by MW Cook

Rain, rain on my face…
We were in Karachi for a little while this past week. We decided to head back to Sanghar a day earlier than expected. It was a very interesting trip home.

I booked our seats for the 3:30 bus. At 3:15 Ruth and I were sitting patiently at the grungy bus-stop waiting for our bus. Oddly enough, it was late. At about 3:50 it finally arrived. Whatever frustrations we may have been feeling were banished as soon as we boarded the bus. I have never seen a Pakistani coach so lovely! Chilling A/C, tons of leg-room, and wonderfully comfortable seats with cup-holders made this look like the most wonderful ride we’d ever had. We settled down for a nice ride home.

The bus traveled much slower than usual. Usually these coach drivers rule the road and drive any obstacles into the ditch, but this guy was courteous and rather slow. While I went through the entire trip without fearing for my life once, I wished it went a bit faster. Eventually we left the National Highway and got onto the rural roads that would eventually lead us home. This is where the interesting things began to happen. We suddenly pulled off the road into a gas station and met up with another coach. Before I knew what was happening all the men were scrambling to get off the bus. For some reason we were switching buses. So off the bus I went, trying hard to keep up with the crowd and not lose my seat. I almost lost all of my luggage but eventually Ruth and I were settled nicely in a less-comfortable but much faster bus. Wonderful, eh?

Maybe not. About five minutes into the ride I noticed something that I had not seen for almost a year. There were flashes of light in the sky and droplets of water striking the windows. Rain? In Pakistan it never rains, but it pours! Within ten minutes of the rain starting we found ourselves in the middle of what I might call a monsoon. Even though I don’t really know what a monsoon is, I figure it can’t be much worse than that rain storm. The windows were leaking water all over us and we couldn’t see two feet out the windows. Funny thing is that our dear, semi-crazy driver never seemed to slow down. So on we went, up and down bumpy roads in the middle of a flooding nowhere, hoping and praying that we would reach Sanghar without drowning. At about 10:00 (two hours past the original ETA) we arrived in the lake that used to be Sanghar. I hopped off the bus to grab our luggage. As I stepped onto the street I silently cursed the driver for parking right beside a foot-deep puddle. I stopped cursing him when I walked away from the bus into the rest of town which was a two-foot puddle. I greatly regretted wearing my nice leather sandals that day.

Eventually we found a rickshaw that was willing to take us home. We were given a neat surprise when we got there. First, it was incredibly difficult to walk, the entire courtyard having been turned into a muddy swamp. Secondly I noticed that a rather large tree had fallen down. As I walked inside the house I saw the strangest sight of the day. The entire western wall of the compound had collapsed, leaving the family exposed to the outside of the city. As I type this now the men of the family are collecting thorny trees and branches to put up in place of the brick. Here’s a picture of the wall:

And here are a few other shots you haven’t seen:

Leader of the pack. Vroom, vroom.

Our cute little family at the Qaid-e-Azam tomb. Nice tourist destination.

Joe, cuter than ever.

Hanging at the Arabian sea.

He’s gonna be a soccer player. He iiiiis!

Swinging like a champ.

Yeah, you teach that goat a lesson!

I hope you enjoy those pics. Pray for us these days, some big things are near in the future. I could use some of that Spiritual Wisdom stuff.

Cook out.