Some of you may remember our tales of our DIY Safari in Kenya in 2012. That’s when I learned to drive a stick shift. With the guidance of the Kenyan friend we made, we took our rattly, borrowed bushcar into the village soccer field, which was void of grass and instead made up of a barren patch of rust-red dirt. The kids saw us bumping up and our Kenyan friend Apin told them in Swahili or Samburu (I’m not so sure which) that the white woman (that’s me!) was learning to drive this car.
Oh, the looks on their faces…I wish I had a picture of that. One kid’s jaw dropped, and they all scattered to the edges of the soccer field. We went coughing through the dirt in bushcar, skidding and stalling and halting all the way. It was a struggle, but I had the basics down.
A few days later, as shown in this picture, I was driving bushcar on safari with Alex, our friend Apin, and more than a few kids in tow. We were following lions, and the pressure was on. Overall, I did pretty well….until the superintendent of the national park (according to Apin) pulled up beside, informed us that we weren’t on a designated road, and told us to get back on one right away. Then the pressure was really on. After trying to reverse and stalling multiple times, Alex jumped over and I scooted under and suddenly the expert driver was back in the seat.
I’ll settle for amateur. Learning to drive stick in Kenya is good enough for me. There’s no need to master it.