Warning lights are helpful…if you understand them.


We are enjoying the freedom our new car brings. There have been a couple cases though in this last week were we have had opportunity to need the owner’s manual…..and to our disappointment…no owner’s manual in the car.


Our first opportunity came while I (Anne) was on my first driving outing in Thika. I only wanted to drive the dirt road from the kids school to the highway into Thika, but Ian insisted that he wouldn’t switch seats with me and that there was no time like the present time to learn how to drive in a foreign place. I eased onto the highway, and managed to get through town with little problems except that Ian kept complaining that I was drifting off his side of the road…to which I replied that I was still getting used to being the driver and being on the right side of the car. Other things to get used to besides where “center” is in the car are the turn signals (I hit the wiper switch a lot by mistake) and looking for the rearview mirror to my left.

Anyhow, I’m driving down the highway and a bright yellow “HOLD” light comes on the dash. “Hold, what does Hold mean” we both say to each other. At least the light is in yellow and not red, but we decide to stop at the gas station by our place to inquire of the attendants. They are as stumped as we are….even after having me lift the hood…for gosh knows what. What do they think they’re going to see? Anyhow, after turning the car back on..the light is gone, so we figure we are ok.

Then, yesterday, as Ian is driving down the same highway, another warning light comes on! This time in RED! It looked like an oval with an exclamation point inside, and a parantheses on each side of the oval. Turning the car off didn’t seem to help (yes we pulled to the side of the road and stopped as we have been advised to NEVER do…but it was the middle of the day, and we were outside of town.) and we decided to pass on stopping at the service station again as they didn’t seem that handy with car warning lights.

We got home fine…and Ian unsuccessfully tried to download an owners manual. But, thanks to the beauty of SKYPE (you all really should have it or at least check it out), we were able to have our wonderful friend Eve Stoughton research for us the red light problem. She determined that it could be a problem with the braking system (the car has antilock brakes). That’s what we were afraid of! OR, it could just be the emergency brake. Ian ran out to the car…it was the emergency brake on a tad. Those sneaky little kids! When did they have an opportunity to do that! We haven’t left them alone in the car. Really. Despite Eli’s insistance that there is a table (read fold-down armrest) in the back seat perfect for them to eat lunch at.

Anyhow, Skype was dropped before we could have Eve find out what the HOLD light meant…so if any of you are bored at work today…or your kids are in bed and you need something to google. It’s a ’02 Mazda Protege.

Ian here on  completely unrelated topic.  Anne found a funny one page flyer in the paper yesterday for bug kiiller…a big issue around here.  Looked like this:

Here's the instructions.

Here's the instructions.











I'm pretty sire this flimsy paper thing won't do much, I'll try anything though.

I'm pretty sire this flimsy paper thing won't do much, I'll try anything though.











Speaking of bugs...any guesses on what these guys are?   Found them behind our door when shutting up this evening.

Speaking of bugs...any guesses on what these guys are? Found them behind our door when shutting up this evening.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anna on May 24, 2009 at 6:10 am

    what were the blasted bugs?


    • Posted by mayfamily on May 24, 2009 at 8:38 am

      Termites! Awesome, they’re in our house…..who knows how many unseen. There are mounds everywhere outside. I’m not sure that it is something we can get rid of…so again we learn to co-exist!


  2. Posted by Er on May 24, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Oh, ick on the termites. Your fans at United Airlines are reading your blog together tonight as we “work.” Arlene says she takes her hat off to you for the bugs. Sherry doesn’t mind the chickens, even in the house (she lives in Ridgefield), but the termites…let’s just say we’re not jealous. 😉

    Laughed so hard about hearing that Eve fixed your car (she told me). The power of the internet. And skype. Gonna get that soon.

    Aloha from sunny Portland (for this weekend anyway) — Er
    PS loved hearing about the “Lee train” at your house. ;0


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