Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The car should be repaired by the end of the week. It suffered quite a bit of damage--a little over $4,000 US, but it cannot be replaced for less than $15,000, so this is not so bad. Since we only paid $5,000 for it in the first place, this means that we will have spent $14,000 for both vehicles that should give us many more years of service, having already given us five years for one and three for the other. That's not bad. About the only way to buy a good, used vehicle here is to buy one from a missionary that is leaving. That's how we got both of our cars. The other missionaries have them shipped in from abroad at about $40,000 each and then they have to drive them from Dar Es Salaam up to here over some bad roads. I think we are doing just fine. In fact, I wouldn't want a new one because they cost so much to repair and keep running. I can replace a headlight on either of mine for about $30, but Daniel and Matt have to spend $1,000 to do the same thing because the headlight is just part of a big group of lights and you have to buy the whole thing. I guess there are Americans finding out that used cars are just fine these days. Went to Musoma today, saw the progress on the car, met with the internet folks, and talked some more about an AIDS hotline. Shaban is officially coming back to work for us next week with a signed contract witnessed by Robi (our internet guy and a good friend of Shaban's) who will serve as arbiter if there are any problems. Hopefully, forgiving the past and laying out some strict guidelines for the future will make things work much better. Pray that our new course of action is a good one.