The workhorse of a truck ahead was kicking up a screen of dust as our Land Cruiser pulled out to overtake it on the dirt track they called a road. Soon it was lost behind us, our own dirt screen obliterating it from view. Then I felt a jolt, a tyre had punctured. The driver mumbled something under his breath but kept the 4X4 hobbling along, across a bridge over a sluggish stream, and a further two hundred metres up the track towards a small settlement where we stopped.
The truck passed us to the sound of a horn and a cloud of dust while our Tanzanian africans leapt out of the doors and set to work on the wheel while I wandered into the bush on the side of the track to water the tall grass.
For once, there was no dilatory work; the wheel was off and the spare was on before the first of the village boys came out to look at me shaking a leg. It resembled an F1 pit stop; I was impressed.
We set off again and our africans wiped their sweaty brows and smiled. It was explained to me. We punctured before the bridge; a known place for Burundi bandits to skulk. We would be sitting targets there: literally, we would be robbed, the vehicle hi-jacked and maybe, just maybe, we would be held hostage or killed. The white man - hard cash for the bandits.
It was wise to hobble to the relative safety of a settlement and change the wheel before word got out and was passed downstream. And I had got out of the car in all innocence - had I known, it would have been more than shaking a leg...