes after tinkering with the engine or whatever it was, the bus is ready to go. I laugh when l hear one of the drivers saying, ‘when l touch this bus it behaves itself but when it sees a hill it begins to misbehave.’ Really? It has now become a living thing? 

We take off into the night hoping that this was the last episode. I haven’t reached yet. I am still wiring and on the road to Dar. Let us finish this when we get there. An hour later, we are in Dar and the bus has conked out again. This time though we are so relaxed. I think we have faith in our drivers. Now after all the scary experiences we know they know what they are doing. Tinker for 10 minutes and drive off to the hotel.

By Maria Wanza


  1. Sorry to hear about the bus, the driver, crew must stay positive. It is a long journey to SA Durbs. Mean while concetrate on developing the poem..in the still of darkness,’We support you all the way.

  2. ... and where are you now? Hope you guys made it (Durbs) on time ... We keep praying for your trip to be a success ever! Regards to the Burundi Team!

  3. hello Phil, we finally made it safely back to all our countries.