Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cultural Experiences

Are all cultural experiences pleasant and worth recounting?  I say No, but my family says yes!  So here we go hang on to your seats because it will be a rough ride!

The trip to Cayos Cachinos would have several legs. 

First, we would travel in the mission truck (I in the front seat and John and the children    in the bed of the truck) from our home in LaZona to the town of Santa Barbara. Second, from Santa Barbara we would take a bus to the City of San Padro Sula. Third, we would take a bus to La Ciba where we would stay with the Adventist family that runs a radio station there. Fourth, a bus to the ocean and fifth, a boat to the Island of Cayos Cadhinos.

I am commissioned to attempt to capture the second leg of our journey which we had been warned could be a bit stressful.  Standing in the dirty, buss yard we looked from one bus to another and wondered which one was in good enough condition to make the 2 hour trip?  Most of them looked like they were at some stage of repair.  The crowd started forming and we were told it would be the red bus which looked quite nice and relatively new.  We held back until the main crowd had gotten on.  There was plenty of room and we quickly secured 7 seats close together.  John was exclaiming how much nicer this bus was than the one he had taken the week before when coming to pick Kirsten and I up from the Airport.  We were all settling in and making ourselves comfortable as the bus pulled out of the yard.  

Five minutes into the trip our Mercedes Benz bus came to a grinding halt as it ascended a hill.  The bus driver was talking on his phone and soon another bus pulled up behind us.  Clearly our luxury liner was not going any farther and we were headed for one of the old dilapidated school buses.  Of course everyone poured into the isles pushing their way out of the bus and into the inferior replacement.  We had several pieces of luggage including some in the under compartments of the bus so we waited our turn.  Finally, we were able to get off the bus, collect our bags and make our way to the replacement bus. 

As I stepped into the bus I could see that there were very few seats but way in the back there were a couple.  Jonathan grabbed the first seat he could find while the rest of us precariously made our way to the back.  Before the door of the bus was closed the bus driver jerked into the traffic and floored it (or so it felt).  We were all still trying to make our way to the back of the bus.  Jerky starts and stops indicated that this was going to be one of those “rough” rides. Meanwhile we were all desperately trying to move towards seats while hanging on for dear life to whatever could keep us upright.  As he got close to the empty seat Caleb made a run for it just as the bus driver floored it.  Caleb fell flat on his back into the seat his feet shooting straight up in the air.  Cries of frustration and pain filled the buss.  By this time everyone in the family had found seats and I flung myself into the seat with Caleb try to comfort him. 

This was only the beginning of one of the wildest rides I have ever been on.  Careening down the curvy mountain roads I was tempted to feel this may be our last ride!  I never imagined this old school bus could go so fast!  I kept asking John “Do you think we should get off this bus?”  “Do you think you should say something to the driver?”  (getting out of the seat seemed equally as life threatening).  What do you do when you are afraid?  I began praying.  “Lord, you know this man is taking our lives into his hands…Father somehow slow him down…let him get stopped by the police…)  We never know how God will answer our prayers but an hour into the drive we realized that my heart was no longer pounding and I was no longer holding Caleb with a vice grip.   At that moment we had to say praise God for cell phones!  The driver had received a call and had greatly slowed his pace.  Safely we made our way into the bus station in San Padro.  We forgetting even to log a complaint.

Praising God for safety!

View out the bus window

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