Now, here's one of those "only God" stories! A lot of people would say we were lucky, but I believe in the providence of God.
On October 16, we had a flat tire. We can't remember, but apparently the lugs hadn't been tightened very well when it was changed. We drove like that until October 31, when we returned to Tera.
We got to the ferry in plenty of time to get on without having a long wait. Sometimes, like in this picture, we have to wait a long time because the ferry can only take about 12 normal sized vehicles. But, on October 31st one of the four or five vehicles in line in front of us was a huge truck (a semi-size). He got on with about 2 other vehicles and there was no room for us. We didn't really want to get on with him anyway! So, we had to wait another hour for the ferry. It's hard to wait because there is no shade there and you are parked on blazing hot tar that radiates the heat of the sun. It's also frustrating because it only takes 5 minutes to cross the river!
We got on the ferry and were crossing to the other side. On the ferry, you park in the middle and then on both sides there are railings with benches behind them for people to sit on. Well, a bunch of guys were leaning/sitting on the railing right beside our truck. One of them says to John, "Your lugs are loose". He got out and checked and sure enough! Wow! That was a scary thought.
When we got off the ferry we went just a little ways down the road and then changed the tire because we still had the spare on. To do that, we had to unload a lot of the weight off the back so the jack wouldn't break. Changing the tire is a dirty job, and takes a fair bit of muscle work. It wasn't long before the change was made and we were back on our way.
But just think....I believe God had us miss the ferry we wanted on purpose so that we'd be on with a "random" guy who "just happened" to know enough about cars and tires to recognize a problem when he saw one. The average citizen wouldn't have a clue. All of this did make us get home late, but at least we got home safe and sound!
My next post will be on or around December 12 because I won't be in Niamey again until then. Make sure you check John's and Jeremy's blogs. They've both updated this week and both are excellent. John's is http://yaaye.blogspot.com and Jeremy's is http://jeremyinafrica.blogspot.com.