Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yet another reason to dislike driving in the D.R.

Driving here scares me. I'm tense the entire time I'm behind the wheel. Cars and motorcycles drive in the left lane to turn left; motorcycles often pass you on the left as you're attempting to turn left; stoplight often are not working, or they don't bother replacing a light. But you never know which it is. So, if the light is out it could really be out, or it could mean it's a green light that hasn't been replaced. Or a red. You just have to guess.
Unfortunately, in spite of my dislike of driving here, I have to drive fairly often as I pick up the kids from preschool each day (we carpool). Today on my way to pick them up I received another reason to add to my list of reasons to dislike driving.
While on my way out of the big main gate, a woman (who works there doing cleaning/cooking, etc.) asked if I was going into town and said she was going to JCS. This worked out perfectly, as this was where I was going as well. As we talked, I discovered that she's the mother of Jeremiah's teacher. While driving along the main road towards town, I noticed one motorcycle passing another. Suddenly the motorcycles hit and one of them started sliding right towards me! I slammed on the brakes, but our car doesn't stop very quickly. Either way, it didn't matter because he was still moving towards me, and hit/slid right under my car. Thankfully, the driver of the motorcycle was okay (he stood up and was talking to the crowd that had gathered). He then went to the hospital. The other motorcyclist was long gone.
After seeing that the man was uninjured, I immediately thought about the car. Meanwhile, I realized I had left my cell phone back at E.C. The woman, however, had a cell phone and called E.C. right away. They sent down their driver to come pick us up and take us to JCS.
Upon looking at my car, the Dominicans present everything was fine. I had my doubts, however, as I vaguely remembered it had made a terrible noise before I turned it off. As soon as I turned the ignition, the noise began again. No, this car was definitely not going anywhere.
The driver from E.C. arrived, we locked up the car, and headed to JCS. Once there, I picked up the kids and we headed back to the car, where the director had driven with Daniel. They determined the radiator had a whole and was pushed up against the cooling fan. We would need to call our mechanic to come to the car and fix it, as it could not be driven (tow trucks, what are they?). So, as of now, the car is still sitting down there on the road, locked up, with the club on the steering-wheel.
In all of this, I was thankful that things were not worse. Praise the Lord that the man on the motorcycle was okay, that I was neither alone, nor with the kids (someone was watching Timmy for me), that even though I forgot my cell phone, the woman with me had one, and that E.C. took such good care of us!
Update: Daniel just called to tell me that the mechanic brought our car to his shop. Yay!!!

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