These were our instructions if we were to ever get in an accident of any sort: “Get out and run!”
Even if you are only the passenger in a taxi, you should flee because you will be blamed and charged with most of the cost. In this country, the blame can be divided into percentage of guilt for the accident. So, “get out and run!”
This past week, I was in a fender bender, and during the time I waited in 100 degree heat for assistance, I remembered that advice. Thank goodness our insurance agent came to take care of the details for us on this incident. It wasn’t necessary for me to run!
Before this accident happened it had been several weeks of frustration and adjustment as we transitioned back into the country after a furlough. Recently, I read the feeling of culture shock described as, “one mosquito bite itches and you scratch it without thought, but when you have 40 of them you are in pain.” This bump up was mosquito bite number 40 for me.
We had been dealing with repeat visits to the police to get our residence visa renewed. We had been required to pay more money (because in their processing of our visa, the exchange rate had changed), then we were required to give our bank account information because they had overcharged us!
That sounds easy enough, but it wasn’t.
They wanted to refund the over charged money to each of us individually, however, all of our bank information and all of our bills are in my husband’s name. This makes our life simpler in the long run, but in this case they insisted I have a bank account for the refund. I went to the bank and guess what? You can’t open an account without that same visa in your hand! One more mosquito bite.
When it came to the car bump up, I was feeling the bites. Thank goodness the young man who hit me is liable, since I was stopped when he hit me.
Later on, I shared this incident with a young Ugandan student who is currently attending our church, and he had some Ugandan wisdom for me: In Uganda, the story goes, a woman was waiting on the side of the road and a truck passed her so closely that the driver thought he ran over her foot. The driver stopped and while he was coming back to them, the ladies with her told her to act like her foot was hurt, and she replied, “but it isn’t.” They insisted that she could get a lot of money for this if she would pretend! (Apparently insurance fraud exists world wide.)
In reality, our fender bender only inconvenienced us for about a week, and I must admit that I was really feeling the itch of those 40 mosquito bites that day! Illness, visas not coming through, car problems, house hold appliances that don’t work, extreme heat–it all culminated and sort of overwhelmed me.
Putting ourselves in God’s hands is hard and sometimes overwhelming, but we have to remember that God’s will is best. We must keep doing the last thing He told us to do until we are directed to do something different. We never know when something in our lives will touch those around us (who may also be feeling the pain of their 40 mosquito bites), and give us a chance to share about the love which has sent us to this place.
This post is authored by one of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s field personnel serving in a secure location.