I was hitchhiking outside of Chimoio on my way to Tete when a Frenchman, Gilles, picked me up. Gilles was working for a French company that had something in Mozambique that needed tending to. He was a remarkable guy with a great sense of humor. It was a blast driving with him all day.

We came to a bridge under renovation, and while it looked passable, the guys working on it wouldn't let us go through, motioning us to turn around. Any alternate route would take many extra hours, and we didn't want to drive so far and try to reach Tete in the dark since bandits ruled the roads at night. Quick-thinking Gilles hopped out of the car, saying that he was working as an advisor to the Ministry of Roads or some mumbo-jumbo and he was reporting back on the progress of the work. He had heard that the crew was doing a great job and he wanted to see for himself and take a photo of the efficient workers. I also got my camera out and took this shot. Look at their pride. They let us pass.

Donated corn from USA all over the road
The distances weren't that great, but the roads were frustratingly inconsistent, with long, nice stretches interrupted by massive craters in the road. I saw several accidents from people assuming that the road just around the corner was going to be flat.

In fact, I witnessed a couple of food shipments splattered all over the road, and these drivers were suddenly in a tricky position. Hungry people would quickly take all the food if he left his truck, but if he waited until nightfall for help, his life might be in danger. Also, if the truck driver was from a different ethnic group than where he crashed, it might be very inconvenient.

Gilles and I happened upon a downed truck and he knew the company he was transporting for. We stopped to survey the situation. The driver was unhurt, but still a little woozy from shock. He came to our car and asked if we had seen anyone else from the same company on the road. Gilles assured him that someone would come. The driver said he had a little food and water, but was worried about bandits as well as his boss when he finds out about the truck.
Gilles smiled and said, "So, everything's fine!"
The driver grinned. "Yes, everything's fine."

Take a closer look at Gilles. Have you seen him? Know someone who might? I'd like to get in touch with him and am offering a REWARD (sort of)

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