Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Arusha Factor Part 2

Oh yes, the Arusha Factor!  That is, after you rehearse every possible scenario that could happen to a guy on a bike and how best to react to it, you have to remember that you can't factor in everything all the time.

Thus, I turned into the right lane and  was immediately struck by a small SUV type vehicle attempting to pass me on the RIGHT--during my right hand turn! 

She hit me with the front left fender of her car and then she must have veered to the right as to not run me over completely.  My right leg was sandwiched between the car and bike for a moment before I went over.  I hit the pavement with my head first and slid on my helmet and the top of my right shoulder with most of the rest of my body in the air hanging over me right beside the car as it went off into the ditch and I came to a stop behind it having slid about 6 feet or so. 

At least 20 people from all around saw the whole thing and rushed over to us.  I was nervous at first because I have heard stories about how when people get hit like that, a seemingly compassionate rush of onlookers scuttle over and go through the pockets of the half dead so they may steal phones, wallets, and whatever else they can get their hands on before 'real' help arrives.  But, it wasn't that way with me--although, I'm not sure why.  I was in town two weeks prior to this event with my car when someone swiped my blackberry cell phone right out of the front seat with both Shawn and Jamison seated inside the car looking on.  I had stepped out of the car only for a moment.  So, folks have no qualms with boldly stealing from westerners. 

But at that instant, while I laid in the dirt (I had slid from the pavement to the dirt)  there was a vehicle coming down from the bookstore where I had been heading.  Driving it was a Tanzanian whom I knew well, a good Christian man named Joakim.  The compassionate crowd intercepted him from afar and then loaded me into his car.  After playing short game of '20 Questions' he rushed me off to the nearest hospital which was about 15 minutes away. I was, at that moment, concerned for the welfare of my bike; but, I knew that I had to leave it for the traffic police who were on their way to write a report.  After that, I didn't know what would be the final fate of my poor Honda 650! 

As it turns out, after taking x-rays at the hospital, I hadn't broken any bones...just suffered a sprained ankle, knee, and hip.  They released me after about 2 hours.  The total cost of my first hospital visit in the country of Tanzania, including meds, was less than $15! 

The next day, I had to go to the Traffic police station and file a report.  I ended up having to stay for about 6  hours while they got the ladies story straight as well as wouldn't have taken so long if she would have gotten her story a little straighter sooner!  It helped that my rendition agreed with the officers report who went out to observed the crash sight...who also took reports from several witnesses at the scene.  

After the first three hours, I looked out the window and saw it--my bike--and it appeared in good shape!   They had moved it to the wrecked vehicle storage at the Police Station.  The only thing that we could find wrong with it was that it had a few scrapes and the two rear blinkers were smashed...though they both were still in perfect working order even in their limped state.  But, there doesn't seem to be ANY mechanical damage to the bike nor to the frame.  It's a tough bike!  I can probably get the whole thing fixed for less than a $100! 

So, other than suffering through a few weeks of having several annoyingly sprained joints as well as sore neck, back and leg muscles, my over all expenses right now have reached a whopping $115!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting story, my friend. I hope you are healed up!