My trip to Lukulu from Lusaka in Zambia

My day in Zambia on Friday, July 8 started at 4:30. Our team plus Bill Fuller left Lusaka in a van at 5 am to go to Kaoma.   Bill, who is coming back to Lukulu for the first time in 6 years, will also be working on a solar panel project in Mongu this week.  The team planned to drop Billy Fuller and I off with a driver in Kaoma (part way to Mongu) who would take us on in to Lukulu.

As we were traveling through Lusaka our transmission was brutally attacked by a rock in the middle of the road.  It punctured a hole in the transmission pan and had to be welded and repaired.  However, we did not know the extent of the damage until we were about 45 minutes west of Lusaka.  We noticed trouble with the transmission, pulled over and called back to the office for help. The team then waited for repairs while Billy and I caught a bus on to Kaoma ahead of them. Bill and I will catch back up with the team on Monday when we leave Lukulu and travel 6 hours to Mongu.

On the bus to Kaoma.
On the bus to Kaoma.

So back to the travel story…at this point we made it to Kaoma in about 2.5 hrs.  We then met our driver and headed out for a 3 hour drive to Lukulu squashed in a Toyota pickup truck that unbeknownst to us had trouble with it’s headlights…so much that the lights would not work at all.  Of course we discovered this problem as dusk settled in.  With dark fast approaching, the driver tried to fix the headlights on the dirt road, but to no avail.  So we continued to drive about 20 minutes toward Lukulu as our light progressively kept getting darker and darker.   The light disappeared and I could barely see my hand in front on my face!  Yet, our good driver made it though to deliver us to the Lukulu mission intact.

We arrived late at about 7 pm and very hungry only to find out no one was at the mission to greet us…we were locked out. We finally found someone to let us in. We grabbed some delicious food instead that had been prepared just for us sitting on a table in the dining area.  We where then shortly greeted by Fr. Lazarous and had supper together. How cool is that! Eventually we settled in for the night, ready to begin the next day.

My room in Lukulu
My room in Lukulu

One last minor factoid; the city of Lukulu turns off the electricity at night, so at 11 pm the building went pitch dark and I had to grab a flashlight to find my way around.  So it sorta forced me to get some sleep LOL!

BTW: You can see us in the truck leaving Kaoma on my Facebook page.

Author: John Wagner

I work for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Belleville, Illinois in the USA. The Oblates are a Roman Catholic congregation of priests and brothers founded after the French Revolution by St. Eugene De Mazenod to work among the poor. Today there are nearly 4,000 missionaries working in more than 60 countries around the world.

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