I had one really lousy day this past week. Friday started off badly with disobedient and destructive animals, and went on to include a trip to town to make sure that a deposit had been made correctly into our bank account (it wasn’t, by the way – less than the entire amount was deposited, so I have that to deal with Monday morning). Then, to top it all off, I managed to ruin – absolutely destroy, really – one of the tires of Russell’s Land Cruiser by driving too close to the sharp top of a piece of metal pipe sticking up about 3″ along the side of the main road through Gracias. The sharp piece of metal snagged a long rip in the side of one of Russell’s brand new (of course!), expensive tires. Sigh.
The good side of all this is also one of the nicest things about living in Honduras – people are soooooo ready to help you when you have a problem! I think it might be because life is hard here, and everybody needs some help from strangers sometime.
The incident happened on the main road, a one-way road with parking allowed only on one side . . . and my car was immobilized on the other side of the road, with just barely enough room for trucks to get through between me and the parked cars. This situation slowed traffic a good bit, and many people stopped to ask if I needed any help.
Several men got involved in trying to help, but Russell’s tires have nuts which can only be removed with a special tool – and we didn’t have that tool in the vehicle with us. These men were able to help us find the jack in the back of the Land Cruiser, jack up the vehicle, and remove the spare tire, which is attached underneath, sort of between the two back tires.
Russell (who was out of town, driving my Land Cruiser) called a mechanic friend, who immediately walked the few blocks from his home to our location, with the correct tool, and removed the popped tire. Unfortunately, the spare was significantly under-inflated, and couldn’t be used until it was pumped up. We were stopped in front of one of the small radio stations in town, and the gentleman who runs the radio station immediately offered us the use of his truck, to take the spare tire to be filled. Rachel and the mechanic headed off with the tire, while I stayed back and directed traffic (one of the emergency flashers on the back of the Land Cruiser wasn’t working, so other drivers weren’t always aware that my vehicle was disabled, and these people needed to be directed around the problem).
Eventually I was back on the road, though much shakier in my driving than previously. I hate that I ruined and have to replace a brand new and expensive tire! It makes me want to stay at home and out of trouble from now on, but of course that won’t be possible. I just need to take the good with the bad, remember that these kinds of things will happen, and be grateful that I live in a place where so many people are anxious to help when I get myself into a difficult situation!