Following up on Anthony’s post for Day 8:
Deacon Denny, Fr. John’s older brother Clement and I (Salty), with our friend and driver Sixtus Guvette, left Isole and the drill site at about 11:00 a.m. The original plan was for us to go to Sengerema to arrange for a truck to haul to Isole the well casing that was delivered from Mwanza to Sengerema and to buy 4 yards of pea gravel that we needed for the well. But then we learned that Fr. John had decided to go to Sengerema from Geita, so we left it to him to take care of the casing and the gravel. That freed us to fo directly to Mwanza to buy the additional tools and supplies we needed and to see if we could procure anther rock bit for the drill.
We got to the ferry to cross Lake Victoria and had a very long queue of passenger vehicles, trucks and buses ahead of us. There was also a long queue of passengers ahead of us buying passenger tickets for the ferry. We had to wait a long time to board the ferry, and when we finally did, we saw that Sixtus wasn’t able to get our SUV onto the ferry also. So when we got across, Clement, Denny and I took a seat at a lakeside eatery and had a cold drink while we waited for Sixtus to arrive with our vehicle. By the time we got back on the road, it was well after 2:00, and we knew we weren’t going to have much time to shop in Mwanza, as many shops there close at 4:00 p.m.
The afternoon traffic between the ferry and Mwanza was very heavy (see the picture below), and the going was very slow.
As we drove on, we got a call from Anthony telling us that the drilling rig’s coupling that connected the drill pipe to the drive unit had broken and needed to be replaced. That changed the primary purpose of our shopping mission to one of trying to replace the broken coupling.
We then went first to Atlas Copco, a drilling supplier, where the employees were very friendly and helpful but unfortunately did not have the coupling we needed. However, they agreed to search for one to procure, and while they searched, Clement, Sixtus and I went to Manji’s hardware store to buy the other tools and supplies that we needed. Traffic in mid-town Manhattan has nothing on traffic in Mwanza at that time of day in Mwanza, and our trip to Manji’s and back to Atlas Copco took a solid hour.
When we got back to Atlas Copco, Denny told us that they would look around to try to find a coupling, and that if they found one, they would let us know.
So then we were off back to the other side of Lake Victoria. This time our destination was Nyampande, the home of St. John the Apostle Parish, whose rector is Fr. Revocatus Makonge. This is Fr. John’s home parish, and Fr. Makonge is known for his barbecue. We arrived in Nyampande around 8:30 p.m. to a warm reception from Fr. Makonge, and sometime thereafter Fr. John, Floyd and Anthony, with their driver Augustine, joined us. We then had a delicious meal of barbecued pork and goat with “chips” (french fries), peppers (including jalapeños and habaneros) and lots of baridi (cold) beer, along with warm and joyful camaraderie. Finally, at around 11:00 p.m., we took our leave from Fr. Makonge and separated, with Sixtus, Anthony, Floyd, Denny and me heading to our hotel, Gold Stone, in Sengerema and Augustine and Fr. John going to Geita.
Anthony, Floyd, Denny, Sixtus and I (I somewhat grudgingly) agreed to leave Sengerema at 6.a.m. the next morning to go back to Mwanza to see if we could find a coupling for the drilling rig and another bit to use with the drill. That meant a night of short sleep, but this mission isn’t about being comfortable. It’s about trusting in God, letting go of our preconceptions, and letting God’s will be done.