This was the day of the end of my two back to back delegations. Granted they were small ones – but it still requires the majority of my time and effort to ‘attend’ to our guests. This is by no means a complaint. I love when there are people here. It is a very important part of this work – helping people/congregations to stay connected with their partner communities and to help strengthen the bonds between them and the Pastoral Team.
So it was a sad day to wake up to – but on the other hand – I sort of looked forward to catching up with the things that got pushed aside while our company was here. And my poor achy self needs time to recuperate from 7 days of door to door walking out in three different cantons.
So Lynn and Alisha did some final packing, we had breakfast and they said some tearful good-byes – not good-bye really – more like ‘see you soon’ – but it was sad nonetheless for them.
We were on our way by about 8:15 a.m.
We made it to the Litoral (CA2 for those who have a map). This is the large highway to the south of us that parallels the coast. We go through Mercedes Umaña, then down to San Vicente, then head south to the CA2. From there we continue west to the airport.
We were on the CA2 for about 10 minutes when I felt – actually heard a strange sound. And soon I felt an odd difference in the way the car was moving. I felt like I was riding 'lower.' I figured out what the problem was pretty quickly with a glance out the window and to the front.
Dang. We had a flat!!!! Fortunately, it didn't pop and make me lose control!
We had LOTS of luck today in many ways (although I think it was the hand of God protecting us). We were about a half block away from a place selling furniture ... a store I’ve always wanted to check out! (That was the first bit of ‘luck’) and I could slowly make my way across the street to their yard.
The old man working there saw our problem, and waved me to a grassy spot to park. Nice old man … luck #2.
Unfortunately, he had no idea how to change a tire. And this was my very first ever flat tire! Amazing in my many years!! But there were 3 men in another pick up who had stopped to look at the stuff in the store and they worked on getting the spare tire out. The ‘key’ to ‘unlock’ the spare tire from its secure place under the bed of the truck was not long enough. Hm. So seems we couldn’t even get the spare out. But the guy from the pick up had one that worked and they took care of that for us! (#3)
(Meanwhile, the two young ladies brought us chairs to sit in).
I explained to the two young ladies working the store that the ladies I was with needed to get to the airport and was there a way to somehow call a taxi? We were only about 12 miles away from the airport at this point. One of the young ladies called the owner ... he arrived about two minutes later with his big truck. He must have been almost there anyway! He very kindly took the two ladies and me to the airport. (#4). They got to the airport in plenty of time (#5). Then he drove me back to the store to pick up the flat tire and the spare (which also happened to be flat). We drove about 1 mile - if that - to the tire repair place. 15 minutes later and only $4 poorer ... I had two nicely repaired tires. (#6+)
There was a piece of BONE in my tire!!! I can only assume I picked it up out in one of our many canton driving days – it must have punctured the tire but the piece acted like a plug so no air escaped.
Probably hitting a pot-hole made it un-wedge a bit and then lose air.
The tire repair guys found the problem immediately and were able to remove the culprit, they put a patch inside the tire as well as set a plug in. They said I could drive with this tire for quite a while. Just get the air checked every once in a while to watch for slow leaks. (Any opinions as to that piece of advice from those in the know out there??)
So we drove back to the furniture store ... the store owner put the old tire back on (not the spare) and off I went. (I gave him $10 for gas as a thank you). And Lynn and Alicia had given him $20 for the 'taxi' ride to the airport.
Oh … and I bought a chair. haha.
I bought a rocker for Blanca's dad. Maybe it was a gratitude purchase?!