Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Traffic Jams and Chimpanzees
This weekend, after dropping Cathy to the airport in Ndola, we had two free days to spend around the city of Kitwe. Saturday, we decided to go check out a chimpanzee refuge that we had heard of from Uncle Eddie, where we stay. We planned to drive out early and spend the day there. We headed to Chingola, about 52 km north of Kitwe and thought we’d have lunch there and then head out towards Sowesi and into the bush where the refuge was. We got about halfway to Chingola and arrived at the crossroads to Mufilira and the DRC border when traffic came to a standstill. A few days earlier, we had passed the scene of an accident on the bridge there over a small river where a semi-truck had been hit and overturned into the water. Today, a crane stood on the bridge, attempting to lift the disabled truck and trailer back onto the roadway. Unfortunately, this is the only way north and by the time we thought of turning back, we found ourselves in one of five lanes of traffic jam on a one and a half lane road bottlenecking at a small bridge. I’m not sure what the weight restriction would be on a small cement bridge over little more than a creek but what I was thankful for was that we were not parked on the bridge with the numerous semi trucks on their way to the border, filled with fuel, acid, and copper ore, not to mention the crane, the truck bed that was waiting to receive the disabled truck and about 200 curious bystanders.