If you follow us on Facebook (if you don’t, you should by clicking here) then you have probably already seen pictures of our brand new truck. We purchased a blue Kia flatbed 4×4 this past Friday from a dealership in Port Au Prince and it is such a blessing. You may have read our previous blogs about how unreliable our other 2 trucks had become and we are so excited about having something that will get us where we need to go. We are in the process of having a cage put on the back of the truck with benches on both sides to make it easier and safer to transport our kids and our teams when we need to go places on the main road. We also already have a beach trip planned for the kids on June 2. We have not been able to go for the past couple of years because of our transportation situation and everyone is very excited about the upcoming trip. The biggest advantage of this new purchase, however, may just be the peace of mind that it gives to us just in case something were to happen. Thank you to everyone who gave, prayed, and shared about this need we are so blessed to have incredible supporters like you.
I wanted to share some of the things that happened on the day of the truck purchase just so you get a feel for how it went down. I had been emailing the salesman multiple times per day leading up to the purchase and I knew everything that I would need to bring with me. I needed these things:
- My Haitian Driver’s License (if you want to read a funny story about getting a driver’s license here in Haiti, just click here).
- My passport.
- My NIF number (similar to a Social Security Number).
- A “declaration definitive d’impots” (which is a declaration of my income).
- A reference and their contact information.
All of those things should be pretty easy to get except I had never heard of the “declaration definitive d’impots” until then. So I ask Lener to call his friend Ricot for me who now everyone calls “Magistrate Ricot” because (and I think this is probably obvious) he is the local Magistrate. While I am not entirely sure what that means, it does mean that he can get this paper for me. So on Monday we told him I will definitely need it by Friday morning so we can leave early to get the car. On Thursday night he informs us that he was in Port all day and he will not be able to get it to us until Friday at about 10am. So our day is going to start a little later, but it was ok because the dealership called and said they needed a couple of hours to get all of the paperwork ready. We thought that 10 might mean 11, but we showed up at Ricot’s office at 9:30 and he had the paper sitting on the desk waiting for us. If the name “Ricot” sounds familiar to you, he is also the Ricot from the school “Kay Ricot” that many of our children attend. Anyway, we have all of the paperwork ready and we head to Port.
We are zipping along with no traffic at all until we get to one of the trouble areas in Port. Traffic comes to a complete stop and for good reason. There are burning tires lining our land of traffic, the special police force known as CIMO is clearing the scene, and there are huge rocks all over the road where protesters had thrown them during what we refer to here as a “manifestation.” After waiting in traffic for a good while, we pass through and get to the dealership. Once I arrive it takes less than 30 minutes for me to sign the paperwork and get into the new Kia. It was actually amazingly fast and efficient even down to an insurance quote and how often I would need to come back for service so that the 3 year warranty stays valid.
As soon as I got back on the road, however, the efficiency that I saw at the dealership was replaced by the inefficiency of Haitian traffic. I left the dealership at about 1:00 and arrived back to our house at about 3:45. I can tell you from experience now that there are just a few things more stressful than driving through Port Au Prince in a brand new truck. In fact, a pedestrian was actually the first person to run into my truck as his head struck my side mirror so hard that it folded completely backwards and I had to get out of the car to fix it so I could see again (just so you know, I was at a standstill and the guy ran into a parked car for reasons that still escape me). My next run-in was with a moto driver that actually struck the other side mirror with his shoulder and I again had to pull over and fix the mirror so that I could see. Luckily, neither occurrence caused any damage and the truck is at our house ready to be used. We already love the new truck and cannot wait to see what kind of positive impact it will have on our ministry. In fact, we cancelled service that first night and instead we all went on a drive around our community and even stopped by a small shop to buy drinks for all of the kids. Drinks that they were not allowed to open inside the new truck…