Monday, May 16, 2005

Danger Still Lurks At Every Corner

Looking back now, when I first came to Honduras I heard a great many bad stories about crime, kidnapping, corrupt government news and carjacking but truth is I didn't really think it affected me because I'm not criminal nor I do I hang out in shady areas. Well I was wrong.

Last year the man who is responsible for my ability to email, his name is Dago, was coming back from San Pedro at night a year ago. (I believe I have mentioned the warnings we've had about night driving in past emails.) He oddly enough heard a round of fireworks in the distance just about 30 seconds before a large truck pulled up beside him flashing them a quick look and a head gesture that suggested Dago should back off. Dago looked in his rear view mirror in time to see a car flipping off the road behind him. The truck sped off apparently chasing the car in front them, two seconds later the man from the truck stuck his hand out the window and fired a few shots at he car he was chasing causing the car to flip off the road. Dago told us that story a while ago but it stuck with us.

We needed to go to San Pedro for a follow up appointment regarding my illness. It had been a long day, a long wait and there were several errands to run. We went to the hospital to try and find the boy from the mountains. We learned from a girl that comes down from the mountain every few weeks that the boy with the mass in his groin actually did leave with his sister for San Pedro but never returned.....we couldn't find him in the hospital. Needless to say the day drug on and soon it meant placing us in the dark for the way home. "Yeah they say it's not safe but is it overblown?" "Do we really need to be that strict and careful?" We all thought the same way and there were 5 of us in the car coming back together in the dark.

Suddenly on the same tiny little dirt road Dago spoke of before, only 30 minutes from home, we saw a lot of lights in the distance. As we came closer we could see it was two large trucks stopped in the center of the road. In our attempts to be careful we were watching the road hard and luckily had spotted them quite early (about 1/3 of a mile away). We slowed down our approach in time to see them jog the trucks to cover more of the road making it impossible to pass. We came to a stop, still quite a ways back, and debated for about 30 seconds whether to wait or proceed or turn around. It hit us all at the same moment...."don't sit here that's what they want!" We simultaneously but anxiously yelled for Anita to turn around. She gunned it and did a donut right in the middle of the road, turning us 180 degrees. We sped off in the other direction as fast as that beat up dodge could go! We drove an extra 55 minutes out of the way to arrive safely back at the plantation. All a little shook but no worse for the wear.....


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