Saturday, August 27, 2011

The African Bike Saga

The boys have really been wanting bikes so we decided last weekend to go buy them.  Kaleb got a "big boy" bike and Blake got a "bike" that you see most African kids have (one that you push with your legs but doesn't have pedals).  Blake decided when we got home that he liked Kaleb's bike better and has been trying to ride it everyday.  He actually does a pretty good job and has figured out a way to make it go even though he really can't reach the pedals! 

To try and prevent an injury we thought it would be better to go buy Blake a small bike.  I went to the store this afternoon and bought the only bike that size they had.  When I got home I noticed that it wasn't pedaling correctly and that the chain kept falling off. 

I took it back to the store an hour later and explained what was going on.  The man looked at the bike and said, "yes, this is a problem."  We went back to the bike section and he said, "I know what is wrong with the bike, it is the chain."  I agreed with him and said that is definitely the problem.  He then looked at me and said, "you do not want this bike.  It has problems."  Again, I agreed and said I wanted a different bike.  Another employee came up and asked what was wrong with the bike and they talked about it and then he told me again that the chain was bad on this bike.  They then told me to choose any bike that I wanted.  I looked around and told them that this was the only bike this size and this is the size that my son needs.  They told me again that I needed to choose any bike I wanted.  I said I would love to choose one of the bikes there but they are the wrong size.  One of the employees said he understood and the other just walked off.  I asked if we could take the chain off of one of the other bikes and place it on this one, but they said that was not allowed.  I then asked if any more bikes were in the back or in a box somewhere.  He replied and said that there were more bikes but just stood there looking at me.  I asked him if we could put another bike together and he said we could.  We walked over to a set of boxes and found the one I needed. 

Watching them put the bike together was very interesting!  It was very much trial-and-error, and they would bring the defective bike over to see how it was supposed to look and then push it away.  I was keeping track in my mind over everything that needed to be redone or tightened when I got home!  When it came time for the training wheels to be put on he looked up at me and said, "Oh, I now see the problem with the other bike.  It's the chain.  This chain is fine now but if we put the training wheels on it will be bad like the other one.  So we are going to leave them off."  I told him that wasn't going to work because this little bike is for my little boy that still needs the training wheels.  He said, "Oh, I understand."  So they agreed to put them on but not how they are supposed to go on.  Again, noting in mind to fix this once I get home!  They finished the bike and with a big smile said, "Here you go!"  While he was saying this the front break completely fell off the bike.  He said, "Oh, that is not good.  I need you to find me a screwdriver in my toolbox because I cannot find one....."  I'm looking through the tool box and there is not a screwdriver to be found but there was something that could work instead. 

Now the bike is finally assembled and he told me I could leave.  I asked him what do I tell the people at the front of the store.  He said, "Oh, let me go with you."  As we approached the front of the store the queue (line) was very long.  Instead of going down the side of the store, which would have taken us directly out of the store, he decided to go through the queue as he bumped them with the bike to make them move.  Everyone looked very strange at me as we passed them. 

We finally reach the security guard at the door that stamps your receipt and allows you to leave.  I thought I was going to have problems because when I bought the first bike he was not there when we were leaving and I did not get the stamp on the receipt.  He looked at the receipt very carefully and said, "Oh, you bought this today, you are free to go!"

When it was all said and done, Blake is happy to have a "big boy" bike now!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Eight is Great!

Another M and I have the opportunity to lead a young women/mom Bible study every Sunday afternoon at a township in Daveyton, which is about 45 minutes away from where we live.  It's amazing how just 45 minutes can take you from big American-like city to poverty African style.  Yesterday was our 3rd week for the study, and the number of ladies has increased every week - 3, 5, and now 8!!!  Yes, I know it's not all about numbers in ministry, but it's encouraging none the less!