To be one bolt short of a fully functioning truck is indeed a unhappy event.
Allow me to explain the above quote with the following post. For in the duty of living life, I have encountered much busyness of schedule. To the extent that I have neglected writing of my tales. In light of this, I draw upon a recent event for my material.
It did come to pass that in the process of time we, and I speak of those that comprise the group which look after the welfare of vehicles and buildings, did undergo a significant transition. Tis normal for there to be solely twain of us; however, in the due course of time, my companion’s time did terminate and he returned to the land of Usa. But there arose in his place a ably equipped friend of ours, Companero J. We had bethought ourselves fortunate to have both known Companero J from times past in Usa. The time did arrive, though for my friends to take on differing roles at this point in time. My companion did betake his journey and Companero J began his time in the Land of Paraguay. I repeat the point of there being two of us on, what is called “The Maintenance Team”, to say that this compelled me, by length of stay in Paraguay, to take on a more responsible role. There be times that I do not mind this but there remain times that I do not care for such.
That to say this, there came a point in recent history that our fellow laborers of the clinic which do abide in a portion of land north of us did betake themselves on a short excursion to the land of south for a trip of R&R. But for this to happen, replacements must be obtained. I was not a replacement. I was solely the chauffeur. Arriving at yon clinic, I encountered no work. I have no recollection of greeting this news with gladness or sadness. Before the 4th hour had passed, I hankered after a activity to achieve. It had been rumored that perhaps there was a patient transfer from a hospital 90 minutes away to our locale. This I hoped would happen. Shortly thereafter, the call alerting us of this transfer came and I responded. In the process of leaving, I gazed upon distant storm clouds and distinctly remember a sense of joy at guiding my vehicle through the ways of mud. This attitude soon left me as will be revealed by my journal entry. To write of this adventure in the current tongue would discomfort too many electrons and twill save space to simply make use of a currently written piece.
Getting close to Lucero, I felt the steering on the truck start to go wa-oo. Making a mental note to check it out later, I kept driving. But it seemed to be getting worse and worse the further I drove. I got to Lucero and as I parked something seemed to slip and give way. Jumping out, I saw the front tires were splayed. Crunch, me thinks, working in 2 inches of mud is not my idea of fun. A bolt for the tie rod had come out and needed to be replaced. In about 20 minutes, I had everything apart and put back together. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the lack of a lock nut or washer on the replacement bolt. Sure enough, by Tres Palmas, 5 kilometers later, it had come out and needed fixing again. This time, it got afro-engineered even worse then before. I was hoping to limp back to Belleza and then fix it from there. But after about another 5 kilometers, my ‘fix’ snapped and I headed for the ditch. This time, I knew I couldn’t fix it. I was out of bolts and running low on patience, although I had 2 patients along. I called Ceferino, the deacon of the church in Belleza, to come and get the people that I had. Next, I called Jay and told him what I needed. Maynard came with him as well. I had been waiting for about a hour, staring at the windshield and watching the condensation build(a boring pastime) when a SUV pulls up and the driver wondered if I needed help. I told him that I had help coming and all was good. (I didn’t realize that he recognized the truck nor that he was a neighbor of ours in Camp 9). Close to a hour later, he comes by again, on the way out to C-9. He told me then who he was, the Lopez fellow who has the mechanic shop across the street. He also insisted I let them take a look at it. At a command in Guarini, 3 guys bailed out of the back door of that SUV. Impressive, considering that one American would have trouble fitting comfortably in that space. In about 15 minutes, they had the truck jacked up, the wheel and brake removed and were urging Maynard, who they knew, not having met Jay yet, to drive “fasser”. These guys aren’t known for their quality of work and I watched to make sure no funny stuff went on. But it was all good. Maynard didn’t show up for a good 20 minutes. They finally showed up and about 5 minutes later Ceferino does too. I told the people in my truck to go with Ceferino and I’ll bring my truck later. Well, till they were loaded up, my truck was ready to go. The Lopez Circus left and Maynard, Jay and their D-Max did likewise. I locked my sights on the fishtailing tail lights of Ceferino’s Isuzu and rumbled out. Being one bolt shy of a fully functioning truck is not a good feeling. But, flopping into bed at 2330, sure was a good feeling and I was glad it wasn’t worse.
Thus doth end this tail of mud puddles, missing bolts, rain and frustration. I did gain through this situation a newer appreciation for the Guarini-jabbering, horn-blowing, engine-revving Lopez auto workers from across the street. They appeared as angels in disguise in my need. This is not to say that I was incapable of fixing my wounded auto; only that I was lacking in the necessary parts. But help did come and I was grateful.
The Paraguayan Pilgrim