January 07, 2012
by Stephen Jan in Daklha, Morocco
With Kunal’s visa clock ticking, we pushed harder for a follow-up with Hassan about the repairs. Colin made the call. To our extreme disappointment, we learned that the part we were waiting for was in fact not on its way. There was a miscommunication. Hassan hadn’t found the transmission filter and was still looking for it.
The realization that we had been waiting for a part that wasn’t coming struck a huge blow to morale. We had waited for nothing. I’ve been explained that in Africa there is this “Inshalla” attitude of things happening when “God wills it”. Perhaps this is an indication that I would never be able to survive in Africa, but I categorically reject it. I picked up the batphone and called Steve Feng at Ivy Lane Auto.
Contacting Steve was pretty challenging. With flakey internet, Skype wasn’t working very well. The other option was to use a phone card and pay phone. It took a while to find a working booth – reminded me of this one guy who said “Things in Africa come in 2 conditions: Broken and almost Broken”, but I was able to get through to New Jersey.
I presented Steve a description of the transmission problem and the solution that Hassan had come up with. I needed him to send me transmission fluid and a replacement transmission filter. He thought about it and came back with more questions to which that I didn’t have answers. It was at this moment that I came to the angering realization that I completely dropped the ball.