Chapter 2

Written Friday, January 30, 2009.

William Spees, was a brother in law to William Deans. Mrs. Spees and her husband, were a very resourceful family and they never visited Nyankunde without bringing small gifts for the children.

Behring MacDowell, Dr Becker, Bill Deans, and Bill Spees

The previous day, the Spees had gone to Uganda, and were able to secure lodging at a section of Makerari University. And we were most comfortable in that situation for the time being.
As soon as we returned to Nyankunde, we gathered our clothing as well as our children. We experienced no trouble on the way but few miles from Nyankunde we crossed a bridge where just a few days later, a large truckload of civilians approached followed by a load of rebels. Twelve Congolese soldiers were there to guard the bridge. A battle ensued, and many lost their lives.
Slowly, we made it to Rethy where our two elder children had been attending boarding school, and soon we were on our way to Uganda.

Uganda is a beautiful country. I remember the torrential rains Also, I remember at least one of our new tires had blown out.
Mrs. Wolcott was with us amongst others, but I can’t remember who they were! Perhaps the Wolcott children were with us as well.
Yosia Butso, an African who lived with his family at Nyankunde, was the Legal Rep. for all Emanuel Mission’s various stations. Some days later he made his way to Uganda and joined the missionaries there. I remember him describing how he crossed the Semaliki River with water up to his waist. This river was the border between Uganda and Congo.
Some sickening stories were later to emerge, and one was concerning one of Butso’s sons. This son was lined up to be shot by firing squad several times, but was set free each time. However, as he was getting a lift back home in a pickup truck. He was sitting on the tailgate when it suddenly opened. The lad fell off, and striking his head on a large rock, was killed! Not a happy time for so many Africans.
We also heard that some missionaries had been killed. The whole Sharp family, mentioned above. were among them.
The time had now come, and by the good work of Bill Spees, place had been secured for us in far away Zambia. At the same time, we learned that a school for Rethy kids, had been opened in neighboring Kenya at a town called Elderet.
This posed a dilemma for me as I did not wish to go to Zambia, leaving two children behind. We spent the night at that school and we were torn by having to leave the two eldest children behind. As you can imagine, they were again distraught with our decision. It was a trying time as it seemed to me, I was becoming a burden
We had been given an old pickup, an International, with auto transmission by the MacDowells, and with much pain missing our kids, we drove the long dusty road to Mombasa, a Kenya costal town, where our personal affects (junk) were to arrive by ship.
We spotted a telephone booth on the veranda of the Manor Hotel, and made a call to a brother called McKinley. The McKinley Family, were a wonderful family and we enjoyed much fellowship with them.

McKinley suggested we stay at the Palm Hotel, and we took his advice. The next day he had located an apartment off the north side of the Island of Mombasa, which was joined to the mainland, by a floating bridge .We settled there intending to pick up our things at the Port, and be on our way.
I proceeded to the Custom Office to legalize our entry into Kenya and the Custom officers, (English men at that time), seized our old truck! I was now on foot. After some days, I decided to try to cash a check at the Standard Bank and to my joy, they cashed it without a question. I then built a box on the truck, and placed an old mattress on top of the personal effects (four forty five gallon drums) so the children would ride reasonably comfortable.
Walking near the Bank, I met a white man who was called Harris. I learned that he managed an A.I.M. guesthouse on the south side of Mombasa Island, assessable only and as I told him our plans, a wonderful thing happened. He informed me that a storm had washed out the only bridge and it would take a month to repair it!
The next time I met him in the town, he informed me that the school at Elderet had to close for some reason, and I should go and pick up my children! This was incredibly good news.

The four kids together in Nairobi.

Since my story is not well coordinated, I can’t remember if the truck was still in customs, but I do remember going to get the children and bringing them to Mombasa by bus. There were plenty of chickens and other goods on board to be sold in the town by the locals. An interesting experience in itself.

They did not charge us any extra money for our extended stay in that apartment. Perhaps McKinley paid for it, I don’t know, but it was now time to start the long, (five days) journey to Zambia.
As we began our journey, I missed a turn in the road and had to turn around. It was then that I discovered that the truck had only one gear—drive! I guess it was an indication that we were not to turn back. That old truck had had retreads on it, and after many miles, one tread would come off and left us to travel with a bald tire. This happened several times.
We made our way to the border of Tanzania and I reported at the Police Station in Tanga, and got a dressing down because I left the truck running while I was inside.
Later, we came to a “Tented Camp” and decided to stay there that night. It was a wonderful place, with a large tent for dining as well as sleeping tents with lanterns, an even small outside toilets.

A tented camp. Not the actual camp we stayed at.

In the morning, we continued on, and the next town that was Ngorongoro. I met a young Asian chap at a Service Station and I told him of the problem with the Transmission, so he said he would look at it, and proceeded to drive it up unto a makeshift ramp. In ten minutes or so, he backed the truck off the ramp and the problem was repaired. It had simply needed a minor adjustment.
The next town was Mbeya near the Zambian border. We rested there at a Guest House, and then the twisty road climbed up a steep hillside to a plateau, and we were soon in Zambia.
As the road rushed under the wheels, we made good time and the next town was Upper Hill. We now had to turn north to a town called Lusaka about fifty klms. and then still further on another fifty klms. to Ndola, and thinking it was Sunday we went to look for the Assembly, and found it, and an African chap was raking leaves. We asked what time the service started and he informed us that it was Saturday! We had lost track of the Days!
Once we found out it was Saturday, I made for the Bank. Again, I was able to cash a check at Barclays Bank, and we all had something good to eat.
We had yet another stretch to Chingola. There was a Brethren Guest House there and we stayed a few days. I believe it was managed by a Mrs. Turner. We still had about six hundred klms. to go to reach our destination, which was Kalene Mission situated a few klms, from the Congo on the north and a few kms. from Angola on the west. A long way from Halifax, Canada!

To be continued…