The McCropders have been doing a fair amount of orientation this summer, most of which was done two weeks ago at the World Medical Missions headquarters in Boone, NC. We have also done some self-administered unofficial “orientation” to prepare us for vehicles and transportation in developing countries.
The first unofficial transportation orientation session involved Eric and me (Jason) on a memorable drive to Nashville. We drove down there to bring the last remnants of their belongings to be stored at Eric’s parents’ house. We stuffed my Camry (which has 196,000 miles) full of books and other heavy objects, and we precariously perched a bike on the back. Then we hitched on a trailer loaded down at 200% capacity with a bedroom set among other things. This 12 hour drive (which normally takes 8 hours) was punctuated by multiple stops to adjust (and finally cut off) the tarp covering the trailer, a stop for a blown cylinder head cover gasket, and untold glances in the rearview mirror to be sure everything was still there after every bump we hit. This exhausting trip reminded me of so many family vacations just like it while growing up in Kenya.
The second unofficial transportation orientation session involved some old dirt bikes. This is a common and often necessary method of travel in Africa, which both John and I remember fondly from our childhoods in Africa. I rebuilt a few old dirt bikes during the past year, and one free day this summer, John and I took them for a test ride at a friend’s farm. The dirt bikes were just as fun as we remembered, and now we feel re-oriented to this form of transportation as well.
Next up is a 4 hour drive in a rickety minivan with 18 adults, 3 sick kids, a goat and 4 chickens…