Done with malaria, back to fixing the car. And actually fix it!

This is Cape MaclearNaturally, the malaria didn’t kill us. Where in the western world they (read: ‘you’) associate malaria mainly with a southern hemisphere terrorizing illness, caused by an almost impossible to battle parasite that killed, and kills, many adventurers, explorers and Africans, In Africa they think of it as a southern hemisphere terrorizing illness, caused by an almost impossible to battle parasite that killed, and kills, many adventurers, explorers and Africans. African;s just don’t make too big a deal of it. You’ve got it, you take a shit-load of tasteless yellow pills, you feel like a wreck and then you get over it and celebrate with a Gin&Tonic. Remind your liver there’s more work to do.

After this victory drink, we realized that we still had a car that had broken down again, almost causing an instant mental breakdown with Marten, who spend innumerable hours screwing, hammering and tweaking that engine. However, Marten made one mistake; he was assisted by some local mechanics who supposedly are very good at their job. That might be, but as everybody knows, drinking does not really improve your skills, unless making up stories, murmuring incomprehensible words and passing out are considered to be useful skills.

This guy is NOT on Chibuku...Every Malawian that can make some money, will make some money and then immediately spend it on Chibuku, a cheap fermenting grainy substance in a milk carton, that not only smells like puke, but also tastes that way. Then again, it’s cheap. So, the so called mechanics get drunk and screw a screw where there’s not at all supposed to be a screw, tighten some rings and bearings that should be nice and loose and more inexplicable stuff that they will flatly deny doing later. This, obviously, will completely ruin your car and when it does ruin your car, the same mechanics are nowhere to be found. Their phones are suddenly out of order and people go as far as to almost deny their existence.

Marten now, wise as he is, decided that he’d fix the engine himself. No small feat to build up an engine from scratch, especially in the sand wherein absolutely every little piece of the engine decided to fall, as if it had a mind of it’s own. A month of frustrated and creative cursing down the line, the engine was whole again and the last thing that was left was to charge the battery.

The African interpretation of ‘it works’…
We tied the battery on the bag of a half-decomposed bike and wobbled in to town with it. Without to much effort we found the ‘Jesus saves engine shop’ where old blue painted letters told us that they also charge batteries. Inside we found out how. As a true African shop they just customized a working machine to their needs something without realizing what the consequences are. The consequence, as always, is total destruction. The cause of this consequence however, will never be the shop owner or his custom build machine of impending danger. In this case, a generator was connected to a battery with two feeble copper wires. Not exactly good, but we’re used to work what we’ve got. To this battery were another two copper wires attached, which then were ‘charging’ another battery. Another four were connected in the same way. Not good.

Henk packing up the car on top of the cruiserWe, being the self righteous Dutch know-it-alls that we are, pointed out that this simply does not charge any battery. The man countered with connecting another two feeble copper wires and attached this to a little lamp. It glowed orange. The man glowed too. We then counter-countered by connecting our voltage-meter, which showed that the battery was not even half full. The man did not glow any more and instead looked at us with eyes that made us understand that he did not understand anything of what we just explained. We then offered him quite some money to ONLY charge our battery and NOT connect any other thing to the thing. The man agreed. When we got back two hours later, another three batteries were draining our battery. We sighed, disconnected our half-full battery, paid half of the money, threw the battery in the car and started it. To everybody’s surprise, it worked and we drove of. Finally, new adventures await!

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