Thursday, July 12, 2012

Surprising Safety Measure

July 10th, 2012

So life is Swaziland isn’t the safest of existences; there are some days I am surprised I made it through alive.  Between faulty electric everything, non-existent driving regularities, and of course the basic sanitation of the food and water consumed, there is a chance that any or all encounters could be potentially dangerous. 

Today I was standing waiting for transport home and reflecting on my possibly detrimental experiences I had just that day.  Experiences that included one very fast (130km/hr = 80mi/hr), over capacity, khumbie ride without seat belts and with the usual illegal passing while going up-hill around a bend, a free ride through my community courtesy of the local ambulance while it was en route bringing a patient to the hospital (who knows what I picked up in there), and just maneuvering in the bus rank (bus depot) where I think I almost got hit like three times.  So as I stepped out from under the electrical wires at my stesh (bus stop), just in case they fall (with good reason – I’ve seen it happen), I watch as a lorry approaches overflowing with wood poles.  The crew of five who I’m sure spent hours gathering the poles where insecurely seated and standing atop the pile in the back of the truck.  I’m very desensitized to the lack safety precautions here but I couldn’t help but think “man that’s not really safe.”  The lorry slowed and turned down the dirt road.  As I watched it turn expecting a pole or a person to perhaps roll off I see that amongst the poles sticking out the back end there is a red baseball camp tied to one of them.  I just giggled.  Of all the safety precautions to take it was the “large load” red flag that made the cut.  Someone paid attention during Driver’s ed.!!!  Now if only they had been on time, they could have learned about these great things called seatbelts!

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