Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What a day

Today was far more eventful than I'd prefer. This morning we had to switch the day's plans to a different site because of transportation problems. I rode with my field assistant B on his motorbike, and T followed on a different motorbike with someone else. So far so good. There we were, going along the dirt road and honking for the turns, when suddenly a bicycle appears on our side of the road. We swerve, they swerve, disaster averted- except that another bicycle was right behind. We were already as far over as we could be because there was a wall of earth from when the road was cut from the hillside, and the bike couldn't swerve in time.

We collided with a young man, probably about 16, who was bringing the morning milk to the dairy. B and I ended up on our sides with the motorbike on our right legs. The bicycle was behind us on its side. The rider cut his knee and elbow but was otherwise unharmed. I was bruised and B was scraped when his knee took the brunt of the fall. The headlight on the motorbike was knocked out and the bicycle wheel was badly bent. Two more bicycles stopped to check on us. A motorbike stopped. T caught up on the other motorbike. Then there were 8 men there discussing who was at fault, and B demanded that the boy pay for his headlight to be replaced. I stood back and stayed out of it. The general consensus was that the boy was at fault because he was riding on the wrong side of the road when there was plenty of room on his side because the road was in good condition (there). I felt bad for the kid but at least he wasn't terribly injured. He'll be fine as long as he cleans up his cuts.

So, after a delay of an hour or more because of the accident, we finally got to work. But apparently that wasn't enough excitement for one day. As we started our last site, we heard the dreadful sound of crashing branches. It's difficult to know what is falling or what else it will take down and the three of us ran every which way. I sort of fell and scrambled on the ground as fast as I could away from the sound. When the noise stopped, it was clear a sizeable branch had fallen and landed about 5 m from where we were working. Thankfully, it wasn't large enough to take anything else down with it. I cut my knuckle and scraped my wrist in the scramble and was covered with dirt. Today is a great reminder of why I need to carry a first aid kit in the field and why I need to retake the Wilderness First Responder course. Yikes.

I'm looking forward to a nice, boring evening watching my bruises develop.

1 comment:

m.e. said...

I'm glad you're ok, but what a way to be kept on your toes! Stay safe! I'll be praying for you!