September 6, 2013 § 1 Comment
Friday, September 6: A story about a time you were very afraid.
When I was a sophomore in high school, my family and I got into a nasty car accident in Nebraska.
At approx. 7 am, we took off from a pit stop. I need to illustrate a few things to show you what went down.
The way my dad’s car was set up was so we could drive through the night and be able to take turns driving while others slept. At night we put the seat down and put a wooden platform over the luggage so it was a very flat surface for two people to sleep on.
This was our layout, in plan view. (I know, I’m an architect.) Dad and I were in back, Mom in front, with Al driving.
7 am we pull away from a pit stop. Al is slowly accelerating, when we hit a patch of black ice. Al being an experienced driver did the best that he could to straighten the car out, but at a certain time, we were at a point of no return. The car does a 180 degree glide across the lane (thankfully no one being next to us)
While the car is completely in reverse from how it should be on our lane, the back tire hits the grass median, and starts to flip. I can’t remember how many times, but it was between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2.
The car ends up on its right side, me underneath all luggage, and my Dad. Mind you, him and I didn’t wear seat belts that entire time. All I remember really is waking up, taking my eye cover off, looking out the window and saw the grass. The rest of the time I was praying to whatever God is out there that we remain in one piece.
If you know us now, we are all obviously still alive, and had a few bruised muscles from that experience. Someone was watching out for us.
That was the side Mom and I were on. The window popped out when I stepped on it to stand up in the car.
Now. Your heart may be racing as quickly as mine is, but I have a moment to follow up with that.
December 2010 I spent two weeks traveling, most of it in Uganda. One day, probably the day after Christmas, we went up to the top of Mount Elgon to visit the farmers that are partnered up with Crop to Cup. After a long day of touring the coffee farms and lunch at Bernard’s house, it was around 2 pm. At 2 pm in Uganda it rains, every day. Not rains, but POURS. Hard. Our host, Jake, and our driver, Noble, were getting concerned about the condition of the roads. Sadly we were stuck there for a while and still hadn’t measured our site. We let the rain pass by, and the dirt roads turned into a heavy cake-y mud that ruined the shoes that I borrowed from my mom…
ANYWAY, time to get back in the van, finally, Noble already had difficulty getting us unstuck from the mud roads. We had about 7 local guys help push our van along, which turned more into a slide down a sloped road. Did I mention we were at the top of a mountain? And started sliding quickly towards the edge of the road? Here’s a picture of what it KIND of looked like… Just take that protective wall off, and turn the dirt into mud.
I was in the very back row on the right side of the van. The sliding from my side of the van to the edge of the road brought back vivid memories of the terror I had during this Nebraska car crash. I remember tearing up in the back of the car, grabbing a classmates hand, hard, and more freaked out than most of our group. I think I held my breath until we got to dry parts of the road further down the mountain. We ended up being okay, but I think that Africa van ride was probably scarier than my actual car crash. I had the same fear as the one in Nebraska, AND the conditions were worse. What happens if we ended up sliding off the edge of the road? I would have been dead. And that wouldn’t have been good. THAT is when I felt most afraid. Plummeting to my death on the side of a mountain in Africa.
Cars are the worst.