Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back to Asuncion

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Our plan was to drive to Asuncion Thursday, do all our shopping Friday, celebrate Micah’s birthday Saturday and drive home Sunday. Well, it looks like God had different plans for us….
The past few weeks the car starter has been a problem. It has always started - it just has taken 5 or 6 attempts at times. Friday, as we were completing our errands, we had a couple starter scares and we decided to take it in to the shop. Saturday the electrician couldn’t be found, they don’t work on Sundays, and Monday was a holiday. They worked all Tuesday and by Wednesday morning we picked up the car and were ready to get out of town.
I am always amazed at how much our Suburban can hold. We always seem to pack the car to the ceiling with groceries, suitcases, and kids. On our way to the Cucurucho for lunch (our first stop, about 1 ½ hours from Asuncion) we heard a “clunking” sound (real scientific, I know) coming from under the car. Jeff thought about turning around and heading back to Asuncion but we pressed on. After lunch we stopped at the Mennonite hospital for Jeff to smooze with some doctors. We thought about turning around but we pressed on. About 2 ½ hours outside of Asuncion Jeff declared, “We’ve lost our brakes….and the steering!” He was able to navigate to the side of the road safely and he assessed the situation but couldn’t see anything abnormal. We came to our senses and turned around to head back to Asuncion. Driving on the shoulder and going 20mph we limped just a few minutes until we smelt rubber burning followed by smoke coming from the right front tire. I am not a mechanic but I knew that was not a good sign and that our trip had come to a halt. Jeff called the tow truck.
We waited 3 hours for the tow truck. I got out modeling clay and oranges to keep the kids occupied. Micah, of course, ate the clay and played with the oranges but at least it kept his attention. Jeff and I unpacked the Suburban and repacked for the next few days (less suitcases, separated groceries). Our team-mate was driving from Asuncion back to San Francisco that day. He stopped and we transferred all the refrigerated/freezer items to his car (I buy a lot when shopping for 6 weeks at a time). Plus, I had done grocery shopping for his wife and another missionary lady too. There was plenty to fill his car.
That was the first hour.
For those of you who have been following our Paraguay adventures over the past three and a half years, you have heard many car stories. We have been broken down, towed, and have spent a lot to repair the “green monster”. The second hour of sitting on the side of the road we (adults too) grew restless. We counted our blessings. Ryan was thankful that his game boy was charged up this time. We were thankful it wasn’t 100 degrees outside (it was only 90 and we have been stranded in 100 degrees before). We were thankful that it wasn’t raining (we’ve done that too). We were thankful it wasn’t night. We were also thankful that there not 2 million bugs, only 1 million. And we praised God that we broken down by a run-down bus stop set about 20 feet from the highway. There was a nice tree to sit under and grass for the kids to play in.
That was the second hour.
By the third hour we were all loopy! Finally at dark the tow truck came and loaded the car. All 7 of us plus the driver piled into his cab and we drove two hours to Asuncion – two kids on Jeff’s lap, two kids on mine and Ryan on a little corner. I was very proud of the kids, I must say. They did great. We sang many songs (from Ta-rah-rah-boom-da-ray to All Hail The Power of Jesus Name).
We dropped the truck off at the shop and took a taxi to the SIM guest house. When I called to request a room and explained that I didn’t know how many days we’ll be staying, the host said, “I’ll just mark you down for a week.” Two thoughts ran through my head: I sure hope we aren’t here for a week and she knows us so well! At 9:00pm we arrived at the guest house - just 12 hours after we left. We bathed, ate, and all fell into bed.
Today, Thursday, Jeff talked to the mechanic. The car needs a big heavy part from the states (we’ve walked this road many times too). I sit here writing at 10:00 Friday night and I have no idea when or how we will leave Asuncion (a 10 hour bus ride that drops us 1 ½ hours from home just doesn’t seem to spark my interest nor does staying in Asuncion another five days). I am sure our trip home will be an adventure in itself…..and another blog entry.

Jeff driving our car onto the tow ramp.

All of us piling into the cab of the truck.

Waiting road-side

Enjoying oranges by the road-side


Danielle said...

I am so glad I finally have your link on my blog so I can visit it more regularly! I loved seeing the recent pictures. Tyler looks SO big!!! I am so glad you guys were safe from the green beast escapade. yuck! I love your thankful spirit in the midst of difficulty. Hope to chat more.

Danielle Black (Alyssa's sis)

paraguayalyssa said...

I loved the picture of Micah eating the clay and playing with the orange :) I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this, again. Grrrrr. Fuerza, guapa. TQM (te quiero mucho in teen texting lingo :).