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[music playing] ian cox: as americans, we puta lot of stake in how we're all about the frontier, andhave the frontier spirit. all that kind of stuff is inthe history books now. but i think there is a group ofindividuals in america, and they still have that innatesense of going somewhere where it's a bit rough andmaking a go of it. and that's what i'm doing. where else better to bustout than in africa?

it has incredible potential. it's relatively untouched. just look at south sudan. a country the size of texas hasliterally less than 200 kilometers of pavement. virgin territory. so yeah. africa is the last wild west. tim freccia: my name'stim freccia.

i'm an africa-based documentary photographer and filmmaker. i've been working in africa forabout 25 years, covering conflict and crisis. while the us economy is headedsouth, i've been on this side, watching as young americanscome to africa to seek their fortune. when i first met ian cox, hewas a small [inaudible] hustler operating outof rumbek in sudan.

ian cox: for about threeor four years, i had an electronics shop in themiddle of south sudan. a place called rumbek, probablythe shittiest place in the world to do business. tim freccia: i've watched himdevelop from selling cd players to the nativesinto a major player. ian cox: so it'llbe 2,500, right? ian cox: that's thestandard rate? ian cox: because i think ieven got a quotation--

ian cox: i got a quotation,not from her, though. ian cox: yes. so two different people gaveme that same price. -2,500. -i can show you this. ian cox: my friend tim had aland cruiser in juba that he needed to sell. and with my mailing list, iadvertised it and sold it. and then from there, one ofthe biggest armed security

companies in south sudancontacted me to provide 11 new land cruisers for a projectthey were just starting. which i did, and then it'sflowed on from there. tim freccia: ian had beencontacted by a company that had just landed a big de-miningcontract in south sudan for the united nations. after decades of [inaudible]in the mostly arab muslim north and mostly black christiansouth, in 2005 the bush administration successfullybrokered an

agreement ending the majorconflict and creating separation and autonomyfor the south. this led to a referendum in2010, and independence for south sudan in 2011. despite its new status as anation, south sudan is still considered by some to be part ofsudan, which has long been on an embargo list forstate-sponsored terrorism. ian cox: even though it'sno longer part of sudan? tim freccia: this embargo makesit nearly impossible to

import anything that could beconsidered military equipment, even though its subcontractingto the un. this is where ian's years ofexperience navigating the murky political andsocial waters of africa comes into play. ian cox: ok. all right. so basically, this shouldn'tbe an issue. tim freccia: he's beencontracted to move a convoy of

military-grade vehicles fromsouth africa to south sudan across seven countriesin 30 days. ian cox: on the 10th ofdecember, they said, please get down to joburg. the trucks are ready to roll,and we need to get this thing on the road and try to getit done in three weeks. we should be planning to moveoff to johannesburg, let's say tomorrow morning. jared busl: i'm working oneday down in the mara.

i get this call from ian cox. and he's like, dude, we'regetting ready to do this wicked awesome road trip fromsouth africa to sudan. you in, man? can you drive a big truck? and i said i can do it. i'm your man. [music - guitar red,"box car no. 9"]

jared busl: when you're in theright wing, you're in the right thing. tim freccia: jared's agood-natured redneck raised in tanzania by missionaries. despite his upbringing, he seemslike an old-fashioned southern hick to me. jared busl: romney shouldbe president. ian cox: really? jared busl: actually, actuallyi take that back.

we need to bring back bush. me and tim and ian jump on aplane to joburg and start looking at the equipment we'resupposed to take to sudan. tim freccia: they'd boughttrucks sight unseen from a guy in south africa. the guy assures tdi that thetrucks are in good shape and ready to roll. jared busl: it waskind of scary. it wasn't really whatwe're expecting.

the equipment, the trucks werein pretty shoddy condition. jared busl: yai yai yai! we'll be doing some work on thatexhaust pipe right there. you can sure tell thisthing has done its time in the trenches. ian cox: yeah. jared busl: i'm goingto have to baby this thing up to sudan. good thing i broughtmy toolbox.

well, we need to put some treadon this thing if we're going to be able to getup to sudan with it. there's just no way around it. ian cox: paperworkwasn't ready. trucks were in anatrocious state. jared busl: up to juba, i thinkrealistically you're looking at a month, minimum. and that's with trucks runninggood and not spending more than a few days ateach border.

my gut feeling is thesetwo trucks are going to cause an issue. tim freccia: jared only hasthree weeks until he has to leave for another job, soit's essential that we get on the road asap. clint mancefield: hello,hello, hello. jared busl: how are things? clint mancefield: how'reyou doing? jared busl: good.

clint mancefield: good. ian cox: morning, clint. tim freccia: we finally meetclint, the sleazy used truck salesman who's supplyingtdi with the vehicles for the convoy. he told them the truckswere ready, but they clearly aren't. clint mancefield: as far as ican get it, they booked it in for tuesday morning to go.

ian cox: tuesday? clint mancefield: yeah. your man is on it. ian cox: fine. but tuesday, we weretalking about-- clint mancefield: they won'tdo it sooner that day. ian cox: i've come down, and iwouldn't have brought jared down a week in advance andpaying his salary as a driver unless i--

clint mancefield: i'm donepaying you for time. ian cox: i've been heresince monday. you know? clint mancefield: fair enough. yeah. ian cox: clint is tellingme tuesday afternoon's the earliest. i'm going to put pressureon clint. you put pressure on clintto see if it can happen.

tim freccia: with christmasrapidly approaching, clint disappears on us, and we're leftto manage repairs with his mechanics. ian cox: we're goingto fucking be here for christmas now. it could be worse, but i wantto get this show on the fucking road. ian cox: you'll put today? -yeah.

i'm going to. jared busl: this thingis a pain in the ass to accelerate with. it's like you haveto stand on the accelerator to go anywhere. it's so stuck up. [laughing] jared busl: this isinsane, dude. the delays we're experiencingare just crazy.

it looks like we're not goingto even be headed out to the border until tuesday orwednesday next week. that puts a big hurting on usas far as timelines go. tim freccia: meanwhile,ian has money issues with his client. he's going out-of-pocket. ian cox: they haven't actuallypaid me any payment on any of these movements forthis convoy. which shouldn't be a problem.

they just need to do it today. i'm down here. sure it's disappointing. i arrive with a driver, and ifa driver has to wait two, three days, not such an issue. and i'm also doing what i feelis probably a little bit of extra run around and work andpressurizing and being your eye on the ground. that's not really part of whati'm quote "supposed to be

doing." and it's not like i'mgoing to sit here and say, hey, you, i need a bunchof extra money. but i think it'd be fair if ican at least cover my extra living expenses andat least my-- tim freccia: on new year'sday, the timeline is completely shot. we should have beenin juba by now. still no money, and nowwe've lost jared. ian cox: so long story short,we spent a month in joburg.

my initial driver had to flyback because of timing. so i brought in another driverfrom the states who came highly recommended by jared. we'd love to have you. the catch is i need you here onthe ground in johannesburg by wednesday. ray sines: all right. sounds good. i am very excited and lookforward to making this happen.

yo, this thing smells. i think this thing'll work. i don't know. i heard rumors. jared said it was a biohazard. that's ok. i drink the water straight outof the rivers in appalachia. i haven't gottensick from that. i won't get sick froma mattress, i bet.

ian cox: final paperwork for thefinal vehicle didn't come through until a month after theysaid it would be ready. tim freccia: and we'refree to hit the road. ray sines: start it up, get onthe road here, and finally move out of joburg. it's the day. today is the day. tim freccia: problems arisebefore we're even across. ian cox: what do youthink i should do?

should i tell them the hardreality about this trailer? these stands being less than2 inches off the ground. we're going to southsudan like that. ray sines: from what i've seenwith the weight of this dozer on this trailer and drivingyesterday, empty, the brakes yesterday were barely goodenough to call acceptable for running empty. with this much weight onit, this is going to be a sketchy ride.

these brakes are notgoing to cut it. tim freccia: we cut thetrailer's stands down to make sure they don't drag, and presson towards south sudan with a new harsh deadlineof january 31. ian's still waiting for hismoney, and we have more than 5,000 kilometers of africa tocross in less than 30 days. ian cox: we're in lusaka, zambiawith the last truck and the shittiest truck. some old south african-builtnissan that's been in an

accident before. it's full of fiberglassand bondo and shit. and there's also no wipers andno horn, which need to get fixed before we getto tanzania. because tanzania traffic copshave nice, perky white hats, and they're fucking on-pointand don't let anything get past. ian cox: [inaudible]. ok.

we're going to get fuel. he's going to go withyou off to border. me, i have to go one nightnairobi, come back, then i come behind. we're supposed to gobe as a convoy. i'm supposed to be managingit hands-on throughout the entire thing. i never really got to properlybe with the convoy. tim freccia: ian's otherbusiness calls, and he leaves

the convoy, leavingme to wrangle the drivers and the borders. the driver we all ended upcalling mongo drew the short straw and had to drivethe crappy tanker. i arrive [inaudible] in zambia to the tanzanianborder. in addition to the usualbreakdowns, [inaudible] we don't have enough fuel. i assure him that we do.

i meet up with ray in the scummyborder town of tunduma. he's been stuck therefor five days. ray sines: right nowwe're on the tanzania side of the border. truck's impounded. we've got a $2,000 fine. 3.3 million tanzanianshillings. we've got our clearingagent scrambling. we've offered him a hefty sum ifhe can get this sorted out

today and we can getback on the road. it's the length. alex: length. ray sines: the length. not the height but the length. from the front of the truck tothe rear of the trailer. they say it's only 17 meters,but it's 18.7. alex: i has to be 17? ray sines: it has to be 17.

law says 17. alex: 17. ray sines: if it's greater than17, it needs a special permit from dar es salaam. tim freccia: stillout-of-pocket, ian wires money for the fine and the permit,while alex assures us that the necessary documents will beprocessed, putting us back on the road tomorrow. tim freccia: alex returnswith bad news.

ray sines: so you're telling methere's no one there today, no one there tomorrow,no one there sunday. it has to be in southsudan january 30. today is the 25th. that's five days. we wait saturday, sunday, thatleaves me three days to go from here to south sudan. it's not possible. ray sines: i'm tryingto get this permit.

ok, good. ray sines: but no oneis helping me. they say the office in dares salaam is closed. ray sines: today'sthe holiday. they say tomorrow it's closed. ray sines: they say sundayit's closed. ray sines: and that'swhy i'm here. i'm asking you, do you knowanybody who can help this? tim freccia: no luck.

we'll have to wait out the nextfew days in tanzania and hope to make up timeon the road. ray sines: my confidence wasvery shaky at that point. and being on my ownand realizing, yeah, i am on my own. i'm going to be on my ownthis whole journey. it's time for me to own upto it and just do it. alex. this is ray.

do you have the permit? do you have the document? when will i have the document? are you saying 30 minutes? are you saying one hour? tell me the truth. well, i expect a call fromyou in 30 minutes. this is ridiculous. this guy doesn't have a cluewhat he's doing, and he's

jerking us around trying toget us for more money. he's got our permit, butit's just a scan. take it over there. the guy looks it over. no issues there. stamps it, signs it off. but here's the issue. if it's only good forthis weighbridge. each weighbridge you're supposedto leave a copy with.

we've got six moreto go through. i guess alex has this guy comingfrom dar es salaam, driving through the night,that has the original. so let's go. tim freccia: what'sthe guy's name? ray sines: what'sthe guy's name? alex: you don't know. you still don't know. ray sines: looks likewe're rolling.

going to get out oftunduma here. just over 3,000 kilometers. have another 2,500, maybe 3,000kilometers to go before we reach south sudan. we started just pushing it. covering good mileage. ray sines: and in doing so,you're on narrow roads and you've just got toroll with it. ray sines: i was toldno escort required.

ray sines: because it's onlylong, it's not wide or tall. ray sines: thank you. tim freccia: what would takemaybe five days at most in the us ends up taking weeks inafrica, where we experience a police checkpoint every50 kilometers or so. ray sines: juba. ray sines: why not? tim freccia: alex's courierfinally catches up with the original permit and therest of the documents.

ray sines: ok. i'll see you when you get here. very good. tim freccia: along with thecontinuous police stops, we witnessed a steady streamof truck wrecks. most of them flipped over,and many clearly fatal. ray sines: if you don't know howto think outside the box, if you don't know how to remedysomething, even if it's with bailing wire, duct tape,or zip ties, you're screwed.

africa has rough roads. it's not the easiest terrain. and you don't have a mechanicevery couple kilometers that'll hook you up. you've just got todo it yourself. front dip on the two drive axleshas gotten really hot. we've had a slight leakthe whole way. see that it's smoking. we'll have to let it cooldown for an hour or two.

juakali. that's the only way tosurvive in africa when driving a vehicle. tim freccia: "juakali" isswahili for shade-tree mechanics, an old-fashionedamerican concept. ray sines: stop! tim freccia: do whatever ittakes to keep it rolling. ray sines: running downmuddy african roads, we've lost our exhaust.

so now we've put it back on. we should be good to go. we've had an oil leak on thistruck ever since we started, and now i'm really hating it. loose universal joints, oilleaks, a differential that was on its last leg. you want a truck in africa,you've got to stand tall. you've got to bringyour a game. you've got to fight for it.

you've got to knowhow to haggle. you've got to knowhow to push. you've got to know howto get a fair price. ray sines: man. it was a struggle tokeep it going. tim freccia: with our seconddeadline nearly blown and over 500 kilometers to go, ian stillhasn't been paid, so he uses this as leverageand holds the convoy hostage in kampala.

ian cox: i had to play hardballat one point with the client because they owed us aton of money for drivers' wages, accommodation, andall our expenses. so i just had to tell them,listen, we're not going to move any further until we getthat money paid in today. and they were a bit uppity onthat, but they paid by the end of the day. so we kept moving. ray sines: you have a chicken.

-yes. ray sines: you've got bananas. ray sines: very good. tim freccia: meanwhile, wediscovered the reason our pal mongo's been having problemswith fuel is because he's been selling it from his tank to thelocals along the route for extra cash. luckily, ian's able to get jaredback for the remainder of the trip.

ray sines: it's goodto see you, man. jared busl: looks like you'vebeen having some chaos. ray sines: oh, yeah. good chaos. jared busl: i'm glad to joinback up with you guys again. ray sines: jared shows, guy iwas supposed to spend the whole time on the roadwith, but hadn't seen him yet in africa. tim freccia: mongo gets fired.

and as the day wears on, wemake repairs to the beater that jared has inherited. tim freccia: with roughlyanother 600 kilometers to go and a week behind schedule, weget some much-needed sleep and hit the road at 3:00 am the nextday, on the last stretch for south sudan. -whoa! [honk] [crashing sounds]

[interposing voices] jared busl: this toyota truckjust barrels full-speed into the back of ray's trailer. thing was flying likea bat out of hell. ray sines: out of the middleof nowhere, just full speed ahead, slammed into the back. ray sines: you're luckyto be alive. jared busl: the driver of thetruck that hit ray was drunk. he was stumbling around withthe smell of alcohol on his

breath, liquor bottles fallingout of his truck. so we told the police, hey,this guy's drunk. you might want to dosomething about it. he's kind of a hazard. -yeah, [inaudible]. ray sines: so he's free to go? the drunken driver of the guythat hit us is free to go. but you're going to takeus to the station. -together we leave.

but of course, [inaudible]. jared busl: this guy shouldhave received a few consequences for his actions. and they're like, oh, no, no,we're going to release him for now and we'll investigateit later. ray sines: i'd like to have himtested for alcohol now, while he's still drunk. -the machines are inthe office there. ray sines: but you understandthe longer you wait to test

him, the more soberhe becomes. -we have good machinesnowadays. they're very [inaudible]. jared busl: getting drug offto the police station, and that was a circus. wow. we go in there, andautomatically the police start making up their own versionof what happened. even though they weren'teven there.

we're not really that worriedabout it, because all throughout the police station,there's these huge bundles of police statements that theyscribbled out a statement on this piece of paper. and it goes into a stack justaround the police station, like old tombs. and there's like ancient dustsitting on top of all of them. ray sines: how are you? -hello.

ray sines: you're walkingin the water. -[inaudible]. ray sines: no, no, it's ok. you did good. ray sines: no. tim freccia: [laughs] ray sines: no, no, no. i am being lifted by this-- it's ok.

i think his ears are cold. no, no. ray sines: i told that guy thatvictory belongs to the lord, and he starts pickingme up like i'm his christ or something. jared busl: fortunately, therewas a break in the firestorm. we get the license back,and we don't hesitate. we are out the door, in thetrucks, and out of there before these guys get a chanceto change their mind or come

up with anything else. ray sines: i'm technically ina gray area as far as the court system and what willactually happen to me and what record there is in ugandaof that incident. there ain't no doubt in my mindfrom dealing with that accident, now i'm inheavy traffic. you got guys up here on bodasfalling over sideways because they can't keep theirshit together. and my truck's on the vergeof catastrophic failure.

it's been one hell of a day. tia. [music - greg reeves,"dirt road stomp"] tim freccia: just over[inaudible], we stop for a bite to eat. while assessing both rigs,we find a massive leak. ray sines: the frontaxle, it's sprung a pretty hefty leak. tim freccia: we powwow and callian to give him an update

and options. jared busl: --these trucksare hanging on a thread. the next thing they're goingto need is a tow truck. last night, we put in 10liters and went 200 kilometers, and it was likeit got showered in gear oil under there. we can keep always adding,it just costs money. let me talk it over withthe guys, and get their opinion on that.

ray sines: we could always geta drum of oil and just mount it on top of the trailer with ahose in there, and just let it slowly feed into the dif aswe're going down the road. jared busl: you meanlike an iv? ray sines: like an iv! jared busl: i have heard fromsources that bananas are a-- ray sines: no, no! bananas? jared busl: bananas are a goodremedy for jacked-up difs.

it works as a grease. ray sines: how long have youbeen in africa, jared? because i think you're turninginto an african. stuffing bananas intodifferentials for lubrication. ray sines: yeah. jared busl: ok. ray sines: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10,12, 14, 16, 18, 20. tim freccia: do you know wherewe can get bananas? ray sines: he's a good guy.

all i want is bananas. can i get all of them? ray sines: you're tryingto cheat me first. that is your mistake. jared busl: so this righthere is a good example. this dif right hereon this guy's rig. what happens when your difstarts going out and you don't put bananas in it. this dif is shot.

you can see all the teethare busted off. you don't want to end uplike this guy, out in the middle of nowhere. this guy's pretty much sol. ray sines: good ideajared brought up. tim freccia: after a long day ofmaking deals with swindling banana brokers in the hotsudanese sun, we hop on motorbikes and go for a fishing expedition on the nile.

jared busl: for the most part,countries in africa, people are pretty friendly. always eager to make friendswith you and to be hospitable. tim freccia: i think she thinksyou're going to be lucky if you get one. jared busl: south sudan'sa whole different story. tim freccia: hmm? tim freccia: unhappy? tell them if we catch thefish, we'll give them.

we don't want to keep it. tim freccia: we were told bythe commander in nimule-- arrop. ray sines: arrop. tim freccia: yeah. that it's ok. we can go and-- tim freccia: i know. i know.

but he's the big man. -arrop. [speaking foreign language] jared busl: we are aliles. george bush was the best friendof your late leader. -we understand. jared busl: before you knowit, we're surrounded by a bunch of these dinkas thatare like, hey, check out the white boys.

let's see if we can push themaround a little and see what we can get from them. they threatened to killus, tie us down. ray sines: there was a coupleof ak-47s present. guys telling us that if theywanted to, they could definitely injure us if not killus, telling us that we shouldn't be in their country. -hey, hey, hey. tim freccia: with thesituation rapidly

deteriorating, i make a call toa sudanese military friend and it cools down. they finally agreeto let us leave. ray sines: this may be africa,but it smacks a lot of the wild west, the era of cowboys. and i kind of feel like acowboy, just riding on, doing my own thing. jared busl: all right. ray sines: i think this nextpart of the journey, it's time

for me to bring out myspurs, kick this buffalo into high gear. it's been a long trip. i've been dealing withgrease, dirt, sweat. not hot showers every night. this is africa, and theload goes forward. we keep moving. tim freccia: one last stop forsome juakali banana bush mechanics, and we approach thefinal stretch of our journey.

after nearly two months on theroad and more than 5,000 kilometers later, we park thetrucks and hand the keys over to the client. ray sines: it's been 55 daysof interesting travel. it's been hell. i don't think there's been anyheaven, but it's over now. the final highlight, actuallyreaching juba, the final destination. jared busl: looks likethis is the end of

the road for us today. trucks will be here until theyget cleared into juba. who knows how longthat'll take. and then should be free tomove back to kenya today. pretty excited. my next move is set to move upto northeastern kenya, near this refugee camp. there's a million refugeesscrambling for clean water. the water they do have iscontaminated by animals or

sewer or waste. i've got a real burden to go upthere and help these people that are suffering. tim freccia: after witnessingdecades of conflict and crisis in africa, it's refreshing tome to see a new breed of american workers striking out tofind their fortunes in this last wild west. but there's an abundance of landand resources here, and despite a lot of corruptionand red tape, a lot of

opportunity. ian cox: it's rough, and there'sa lot of bullshit we have to deal with in this kindof business and in the places we operate. but the rewards can be fun and heartbreaking at the same time. tim freccia: in comparison towhat little america has to offer young entrepreneurs,with the right kind of determination, there's plentyof adventure and ultimately

money for america'snew [inaudible]. ian cox: so yeah. it's virgin territory.


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