Sabbath trip up to Yeji

Saturday, September 02, 2023
Yeji, Bono East Region, Ghana
Adonijah and his wife, Ruth, were at the hotel before 5 am, and we got on the road about 10 till. It was still dark (not a good time to be on the roads), but we are still in town and it was rapidly getting lighter.
It was also raining lightly, but when Adonijah turned on the windshield wiper, the driver’s side fell off, leaving the metal arm to rub against the windshield, and only the passenger side clear. We stopped and worked to get the passenger side wiper blade onto the driver’s side, and a man on the roadside who was helping tied a rag over the metal arm on the now empty passenger side to keep it from rubbing on and scratching the windshield. And with that fix, we were on the way again.
The problem with Adonijah’s car was the transmission, but a mechanic thought he got it fixed. Turned out he was right. But he didn’t have time to fix the suspension and warned Adonijah that it might be loose. Turned out he was right about that also…
When we had smooth sections of the highway (which isn’t all that often) Adonijah would get up to speed as quickly as that old Nissan could do it. But once up to highway speed of around 50 mph, the car would often start swaying from side to side, like the driver was trying to swerve the car back and forth. However, the steering wheel was steady, so all the sway was from underneath in the suspension.
We suspected it might be badly damaged rack and pinion or something like that. Given all the potholes, and the often ferocious speed with which we were hitting, dodging or trying to dodge them, it is little wonder there is damage. The real mystery is why there is anything left underneath the car at all…
We finally reached the provincial town of Yeji a few minutes after 10 am. Services were to start at 10. As Adonijah tried to go in a back way to get close to the building, he slipped off into a small ditch and the car was stuck good. It is supposed to be a 4WD, and has the switch, but when engaged nothing on the front end turned at all. If it had, I think we could have gotten out. As it was, we abandoned the car and walked the rest of the way to the building.
Everyone was patiently waiting, and we started about 30 or so minutes late. Adonijah gave a brief sermonette, I made a few introductory comments and then introduced Mr. Carter for the sermon. I haven’t been to Yeji since before COVID, so it was good to be back and see everyone again.
He gave a good sermon on marriage and treasuring our mates. It seemed well received. Our attendance was 92 – very good attendance!
After services there were quite a few who wanted to be anointed. We did anoint a small feverish baby (most likely malaria), but with the numbers, and knowing most did not understand English, I called for Adonijah and asked him to take over. This took a little while, but I think it was better for him to do it in Twi where the people understood, than for me to do it in English where they would be clueless what I said.
When it was time to go, many of the young men came with us to push the car out. Adonijah seemed quite uncertain which way to turn or what to do, so he promptly got it stuck two more times. And two more times we manhandled it back onto solid ground.
Finally clear of the mud and holes, we loaded up for the long bumpy, swervey trip back down to Kumasi. But before leaving town, I asked if we could go to the shore of Lake Volta so Mr. Carter could see it. This was only about a half dozen blocks out of the way. We took a few pictures, and watched the big German-built barge being loaded up, then started back to Kumasi.
The trip back was almost as nerve-wracking as the trip up, but at least it wasn’t raining most of the time, so that was better.
We arrived back at our hotel just before 6 pm, a full 13 hours after we’d left. Tired, sweaty and hungry since neither of us had eaten since the night before, save a few snacks we brought along. But we were happy to be back, and after washing up went down and had a nice dinner.
Tomorrow Edward Sake, a driver I’ve used for many years, will be at the hotel by 9 am to take us down to Elmina for the final stop of this trip.