Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Potholes, Roadblocks, Traffic Jams and Tummy Aches

Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet. How many of you remember the old Chevy commercial (circa 1975) about things that go together in the “good old USA”?

I’ve been toying with the idea of a local version that would include soccer, tacos, Mexican Coke, and VW bugs.

How would the commercial sound in your country?

To be truthful, the first four words that popped into my head were potholes, roadblocks, traffic jams, and tummy aches. Can you see what kind of week I’ve been having? Somehow these just don’t make for a very snappy jingle, though.

On Saturday we drove some guests out to a Zapotec village for the presentation of a newly printed New Testament translation that our ministry has provided in audio format. The journey only took us about three hours, but we didn’t travel as far as you might imagine in that time. Not only were there many curves in the road limiting our speed, but also in every populated area we were slowed by a series of “sleeping policemen” or speed bumps.

One of our guests sympathized with my poor dh, who forever seems to be taking vehicles to the mechanic to replace brake pads or some other problem caused by the brutal roads we have. The sad truth, though, is that without speed bumps and potholes, people simply would not honor the suggested speed limits.

A number of years ago, my eldest daughter witnessed a fatal accident when a dump truck attempted to race around a stopped bus. Normally a speed bump would have slowed the traffic, but that day it had been worn down to the point of being useless. What made the incident even more tragic was that the careless driver was the godfather of the child he killed.

As we related this story to our guests, I began to consider what a blessing certain
“inconveniences” can be, just like speed bumps, even though we don’t always appreciate them.

Not having any TV reception for all these years might be considered an unnecessary inconvenience, but because of that “speed bump” I am convinced our family is healthier and happier. I wouldn’t trade all those long evenings of reading aloud for anything. Unpaved roads that are faster to walk than drive also serve to benefit and enrich our lives, though many people might not prefer such a blessing.

Being sick is another kind of speed bump. Just since Women of the Harvest started this blog in 2010, I’ve complained of high blood pressure/headaches, an E.Coli infection, and Dengue Fever. Each time I was forced to slow down. Each time I became more empathetic of friends who truly suffer with debilitating chronic illnesses.

How about you? What speed bumps are you thankful for?

IRL* Potholes, roadblocks, traffic jams, and tummy aches ... happen.


  1. One speed bump for me is the lack of a car. Although I would love to have a car (and we might get one soon!), not having one means that we get to walk a lot more, stop in little shops on the way, just to see what hidden goodies might be there, and spend time with the locals on the streets and on public transportation. Yesterday, on the bus, I witnessed a little drama that I would have missed if I had a car. A teenage boy fainted and crashed into a lady, knocking her into her friend. At first she was angry, but when she saw that he was not well, she immediately reached out to him. People all around grabbed for him and helped him sit down. And then it started. A bottle of water was passed from the front of the bus, one man was checking his pulse, a lady started rubbing his face and neck with the water from the bottle, another man was holding his hand and chafing his fingers, the man behind was holding his shoulders and comforting him, a lady was patting his arm, everyone was calling out words of comfort, and saying, "t-t-t-t!" When he came to, they got him to drink and asked him questions about how he was feeling and why he fainted. Someone passed some sugar packs and they started feeding him sugar and insisting that he drink more. No one let go, or quit comforting him until he and his friend got off the bus. It was a beautiful picture of community and I am glad to have been a witness.

  2. What a sweet story! I can easily see how not having a car would have its benefits. Maybe we should consider adopting carless days where we walk or take the bus on purpose. Hmmm.... Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. You don't really want to know that I was still in diapers when this ad ran and have no memory of it, do you? :)

    What goes in our country? Hmm...

    I guess you could go with the literal translation of soccer, rice, tea, and Toyotas, but there is the more realistic one of crowds, mud, bombings, and power outages... there is a reason we ended up having to work from outside with trips in!

  4. DIAPERS? Seriously? Yes, I suppose that's true.

    I am thankful you find creative ways to work and still stay safe.

  5. One of the more irritating 'speed bumps' we dealt with while we served in northern Mexico was the 'liberation' of our truck's license plates. We had Wyoming know.... the one with the cowboy riding the bucking bronco? The state of Chihuahua is full of caballeros and I guess the temptation was just too much to handle. We finally had the third set - we were slow learners - welded to the truck. Problem solved.

  6. I'd be tempted to steal Wyoming plates, too! :)

  7. One speed bump for me was a week without hot water and without a car. These made me grateful for the many luxuries and blessings I take for granted.

    After a week of pouring heated water into a bucket, a regular HOT shower felt heavenly!


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