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Driving in Guatemala..

29/09/2010

 can be hazardous to your health. At Vine International we try our best to be off the highway before dark. There are many reasons for this. One is all the free range livestock. Last week I drove for Woody our boss and Michael Nyenhuis the CEO for MAP. We had the usual difficult traffic in Guatemala City. During the wet season potholes seem to bloom, daily. Cindy and I actually become familiar with certain potholes. These will be filled for the dry season, but reappear next wet season.

This last trip took us to the Pacific coastal plain. Our host Brewda Avila guided us to three very rural villages. Midmorning one of the

Brewda Avila improving health in rural Guatemala

 roads was a relatively dry dirt road. It had the usual potholes. At one village school actually had a reverse speed bump. This was a divot, dug across both lanes. It was very effective as my passengers will tell you. In the afternoon during the wet season there’s always rain. This same dry dirt road became a river. For almost 2 miles we drove through water 6 to 12 inches deep. The current was strong enough that you could hear rocks rolling and hitting the undercarriage. Except to dodge stalled vehicles we drove in the middle of the road and ordered to stay out of the ditches. As you will see in the photos we were passed by a large truck. The plume of water made everything disappear while he passed us.

Then there was the truck loaded with African Palm fruit (where we get palm oil) that got stuck in an area I questioned earlier in the day but made it through due to the chicken bus rudely pushing me going in.  Now on the way out this stuck truck was leaning severely to the right.  I tried the uphill side but too narrow and got stuck.  Brewda said she would drive it through on the lower side….now I am a Christian and I have conquered the issue of male pride…well maybe not.  Let’s just say I made it through that mud pit, dangerously close to the truck that seemed to want to fall on us.  Hey, when you got to go, you got to go!!!  Dennis Rice would be proud of me.  He was my “Drivin’ in Guatemala Guru and Guide Instructor”.  For a moment I was tempted to give him his job back but he wasn’t here.

The bridge over the San Francisco River was washed away early in the summer. The Calvary Chapel team in May had the privilege to cross drive these roads before they were destroyed by tropical storm Agatha. The first temporary bridge was washed away again. Another temporary bridge is in its place. We only waited 5 minutes going to our destination. We waited almost ½ hour on the return trip. The road to Chocola and Dr. Castillo’s is a wreck.

Traffic in Guatemala City has to be experienced to be believed. Taxis and buses can convert two lanes into a four lane highway. Motorcycles use the space between lines of cars as their special bike paths. There seems to always be construction. Busy areas of the city change directions of certain lanes depending on time of day. There are many one way roads and streets, but many drivers don’t pay attention to these rules. All these things make driving exciting here in Guatemala.

We continue to serve here in Guatemala.  God has given us a love for the people, but we sure enjoy driving on the smooth roads in the USA.  Enjoy the photos linked by clicking on red text in this posting.  I will put together a story about medicine distribution in Guatemala soon.

In Christ

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Marty Hand permalink
    30/09/2010 07:13

    Makes me home sick….Life is never dull in Guat.

    Like

    • 30/09/2010 17:09

      Hey Marty and family,
      I still pray for the work ahead… grin. You know we could use you greatly here. In Christ
      Dennis McCutcheon

      Like

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