Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sleeping in a Landslide

Lesson Learned: sometimes when you wish for guard rails, they appear in ways you don't expect.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving, celebrated with almost all of the missionaries in Caranavi. Some are from the United States, some are from other parts of Bolivia, and many are children that know both cultures. We had some Bolivian dishes and a lot of my favorite dishes from the States. It was a great time of fellowship.

On Friday morning, we woke up early, but not to join the masses that were shopping (that doesn't happen here except on market day once or twice a week). We woke up at 3:30 am to go to La Paz. The Krafts are leading a retreat here in La Paz and I needed to add pages to my passport so my visa would fit. There was a huge storm in the night, that ended just as we were waking up. The huge storm wasn't so kind to the landscape, though, and before we drove even a quarter of the way to La Paz, we encountered a landslide. Well, we encountered a line of cars, actually, not the landslide itself. We were waiting for the tractor to come and clear the road, and what else do you do at 5 in the morning but fall asleep while you wait? We were all sleeping, and all of a sudden a group of men came running at our car. My first thought (I was sleeping, remember) was that they were a soccer team exercising. My next thought was, "what is that noise in the grass?" That noise in the grass is a huge rock falling at us! When I say huge, I only mean the size of my head, don't worry mom. Our driver was sleeping with his head on the window near the seat belt, and the rock hit the car just under the side mirror. God was really watching us, as the rock didn't break anything, it just dented the door. If it had broken the window, the driver's head would have been pretty hurt. After we got over the shock of waking up to a rock, we moved the car and started watching the situation. What bothered me was that we weren't doing anything about the situation. Daylight had broken, and all we are doing is watching a pile of rocks! As I had never been in this situation, I was waiting to see what would happen. Finally, some men started throwing rocks over the side of the hill toward the river and a man went to work on the mud with his shovel (we should always have a shovel in our car, I guess!). The tractor around the corner was broken, so we were waiting for a different one. The man with the shovel wanted to hurry on with his day, though, so he took his four wheel drive car and went through the mud and over the rocks. Two things dawned on me as I watched a few more rocks fall: 1) that wasn't a soccer team, they were running from more falling rocks, and 2) we, too, were going to have to drive over this spot eventually. So as car number 5 or 6 charges through and over the landslide, I see the tractor charging through! Here they come to save the day! The tractor had things cleared up in about a half hour, and as he pushed the rocks around, he ended up creating that coveted guardrail! Yes!

We made it safely to La Paz, we added pages into my passport with no problems (thanks nice embassy people!) and I have can stay in Bolivia!

It has already been a month that we have been here, two weeks in La Paz and more than two weeks in Caranavi. I am getting used to the life here. It is a bit different than the States, but life goes on and new normals are found. La Paz, I'll be back in two weeks to sing in a concert for the Casa de Esperanza. I can't wait to see you again!

1 comment:

Aileen said...

"New Normals" are such a crazy crazy concept, when you are separated from them in some eventual reminded me of some normals that I'll most likely never have again.

I love your updates, Bethany, and I know Bolivia should be glad to can has you.