Chaarrge! … in the Garden

It had been a long day and I was ready to get out of the office.  I had received a call at 16:30 reminding me that it was our turn as a small Christian community to clean the church and also prepare for Sunday contribution.  It was now 18:00 and I was late.

As  I drove down I wondered if the rest would still be there cleaning.  All the same I had to try my best and try to do something to contribute. It was going to take me at least 20-30 minutes to get there and I did…. Just to find the work getting completed. Oh well… I would join them another day.  As we finished our discussion about the contribution to Mass, I realized it was going to be dark soon and I did not want to drive back up the hill too late, so as soon as we finished I left. There was not going to be any shopping in the village this day.  It would have to wait.

Driving up the hill is always a little straining, mostly because the engine of the vehicle struggles a bit… Hey! it is close to a 45 degree angle uphill for over 2km, so I guess my previous turbo engine was a blessing.  I passed another colleague coming down the hill who stopped to let me know that there were elephants further up the road… but they were ok.  No trouble at all.  I thanked him for the warning since it was dusk, very close to getting dark, and they do tend to blend with the darkness.

I remained calm, but nevertheless began to pray for safety.  They are wonderful animals, but one never knows what they had encountered that day and how they might react to you or something that you do.  After praying, I felt calm and went full speed ahead… well… as fast as the poor struggling engine would let me. 

I went round a bend, and there they were… just 15 m ahead of me and 2 of them were right on the road.  I edged a little closer, hoping that they would get off the road… after all, my colleague had said they were ok, and he had just passed them.  As I edged closer, I realized that another vehicle was about 50m further up the hill, behind the elephants who were more than 10 and of many different ages. 

So gentle, yet strong - elephants in the Garden

So gentle, yet strong - elephants in the Garden

The 2 elephants were not getting off the road, and were now paying attention to me.  Even if I were to forge ahead, my vehicle had now slowed down too much.  I was not going to be able to outpace them.  Apparently when running they can start at 40km per hour.  My vehicle could never do more than 20km per hour on this hill especially when I had already slowed down to almost a complete halt, and if they charged, that other vehicle was squarely in the way…. I had to stop, or risk causing a complete disaster.

I stepped on the brakes, pulled up the handbrake, released the footbrake, switched off the engine … and the head lights… and the car rolled…

Want to know what happened next?   http://wp.me/pykoD-4n

Come… Walk with me in the Garden

Copyright (c) 2010. Ophelia Swai. All Rights Reserved

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One thought on “Chaarrge! … in the Garden

  1. Adam Maina September 1, 2010 at 7:06 pm Reply

    That was close Ophelia. With all these beautiful encounters that many of us can only dream of, please do not get used and take the whole experience for granted. I hope you have a camcorder with you to record all those rare experiences which will be great to share with your grand children around a log fire. Do not record snakes though, they always give creeps.

    Cheers Ophelia

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