Off roading on the horse cart path

Our training group went on volunteer visits last week. I was fortunate enough to be visiting my actual site, I got to the see the work done by the volunteer, meet my future family, and see the village where I will be living the next two years.

The region I will be living in, Fatick, is quite close to Thies, based on US standards. The road is bad for a decent chunk of the way there so the road trip was expected to take five hours. Being in a Land Cruiser, off-roading did not seem daunting, the car turned off the main road on to a path of sand leading into the bush on the way to our first village drop off.

Our car got stuck n the mud at 1:30PM, right in the heat of the day. It wasn’t until 6PM that we got out and dropped off the first group. The car got stuck moment after the leaving the village, we used the wench cable to pull us out, the road collapsed several minutes later and the car was stuck from seven to midnight. Peace Corps sent cars in to help but those got stuck and we didn’t meet along the way until midnight. Our caravan of three SUVs drove through the back roads getting stuck and unstuck until 5:30AM when all three cars were unable to move. My village was only 30K away so at 7:30 AM a car took me and another trainee to my future compound. The trip to my village took 22 and ½ hours.

Here are some photos of the adventure, they are in reverse order, go to the bottom of the page and scroll up.

The sunrise wasn't worth the hassle but stunning nonetheless.

  The sunrise wasn’t worth the hassle but stunning nonetheless.
5:30AM the next day, our caravan got permanently stuck. Our fasting driver rests on the roof.
5:30AM the next day, our caravan got permanently stuck. Our fasting driver rests on the roof.
Peace Corps sent in cars to help us but they got stuck too.
Peace Corps sent in cars to help us but they got stuck too.
5 hours later the car gets out. This is the hole left behind.
5 hours later the car gets out. This is the hole left behind.
He comes out mud-man.
He comes out mud-man.
Three hours in we attempt to hide from the sun.

Three hours in we attempt to hide from the sun.

A brave man digs out the car from underneath.
A brave man digs out the car from underneath.
Local assistance to the rescue.

Local assistance to the rescue.

Why are we pushing the car to the side? Have we lost our wit?
Why are we pushing the car to the side? Have we lost our wit?
 
I and a few other guarded the car, we were laughing and I stepped backwards into mud.

I and a few other guarded the car, we were laughing and I stepped backwards into mud.

We realize the seriousness of the situation.
We realize the seriousness of the situation.
At 1:30PM we got stuck in the mud
At 1:30PM we got stuck in the mud
Leaving the center at 9:30AM
Leaving the center at 9:30AM
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