Suzy's back

Suzy is the name of our Isuzu.
After 1 year of being repaired on, it's parked in our driveway now.

It was a crazy episode of trying to find a place to stay and a way to get down to town to pick up the truck. We found a ride down, and then found a place to stay through another church ministry. A couple who left their place open to friends, and a friend recommended me. So there we were in town. We took a bit of a gamble because I had a very small window of time to get my truck but had no idea if it would be ready or not.

If it wasn't ready, we wouldn't have a way home... and no place to sleep as we only had 1 night booked.

Day 1 - it wasn't ready, we slept in the 1 place I could find... but had to move out that morning
Day 2 - I decided to sit in the lobby of the mechanic shop and wait. After about 2 hours of waiting the mechanic said 'it's ready'. And it was.

We drove out of there, and my cell phone began ringing.
My wife wanted to know if I had the truck.
My companion's wife wanted to tell him his kids were very sick and to come home if he could.
The network room called to say email was failing.
Friends called to say their vehicle broke down on the way to town and could we help?
Other acquaintances called to say their water pump was failing and could we help them get home... he had his wife and kids with him.
Other acquaintances called to say they needed room in a car to put some cargo.
Another call said ANOTHER break down on the road.
And finally, the rescue vehicle sent to help people, ALSO broke down.
Another call told us there was fighting back near home, and fighting in town and to avoid certain places.

Having very little time to prioritize and make decisions, we did the best we could, and were able to help some of the above list but not all.
In the end, everyone got to their destination safely, and we returned with our truck.

THAT was a successful trip.

You learn to redefine success when you're faced with too many risk variables that could cause failure. For me, success was getting home safe, on time, and with the truck I went to get!

Thanks to God, we did a lot of praying on this trip.

The total cost of repair was $2500. But as one friend said 'that's the pain of ownership, the pain of not owning is stress whenever you want to go somewhere and can't.'

For us, driving into 'town' is always a risk, you face the 5 P's

Pigs on the road
Pikinini's (kids darting in front of you)
Potholes (so big and hard to see, that you could easily render your vehicle immobile)
Pirates (bandits along the road)
PMV's (crazy drivers on the road swerving into your lane on blind turns to avoid one of the other P's or just because...stands for Public Motorized Vehicles but this category includes Large trucks too)

Driving the 3.5-4 hour journey (the time changes as the road gets worse) is always a tense thing that requires total attention and cat-like reflexes. So it's not the same as saying you'll drive somewhere in the U.S. In fact, driving in the U.S. is one of my favorite things to do now, I used to dislike it, but long wide straight highways are very nice.

I can gaurantee you, anyone coming to visit us, a very early part of your culture shock will be your first car ride here (-;