Monday, January 28, 2008

The Bong County Curse

Weather: Hot and dusty during the day with highs in the mid 90s. Pleasant on the porch by morning, with temps in the low 70s—sometimes the high 60s. No rain.

Ok, maybe I overstate. But since we have had the Land Cruiser, every time it travels northeast to Bong County, something goes wrong. We've traveled south, to Buchanan in Bassa County several times over terrible roads, with no problem. Not so with Bong. The first time we took it to Bong Mines, it got stuck and sustained body damage. The second time, it lost a fan belt coming back from Ganta and it took three hours on the roadside to get it back running. (I know what you are thinking--Ganta is in Nimba County, so it can't be the Curse. But it wasn’t until we crossed the county line into Bong that we had the problem. Need I say more? But I shall.) The third time we were on the way back from the Bong County seat of Gbarnga when a timing belt went, but we limped home and fixed it next day. Thursday, Renita took it to Gbarnga and we thought she broke the curse by arriving home safely. We breathed easy when she pulled in the yard. Next morning, I got about two miles in toward town when it died on me. After getting it off the road and waiting six hours for the Mother Patern mechanic Mohammed to arrive, he gave us an ominous initial evaluation. It sounded like something in the engine block—perhaps a piston or something else. The Bong Curse had returned with a vengeance.

Anyway, that was three days ago. We still have no Cruiser and do not know when it will be fixed or how much it will cost. We still have the ’95 Pathfinder, although it is definitely showing its age in this climate. We believe the Pathfinder is also affected by the Bong Curse, even though it’s in no condition to get anywhere near Bong County. We used it to push the Cruiser off the road and it doing so, we broke the plastic hood wind screen thingy. We’ll keep ya’ll apprised.

Renita and Noah are both sick—Renita is coming off Pink Eye and now seems to have strep throat, while Noah has had a steady, spiking fever for four days along with diarrhea. They’re both miserable. I, on the other hand, remain chipper as ever.

If the hood is up, this must be Bong County.