It was late in the
afternoon, when Fr Joe Healey, M.M. and I were coming back from Morogoro where
we attended an Inculturation Week at the Salvatorian Institute. Fr. Healey was
on the wheel, while I was telling him my programme for the coming week. As we
were about to reach Mlandizi, all of a sudden something awkward happened. A big
sound like thunder shocked me, while Joe was quite stable and didn’t panic at
it a tire burst, father!?" John had wondered.
don’t know, John! Maybe yes!" Joe responded with dismay.
pulled the vehicle at a narrow roadside and parked it smoothly. We untied the
seat belts and opened the door. Joe was the first to come out, and he at once
noticed the problem. It was a flat tire of the front right side.
shouted, "John, here we are! We have a big problem!"
at that narrow place where we had parked, was of our own risk. The parking signs
we placed in front and at the back of our car were set up for the traffic past
by quite close to us at high dangerous and careless speed, particularly the
buses which coming from upcountry.
guys on bicycles came to our side with a pretext of helping us. Joe was quick to
smell a rat. Those two guys showed all signs of not knowing anything we were
struggling to repair. Of course, they might have had their own hidden agenda.
Often when accidents happen the passersby rob the property of the victims
instead of rescuing them! So he asked them to go away and leave us alone.
really good Samaritan, known as Mohamed by name, came and was conversant with
mechanical intricacies. He was very supportive, indeed. It was not easy to
remove the flat due to rust because all the four tubeless tires have never been
changed for the last five years. Joe had all the devices, and we used them
accordingly as stipulated in the Toyota guidebook.
Mohamed was not doing that in anticipation of any payment.
asked him, "Mohamed, what makes you help us, even before we had requested to do
living just across the road. 1 have always helped people with the understanding
that one day Almighty God will grant me His grace!"
you like to be baptized, at all?" John asked him.
"Although I am a Muslim, I need not become a Christian before I could render my
services to other people like you. In this village Christians and Muslims live
as a family, we help each other regardless of our belief. After all we all
believe in same God. So, I sympathize with you. I’m always obliged to help
anybody in difficulty."
Finally, Joe and I
managed to remove the hot flat tire, and replaced with the spare tire. John
decided to give Mohamed five hundred Tanzanian shillings as a token of our
appreciation. The next day at the tire factory, we were told that is was not
have a burst but technically it was referred to as tire fatigue.