Thursday, July 15, 2010

Driving Me Crazy

Never mind the language barrier, cultural differences and a whole mess of teenage testosterone. The hardest part of being a volunteer at El Sembrador is not having transportation. It has now been six months since I've been behind the wheel of a car and I am feeling more than little stir crazy. El Sembrador is nearly seven miles out of the city of Catacamas and the nearest grocery store, bank, restaurants and cute coffee shop. It's bad enough to rely on others for your every communication, but to depend on someone else to drive me around is almost more than independent me can take.

Oh sure, there are vehicles and people willing to drive most of the time, but it's almost painful to have to ask for a trip to down because I'm desperate for toilet paper. I feel like I'm imposing or interrupting all the time. It's even worse when there really is no one around to drive, which has happened on a couple of occasions now. It's like being in a prison camp and you know that all the toothpaste or laundry detergent you could ever desire is out there if you could just make it over that wall and through the barbed wire. I know I'm lucky to have a few prison guards willing to smuggle me off-campus once in a while, but I miss the freedom of my own vehicle. So, I am reduced to trying to work in trips to town with others' schedules and hording cheese and ibuprofen like I may never see the outside again. It's a pitiful existence at times and I have even had to beg and/or bribe a time or two. And in really desperate times I have taken my life into my own hands and ridden in a Honduran taxi praying the entire time that the duct tape would hold and the wheels would stay intact just long enough to get me past the scary brothel on the road to town. 

I dream of the day I can walk the aisles of Wal-Mart without worrying that my driver is bored or that I might get left behind. I am positively breathless about the idea of adjusting the seat so my knees don't touch my chest.  I can almost visualize myself happily stuck in a traffic jam on 35W. So, I have devised a plan. On the day I am released and we are back on American soil, I will leave directly from the airport to my waiting parked car. I haven't exactly decided how I will lose my travel companions, but somehow I will end up alone behind the wheel. I will turn up the air-conditioning to full-blast (never mind that it will be winter) and tune the radio to a talk station (in English) and drive myself the nearest Taco Bell. 

No comments: