Steering

The other day the kids wanted to go up in the mountains north of us for a Christmas/New Years celebration, so we got in the truck and headed off down the road. In the next village over more people climbed on and we continued on a ways farther when suddenly I realized that the steering had a huge amount of slop in it. So I stopped and had a look and found that the steering cylinder had broken off two of the three bolts that held it to the frame, leaving only minimal steering.

So after turning around I drove slowly back. It’s just that the truck could only drive strait or to the right! Turning left was just something that didn’t happen. But a right turn in reverse turns left so I made it back to the school where I could weld all the broken parts back together safe and sound. All good except that just as I was coming back into our village due to a steering problem the right wheels  were slightly off the road and in the weeds and must have hit something because a distinct hissing sound started coming from the rear wheel. So now I had a flat tire! And I don’t have a spare! I asked around and no one else with a truck was planning a trip into town for over a week and we are planning on having a baptism here and the pastors are counting on me going to get them and bring them up to the school. Fixing a bike tire and a truck tire are two different things! Pulling it apart and patching it is easy but resetting it on the rim is not so easy until I remembered a trick someone had told me years ago. They told me to pour a little gas into the tire and then light it off, and that it would set the bead then you can pump it up normally. After two try’s it worked fantastically. But when I tried the tire on the truck after a short drive it blew my patch off and I had to start all over again. So before the pastors came I needed to get it fixed. After the second time held over night I decided to drive into town to get it fixed right. By the way the hole was a gash in the side wall not even the tread. In town I went everywhere looking for a new tire but no one had anything. Everyone told me they would need to order it from Bangkok and that it would be atleast $250 per tire. And at least a week to get it. So I wasn’t sure quite what to do. And it was obvious that my tire was loosing air again. That’s when I saw someone had some tires sitting beside their truck that looked like the same ones that I needed so I went and asked the man about them and asked if he would sell me one. They were the right size and everything alright. Just an inch wider. He bought these tires for his truck but they didn’t fit in the wheel wells very well so he bought new smaller tires instead. He used them some but not a lot so they are in good condition, and the best part was he gave them to me for only $250! So now I have a full set of good tires and three spares! Anyway God is good and I was able to make it back to the school yet that night.