June 22, 2009

Ready for a Fun Story?

In defense of this country, we've found MANY honest people here and are thrilled most of the time with the level of friendliness and customer service in the business community. I think the guy in our story would be operating this way no matter what his country, so don't take this as a bash on Paraguay.

We bought a really neat SUV a few days after arriving, and have been happy overall with it. It's needed some mechanical fixes (it's 14 years old, after all) and odd-and-end things here and there, but it fits the bill. It's four-by-four (necessary to get down our dirt roads when it rains), has a third row of moveable seats (useful when hauling visitors, youth, or cargo), and is rugged enough to handle the bouncy, dusty roads we live down.

HOWEVER, we've been awaiting the legal paperwork for this vehicle since getting here. That'd be 7 1/2 months now. The salesman assured us the paperwork was all clean and ready to go, but that it'd take a few days longer than normal because of a strike taking place at the time. To be honest, we didn't know anything about a strike, but I can't say we were actually watching the news that first week either. He said we were fine to drive on the bill of sale until the papers came through, within a few weeks. He's said at least a million times, "This is how it works in Paraguay. You just aren't used to our form of business."

Fast forward to this week, almost 8 months later. I can't count on both hands or my toes, the times we've driven the 4-hr roundtrip to pick up these papers, only to find out they AREN'T ready. I can say that I've learned to understand Spanish better on the phone, as a result of all the calls back and forth over the situation these past months. And we've learned legal terms we might not have learned otherwise..... is that enough silver lining?

To make a L..O..N..G story shorter, we arrived at the car dealership owner's office today with a Paraguayan friend. Of course, the owner wasn't in for the day, despite telling us last Thursday to come today for the papers that WOULD be signed and ready to go. After a few phone calls to track him down, he acted quite ugly with our friend, then told us (again) that the papers were in the notary's office. We decided to visit this notary, who made it all clear for us.

As it turns out, our friendly neighborhood used car salesman took our money, issued us a bill of sale, and neglected to use the money to pay off the lien on the car (which he said did not exist). So the notary was quite unhappy to hear that he'd been blaming HER for all his shenanigans, all the while neglecting to tell us that the car owner still had payments remaining on the vehicle, and that the title was not clear.

Supposedly, this is being handled (can we really believe him NOW?) and we'll have our papers soon. Please help us pray about the situation. I've left out the problems it's caused more than once with the police here on their routine traffic stops, but we're ready for this part of our move to Paraguay to be a silly story we laugh about over terere. Today, I'm not laughing....

1 comment:

  1. I'll be praying! These situations are SO difficult and so common in Paraguay. Even if you get a reference from a friend and try to do everything right, you can end up with a situation like this. Don't blame yourselves. We will all pray that God will be glorified through this entire process, hard as it is.


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