These bikes were diffidently assembled fast, way too fast. Many important things were missed. Bolts were not tightened, such as handlebars, hand grips, foot pegs, kick stands. Some items were put in the wrong place, wiring installed wrong, adjustments done incorrectly. During the driving practice we had several nuisance maintenance items slow us down.
After the celebrations of passing out the certifications,
The last day in Burkina Faso we acted normal and worked all day. (Sometimes I wish I wouldn’t. See digression story below.*) Jaars gave funding for the National Bible Translation Association to buy 21 new motorcycles and helmets. Jaars wants them to be bought locally so spare parts and maintenance know how are readily available. When a vendor gets an order for this many motorcycles at once he really has to scramble, because they come to him in cardboard boxes and he must get them assembled. It’s kind of like in the states, mechanics are viewed as uneducated grease monkeys. So they are not paid much and are normally pushed hard to get the work done fast.
Our last day in country we decided to try and repair as many of the 21 motorcycles as we had time for. We had two students and a mechanic from the shop where the bikes were bought help us. It took anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours per bike to get them completed. We had time to work on 12 of them. The mechanic from the shop was a good mechanic and seemed glad to be able to have a 2nd chance to do it correctly. He said he would return until all the bikes were correctly completed.
We finished about 4:30 PM, got a ride back to our apartment. Took showers, got packed, were picked up at 5:45 PM to go to the airport. Once at the airport it took the full two hours of standing in lines getting 11 different checks before we could get on the airplane. 6 of them were just passport and ticket checks. They REALLY want to sure about who is getting on the airplane. Yes, we bought tickets to fly on 9/11, didn’t even give it a thought at the time. The airplanes were full, so it didn’t slow flying down at all.
The flights were normal, no unexpected delays or problems. The flights were long and there was a lot of time for movies, reading, sleeping and getting some computer work. Ken and I went different direction in Atlanta. I got to the Tucson airport about 8:30 PM. Judy was waiting. It was good to be home. Thanks so much for praying.
*As I or Judy and I travel across the USA, Europe or into Africa, we are traveling by donated funds. This is our only income, we don’t have some other paying jobs we do on the side. Everything we do or buy, is done with donated funds. So, we are very fiscally careful and rarely do leisure travel. You know, just going someplace for the fun of it. We talk about doing it someday, while in Paris, going to visit the Eiffel Tour or other tourist sites. We go right on by so many different visit opportunities, it sometimes seems criminal. Or maybe it’s just plain stupid, but I know so many missionaries who do the same thing. A friend once reminded me that we only get 70 or 80 years on earth and can’t do everything. But in heaven we can do all those things we think we are missing here on earth, if we still really want to.