6/18/10 Depression and Repression
Saturday, June 19th, 2010
In spite of my positive thinking and good attitude, progress towards getting my car back was slow and exasperating.
I am staying with a Panamanian family I’ve visited several times before. I met them through the Servas program, which connects people of different countries, in order to foster peace through cultural understanding. This is my third visit with the Cano’s. They are as sweet and kind as you could imagine. I’d mention more about them, but I don’t want to repeat myself. You can read all about my first two visits to Panama and the Cano’s, and the Servas program, too, in my book “If She Can Do It, So Can I !”
This morning, Cesar, the husband, suggested we talk to his mechanic, who turned out to be away for the weekend. But his son, also a mechanic, was there in his place. The three of us made the two hour drive, up into the mountains to my car. Along the way, we saw some bicycle racers climbing toward the massive summit.
I actually cried in relief to see that my car was still there. I cried a few more times today, too. Mostly out of frustration. The mechanic was not able to fix my car because it was discovered that a new distributor was needed. The wheel that holds the belt was gone, due to loose screws. Which were most likely, due to the bad roads in the Caribbean. No matter how slow you go, everything shakes constantly.
We left my car in the hands of the security guard, once again, and went back to the city in search of the part for my car. There was none to be found – anywhere – not in the whole country of Panama! One reason I purchased this particular kind of car, a Suzuki, Sidekick, was that there are plenty of them running around all over Costa Rica. Mechanics are familiar with them and parts are inexpensive and easy to find. No so in Panama. Here in Panama you do see some kinds of Suzukis, but the American made Sidekick is about as rare as a day without rain. Go figure!
I’d been trying so hard to maintain a good attitude. “It will all work out,” I kept repeating to myself. But I was disconcerted at the idea of my car spending another lonely night up in the mountains at the represa (dam). We had discussed the possibility of having the car towed down here but everyone kept saying the cost would be a minimum of $250.00. After a day of “spinning our wheels” I insisted I must have my car back in my possession that night. Cesar called and the price was, indeed, $250.00. He tried a second towing shop and their price was $100.00 less. I jumped on it. In half an hour I was on my way back up the mountains, in a huge truck with a nice guy named Alejando.
I must admit that my predicaments always seem to get me into interesting situations. How often does one get the chance to converse with a random stranger for four hours? Most of the day I had been floundering between depression and repression of tears. But as soon as I got in the truck and began to chat with Alejandro, my spirits lifted. What a happy, positive person he was. The two hour drive to my car, went by quickly; as we discussed our lives, families, thoughts and beliefs, while practicing each others language. By the time we reached my car, I knew all about his wife and three month old son; his three other businesses; and his love for Panama and it’s culture. In fifteen minutes he had my car secured up on the flatbed and we were on our way back to the city.
It has been a hard day for me, but at least I have my car safely back. Tomorrow we work on getting the distributor.