Years ago when we were on furlough in the States, Abigail showed her first signs of being a backseat driver. She and I were headed to visit my grandmother, taking small backroads in rural Washington state. All of a sudden she yelled, “Mom! You passed that sign!!!!”
“Which sign?!?” I asked.
“The one that says DO NOT PASS! You passed it!”
While most American kids would have just ignored a road sign that they’d seen for their entire lives, for Abigail it was new and quite distressing! And so she got her first “American driving lesson” that day.
She got another such lesson yesterday. We were driving down what is arguably one of the nicest, widest roads in Lilongwe, if not in all of Malawi. “Mom?” she asked, “How is it possible that more than one car can go the same way we are going and that there are 2 lines of cars going the other direction too?”
I smiled, knowing that probably 95% of all her car travels have been on two and one lane roads, paved and unpaved, but very rarely marked. “Well, there are special lines on the road that tell us what we can do. The big bunch of lines in the middle of the road separates us from the cars going the other direction, and the white dotted lines here separate us from the other cars going the same direction. The idea is that more cars can be on the road, going both directions.”
“Wow, whoever thought of that was really smart! That’s a great idea!”
O child of Africa who is fascinated by 4 lanes, you’re going to love furlough road trips in America!