Friday, December 29, 2006

God is real

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As I write this, it is 6:50 a.m. and I have no idea where my car (PAX) is. A friend (Patti, home from NY for Christmas) and I went to the beach yesterday and, when departing, decided to take the long way home. That route is one of my favourite drives - through Blanchisseuse, along winding mountain roads through green 'bush' and forest, past Asa Wright, through Arima and back home.

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As we were cruising through the winding bushy mountainous part, I was telling Patti this story ... and as I reached the part about "God is real" (and said those words), we heard a loud screeching noise, all the lights in the car came on (oil, gas, battery, everything) and the car shut off! We looked at each other in silence, hearing only birds and insects. Attempts to start the car and inspections under the bonnet were futile. Attempts to use cellular phones were also futile (no signal).

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Luckily we were on a hill, so I rolled backwards, around a few bends (fortunately nothing was coming) until we got to a flat part, where we parked and sat there, laughing in disbelief. We were not afraid. We could do nothing but sit there, relax, eat sada roti and roasted melongene (which Patti's father had packed for us), listen to nature and chat. As I said to P, the car could not have chosen a more scenic place to break down. Imagine if we had broken down in traffic with angry, hurried motorists cussing us, blowing their horns and giving us the finger.

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In all, each of four vehicles who passed in the time we were there, stopped to try and help us.
1. One was a white car with a family in it.
2. One was a red 'H' car (taxi) which happened to be driven by a wildlife game warden who works at Asa Wright and knows my father.
3. One was a car full of men and women (jovial limers with a trunk full of food & drink) who happened to have worked on a theatrical production with Patti once upon a time and who recognised my face from 'somewhere'. They also happened to be going up to the little wooden shack on the hill just above where my car was now 'parked'. (So they kept an eye on it for us when we left to go to the village for a phone).
4. One was a hug garbage truck which, upon reaching aside my car, promptly stalled and could not start for a good while. Everyone was laughing. The woman in the back seat of the white car got out and started clapping, stamping and laughing like she was in a comedy fest.

To cut a long story short, we got a drop to Blanchisseuse village with Mr. Asa Wright (Emmanuel), I used a land line phone in "Paula's Shop" to call my mechanic, P called her sister & brother-in-law to pick us up ... and we eventually got back down to civilization to give my mechanic the car keys. He left to go and find the car with Lall (his assistant) at 5 p.m.-ish. They no doubt got up there in the dark. He said he would call me when they were through. I haven't heard from him yet, but I trust all is well.

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Reflections of coconut trees in a blue glass window of the small church in Blanchisseuse Village. The yard of the church overlooks the sea. We waited there to be picked up by P's brother-in-law.

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While waiting, this dog came across to make friends.


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The rescue car pulls up in the driveway of the church to pick us up


(The French pantoum version):

We went happily to the beach.
Such a beautiful day!
Then my car broke down
In the middle of nowhere

Such a beautiful day!
Trusting in complete strangers
In the middle of nowhere
To get us somewhere
Trusting in complete strangers
Then my car broke down
To get us somewhere
We went happily to the beach

1 Comments:

Blogger Kiki said...

I love the composition of the photo of the vulture. What a day!

3:27 AM  

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