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The Treacherous Road to Masai Mara

Rift Valley
Central Kenya
August 22, 2018

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The road out of the little dell had become muddy and slippery in the days' light rain, and some of the cars and vans were having trouble getting enough traction to climb up and out. The construction crew were using a backhoe tractor to pull them up with a rope, which kept snapping under the strain. Each time, they would tie it again, try it again. A few women from a church choir got out of their van to watch with us. They were on their way to a funeral, with a hearse carrying the body of a choir friend who had died suddenly after a three-day illness. When the rain started again, some of the choir men wondered if they would need to carry the casket on foot, up the hill, and try to secure transportation at the top of the hill. The funeral was only a few hours off, and there was no good way to reschedule it for later. Finally, we got our turn to make a run for it, but as we started up the hill, a line of vans and cars began streaming down the hill— of course, a line had also formed up top, and they had lost patience. When we finally got a second chance, Joel revved the engine hard, and a half dozen men pushed our van from behind, all the way to the ridge. We handed out some coins, and were on the road to Masai Mara again. We never learned what happened with the church funeral.