Thursday, June 21, 2012

Give me this mountain!!!

My roommate Meredith is getting ready to leave. :) Tear!  We're trying to squeeze in some things before she leaves so when she said, "Hey Emily, there's a really big hill in a town about 3 hours away that people like to climb. Want to go climb it?"  I said yes and off we climb a big hill.

Some of you know that my car (Boris) has been having some trouble lately.  I felt confident though, that he was going to behave himself on this trip. He tried really hard! However, about 11 miles from our destination he decided he needed a break and stopped running again. Darnit! 

I got out to see if there was anything obvious that I could fix. Nada. I was afraid it was my fuel pump again.  Fortunately, a guy stopped by who was headed the other direction.  After asking if there was fuel and oil (why do people never believe me when I say YES!) he told me that he was headed up but would be back down in a few hours and if we were still stranded would tow me into the big city we were attempting to get to.  Awesome.

I wasn't as worried about this breakdown because I was only a couple hours away from my home, so knew that people would know people who could help me. I started calling some of my friends and they started working to see if they could get a mechanic out there.  I didn't have good cell service where I was so kept walking back up this hill (not THE hill we were going to climb the next day) to get service.  As I was talking to one of my friends, all of the sudden I realized that I didn't have very much credit left on my phone.  Shoot!! I really needed credit to try and call people to get things arranged. 

After an hour or so, it looked like things were going to be more complicated than we thought. My friends who knew people in the "big city" couldn't find any mechanic who was willing to come out and try to fix my car.  Well now what should we do?????  Well, I needed credit for my phone so headed off to the middle of the village to see if I could find any.

I found a place to buy some credit and while we were there a crowd gathered to find out what was wrong.  They went to get a mechanic.  I was skeptical. In fact, the guy who stopped to help us at the beginning warned us that there wasn't a mechanic in this village, even though they might say there was.  They would know how to fix motorcycles but wouldn't know about cars. 

So when a guy (Moses) came to look at my car, I was skeptical.  I had it in my mind that I probably needed a new fuel pump and knew I wasn't going to find any in this village.  As he started to look at my car I was pretty blunt and told him that I was not trying to insult him, but if he didn't know what he was doing, please don't touch anything. Sometimes it seems like everytime someone touches Boris, something else happens.   He did some puttering, tested my fuel pump and it was ok.  Yippee!!  He got under the car and looked at some other stuff, asked for some binding wire and packing tape (yup, packing tape) and a few minutes later Boris was purring like a kitten!  Thanks Moses! God used you to get me out of this wilderness!!! 
Moses fixing our breakdown

Things that make me think Jesus is awesome:
1.  We had a breakdown.  Apparently it's what was best for me at that time so...Jesus is awesome.
2.  The first guy came by and offered to tow us to town.  The whole time we knew this was an option so weren't frantic about trying to get us with all of our stuff on motorcycles to sleep there for the night.....Jesus is awesome.
3.  I had no credit.  If I had had plenty of credit, I wouldn't have gone into the middle of the village to find credit and would not have met Moses, our deliverer....Jesus is awesome.
4.  Moses was actually a mechanic in Freetown and was just in the village visiting his father.  Hence the reason he knew about cars, not just motorbikes....Jesus is awesome.

We rolled into town at about 7:30pm and the hotel we were planning on staying in was booked. So was the next hotel we checked. Third time was the charm and we set off to find some food.

The next day was our climbing day.  I pretty much decided to do it so I could try out my hiking boots that I had brought with me a year earlier.  Good reason right?  The hill is a pretty prominent hill but when we asked people how to get to it, nobody could really tell us.  So we just started driving towards it and started asking people. When we got to a village close to the base, a man said, "Here. These two boys will go and show you the way."  Ok.....

                                                                  The Great Hill!

Our guides and I showing our "tough" faces

When we got to the base I didn't see any kind of path.  I asked the boys if they had ever climbed this hill before and they didn't really answer.  I pressed them and finally they said that they had, but it had been a long time.  As we started up the hill I kept asking about the path.  They kept promising it was close.  They lied.  We never found a path and ended up hiking through tall grass (snakes!!!!!) and literally crawling up some rock faces.  I was very thankful for my hiking boots with their excellent grips.  Of course the boys just shimmied up the hill, rockfaces included, like it was nothing!

I would say it's a fair statement that most of the time we were pretty scared.  We were three girls and we've all spent some time in the hospital and therefore know the very real danger of snake bites.  Also, the hill was really steep and although we were managing to go up fine, we were worried about how we would get down.  We kept stopping to ask about the path (it wasn't until the top that he finally admitted that he knew of no path) and wondering if we should stop.  But we had come so far!! And had had such a rough time getting here that it would be a real shame to give up when we were so close!  So we pressed on.  One of the boys (the leader) kept grumbling that we needed to hurry and if we were men we would just go, we wouldn't be afraid.  Finally I asked him if we were men when we were at the bottom and had changed into women on the way up.  No?  Then you knew what you were getting into when you agreed to take it so knock it off!!  We wouldn't be in this situation if there was a path like you had promised!

Shimming up the rock face.  I did not shimmy so well......

Thank God we reached the top and then back down without incident!! We were tempted to explore the top of the hill but there was lots of tall grass and we didn't want to press our luck.  Well, it wasn't the experience we'd been expecting, but if anyone ever sees that hill and says "hey, that would be cool to climb that hill"  I'll say....yeah, I did that.  So...that's something.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Remember the hill behind the Selah House? When Phil and I were kids we climbed up and down that thing several times a week! Now? NO WAY! Rattlesnakes! Cheat Grass and??? What were we thinking? Did your family ever climb to the top??