The African pastor and I had braved the rain and mud. He had asked me to take him to a distant church to attend a church council meeting, a long way from the mission station, and the rainy season had set in with a “bang”! I had recently purchased an older Land Rover and now was the time to put it to one of its first major tests. We forded streams of running water; we slogged across muddy cotton-soil swamps (mbuga); we arrived at the council meeting on time. The 4-wheel drive worked well and the only “adjustment” I had to make was to take off the fan belt before fording an extra-deep stream. The pastor was impressed! He had rarely ridden in a Land Rover before, much less in such conditions. (And, of course, I took pride in both my vehicle and my driving!) The return trip was about the same.
On Sunday we were back on the Mission Station, attending the morning worship service. Pastor was giving a report on the council meeting with major emphasis on the trip there and back. Pastor, who prided himself with a smattering of knowledge of the English language, said, “We went in Bwana Baker’s Land (l)Rover (Sukuma pronunciation of a ‘R’) and now I know why it is called that. IT ‘LOVES THE LAND’ ”!