Saturday, June 14, 2008

African Adventure: WE GOT ROBBED, BUT EVERYTHING IS OK! (Feb 8)

Current Location: Windhoek, Namibia.


Upcoming: Our diary entry on the bushmen, me making fire with sticks, and we are off to the Kalahari.

Today we, well poor OLE Aaron actually, was robbed. Today started like any other day, we woke up from our place of stay, just outside of Windhoek on the side of a dirt road and came into town to get through a mountain of chores before leaving Namibia for Botswana. First thing was going to the Home Affairs Office to get a stamp in Aarons new passport. This took about 2 hours. Then we changed money, US$ for Botswana Pula. Then we had to drive across town so Aaron could get a yellow fever shot as his certificate was stolen with his bag 3 weeks ago. En route to the clinic we had to stop off at a few places to get some bits for the truck. First stop was a furnace and heating supply place. I noticed this place and decided that I might be able to get some insulation to wrap the exhaust manifold to reduce under-hood temperature. Perhaps miraculously, they had the perfect insulation tape (asbestos). I parked the Landy on a side road opposite a busy Shell garage and Aaron stayed with the truck to look after it. When I came back I saw Aaron looking very distraught by the side of the truck. This what happened in the 10 mins I was gone getting the insulation tape:

A guy in his late teens knocked on the passenger side window where Aaron was sitting, and said tire and pointed to a rear tire. Aaron looked at him, said "no" and pulled the window closed. He then noticed that his new fanny pack (bum bag for those in the UK) which was right next to him on the center seat was gone! He immediately closed up the Landy and ran over to the guy who said tire and ask where his bag was and to see under his shirt. This guy didnt have anything on him, but Aaron notice a guy running away across the street and Aaron immediately shouted after him. The guy Aaron had confronted then pointed at the guy running and said "yeah you" and pointed after him. Aaron immediately gave chase, as Aaron was half way across the street a car stopped and a guy got out and instantly started chasing the guy who was now running across a park. The running guy then, and I quote from Aaron, "jumped over a tall fence just like an Olympic athlete". Thankfully, as he jumped the fence he was closely followed by the guy from the car and he dropped Aarons bag. The guy from the car picked up the bag and gave it back to Aaron. So Aaron got his bag back, intact and with nothing stolen. This bag had in it, among some things, his new passport. Thanks to the incredibly brave and selfless guy in the car, Aaron got his bag back and was spared another terrible bought of being a victim of African crime. When I got back to the car after this was all over, Aaron was almost in a miner state of shock and pretty shaken up, but OK.

we went to a radiator place, as I wanted them to check out the radiator to see it was blocked in some way which might be causing our running hot. We had the pleasure of meeting Johan van Zyl, owner of Silverton Radiators. He checked our radiator cap with a pressure gauge and found it was bad. We send our tanks again to Rob Leimer for supplying another defective part! He then check our share, which was also bad, again, thanks to Rob Leimer for supplying a faulty brand new spare! He said that this might be causing a steam leak which can lead to running hot, as the system is not holding pressure. He then did a test to see if exhaust gasses were getting into the system. The results were a pleasant negative. He then said that he would give us a new radiator cap (usually N$30 = $5) and tested it in front of us to show us the difference between the new one and ours. He didn't charge us for any of the tests or his time and just couldn’t do enough for us. We bought a second cap as a spare and said our good-byes to an incredible nice and genuine guy. Thanks Johan!

I guess there are good and bad people in the world. Most of the time, I see the good and have a positive outlook, but I think its important to notice and even experience the bad sometimes to put life into perspective. I would like to debate this further, but another time maybe. At least we got a lot accomplished today and we should be heading off to Botswana.

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