“Sir, you have an infraction on this vehicle.” The police officer stood beside the truck with a cell phone in his hand. DaRonn had been in the main market picking some things up and when he returned to the truck he saw an official, yet friendly looking cop standing there waiting to speak with him.
“You have an outstanding fine of 70 Bolivianos [$10 US] that you need to pay, ” he said. He went on to explain that he knew this because he made a call on the plate number.
“So, what do we do now?” My husband asked as amiably as he could. The officer was being personable so DaRonn followed suit and wanted to know what the next step was.
“You have to go to ‘transito’ [the DMV] to pay the fine.”
“Where is ‘transito’? Do I need to go right now?”
“Yes, you need to go right now. I will ride with you and show you how to get there.”
Never having had this happen before and seeing that the officer looked and acted very official DaRonn let the man get in. As the officer went around to the other side DaRonn glanced down at the time and noticed that it was almost noon, almost closing time for lunch at government offices.
On the ride out the officer and DaRonn talked about the differences between police in the States and in Bolivia. When they arrived at the ‘transito’ office it was, sure enough, closed.
“Oh, you are going to have to forgive me. The offices are closed. You cannot pay your fine. So sorry. You will have to come back another day and pay it.” The kind officer apologized.
As DaRonn told me about this adventure, which happened yesterday morning, with a smile he said, “The officer might as well have said, ‘Thanks for the ride,’ because I think he just needed a ride out to the office.” He never really explained what the infraction was. We will be looking into it because we don’t want to have any outstanding fines on the truck.
This just goes to show how very important it is to have all our paperwork up to date. I refuse to drive until I have my license. This odd interaction that my husband had punctuated my decision.
Today I go with the lawyer down to INTERPOL and file a request for an international criminal report. They will need an official document that the lawyer will provide, plus some of the photocopies we prepared yesterday and of course a fee of about $7 to $15 US. I have to look pretty because they will be taking my picture. One picture goes on their file with a copy of the report that stays in their offices and the other will be attached to the report that will be filed with ‘transito’. It will be ready for me to pick up in person either Monday or Tuesday. If I understood him right this is the last paper we need processed before I go to ‘transito’ in person. So we have today, Monday, another day and the day I go pick up the actual license. Maybe by the end of next week I will be a legal driver!
I hope you understand why I am going to such lengths to describe this process. The first reason is for the foreigners who come to Cochabamba and want to get their drivers license. They can read and have an idea of what is required so they can enter the process informed. The second reason is to keep myself chilled about the whole thing. If I am mentally processing it I am prepared and prayed up. That way I am less likely to fume, fuss and fidget. I am calm, cool and collected. I know that if I react to a frustrating moment by blowing up I am going to have to write about it here. That would just be plain embarrassing! I know that you are ‘watching’ so I will behave. The final reason I am writing all this down is so that you, my dear reader, can understand one of the intricate parts of my missionary life. Things just take a long time to do here. This is not only for getting a driver’s license, but also for pretty much every other day to day duty such as: grocery shopping, laundry, running errands, contracting services, hiring, getting directions, and shopping for clothes. I am not complaining, I am explaining. Really, it is just good for you to understand. You can pray, yes, but it is more important to me that you understand. I am not looking for commiseration or pity. What I am doing when I write all this out is inviting you to share my life with me. I am glad you are long for the ride.
Now for some crunchy, munchy trail mix…
- DaRonn left for Argentina this morning and will be back next week
- He is with one of our dear friends, Hal Boehm, and a team helping pastors
- I get to go to a party this morning
- I am taking oatmeal cookies to share
- We did some more paperwork for the adoption yesterday
- I get to teach in church this Sunday and next
- Tomorrow morning we have party at the orphanage
- Some packages came in the mail yesterday
- Peeps from Libby! Yay! Thanks Libby!
- A webcam from my brother-in-law, Nick. Yay! Thanks Nick!
- We will be Skyping again
- Finished reading “Eternity in their Hearts” by Don Richardson, highly recommended
- Finished reading “What to do on the Worst Day of your Life” by Brian Zahnd, highly recommended
- Currently reading “Que hacer en el Peor Dia de su Vida” by Brian Zahnd, highly recommended
I hope you are able to get to church this weekend!