Monday, June 21, 2010

the end of a vehicular era

As you may have gathered from my previous posts, my Land Cruiser has been a big part of my adventures in East Africa over the past (~8) years.

It's saved my life from charging Cape buffalos and elephants. (I was a *little* too busy putting the pedal to the metal to snap and photos of those close encounters of the large mammal kind!)

It's saved my life from bad Nairobi drivers - someone once hit the side of my car in a roundabout; it was slightly scratched, and her front bumper fell off. I've crossed country borders in it probably a dozen times.

I've slept in it, eaten in it, observed countless wildlife, sunrises, sunsets, and starry nights in it. (Have I mentioned is has three roof hatches? Three!) 

I've driven through some dusty places in it. (Yeah, I know the car is brown, but it was absolutely covered in dust in this picture.)

We've gotten each other out of being stuck in aardvark holes. Well, OK, maybe I did more of the rescuing in those instances.

I've even collected dead zebras in it. (Par of my PhD research.) Dead zebras are HEAVY, by the way.

I've driven my mom in it, and my husband. I've had so many other memorable professional and personal moments in it....

But alas, I've come to realize that it's time to part with my beloved vehicle. (Where will I put all my bumper stickers, you ask, if not on the back of it?) I'm not spending months and months at a time in Kenya any more, and the research project I'm mostly working with here these days has 5 vehicles of its own. I don't have grant money to use to fix it up with it breaks down. My boss tells me that he's noticed that women, especially, in East Africa tend to become emotionally attached to their field vehicles. While I hate to fall into a stereotype, in my case this is quite true. So, with much sadness - but knowing this is a good decision (I keep telling myself) - I have decided to sell it.

Kwa heri, KYT 312! I will miss you!!