Unpredictable. That’s the word that causes me the most stress, living here. You just never know what you’re going to run across. However, it also can cause a lot of laughter—because some days, if you don’t laugh, you just might cry!
The scene that confronted me as I was headed out the door to go get Jacob from school was a surprise—my path was blocked by the electric company repair crew.
The pole had fallen a day or two earlier, and landed on a security wall, bringing the wires down with it. We had been driving around the lowered wires and under the fallen pole while waiting for the electric company to send a crew out to fix it. While I was grateful that they had indeed come to fix it, the timing was less than ideal!
Now you have to understand, this is my only way out. I can’t go around the block—because there is no block. I can’t go down the street the other way, because it dead ends into a ravine. The one side street off of my own ends with a three foot concrete drop-off. I was completely and utterly stuck. Since it was obvious that I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, I got out of the car (phone and keys in my pocket, car locked behind me) when I saw my neighbor up ahead a bit, watching the scene.
We laughed as we watched the plan for the new pole unfold, realizing how different this process was than it would have been back in the U.S. There was no crane. There were no cherry-picker type machines. The new pole was propped up with a ladder. When it was time to straighten it up, a bunch of guys stood at the bottom, pushing (they even recruited my neighbor to help!) while a guy with a rope pulled from the other side. (I was sure to park the car far enough back that if the whole thing went south, neither I nor the car would be crushed!).
But you know what? It worked! And even though it was a bit spooky driving under the “finished product” – thinking that I was either going to run into the pole or over one of the pedestrians walking through at the same time as I drove through, that worked too.
While this did throw a wrench into my getting to Jake’s school on time, a quick call to a gracious teammate while I was waiting meant that he was still picked up from school and was happily playing with a friend by the time I got to him. It was an unpredictable afternoon, but at the end of the day, Jacob was happy for the time with a friend and we and our neighbors were happy that the new pole was up. Flexibility is definitely the name of the game here!