What a day!! What started off as a normal Wednesday turned sour after a little bit. amber and I actually got up REALLY early to go jogging, and were feeling all pumped up from our self-discipline. Morning devotion and prayer went well, and the girls and I jumped right into homeschool full swing.
A little into the morning, we got a call from our mechanic that our vehicle was in desperate need of more repairs. We'd just sent the lawyer another lovely chunk of change to continue the legal proceedings necessary to force the car lot owner to give us our proper paperwork on this same vehicle, after a year with no papers. We kinda had a clue that we needed more repairs because cranking that thing every morning was nothing short of a disaster, complete with much lifting of the hood and tons of smoke. The neighbors were grateful because it helped keep the mosquito population under control, but it was starting to get old. That, and the fact that we have to put oil in it EVERY TIME we drive it. So we knew something would need fixing, but we weren't too excited about the call that said we owed more than a million guaranis (that's a bit more than $200, but doesn't it sound so dramatic to say a MILLION?!)
Since the repair shop is about 2 hours away (trustworthy mechanics are hard to find), we opted to put off taking the bus to retrieve it until the next day. That meant the trip to teach English class would be a motorcycle ride. The only way that made sense was for Ken to stay here with the girls and I'd drive the motorcycle and Amber a little piece down the highway and a long piece down the dirt road to where the class is held each Wednesday evening. No problem, right? Well, sand and motorcycles just don't mix.
We did well through most of the trip even in the difficult spots, until going through a REALLY deep sandy area, where I promptly lost control of the bike and it fell onto us. This makes the third time I've lost my "footing" in the sand, out of three trips. This is the first time I had a passenger, though. The folks from the nearest house came out to help and let me know that I shouldn't drive it through the sand ("Yes, I know, but there's no where else to go...") and that people fall here all the time. My previous two falls had been minor and at slower speeds, but this one did a little damage to the bike and scraped me up a bit. Some part of the bike landed on Amber's foot, and I could feel my knee hurting right away. The handlebars were bent out of shape, making it pretty impossible to drive, so I thought I'd better call Ken.
Let's complicate things a little. My cell phone wouldn't dial out, neither would it send a message or let me get online to even try sending him an email in hopes he was online. And since most of the people who live nearby are on the same cell phone plan, none of their phones were working either. How DID we ever survive before cell phones?
Ken was stranded at the house and had no way to get to us, but started working on a way. We started looking for a second driver and moto to taxi us home, and for someone to get the bike back in running order. Fast forward a couple hours and we were back home, nursing the wounds and telling the tale. All the neighbors had come out to see what happened (word travels fast here). Then a neighbor comes by to tell us that he just heard on the radio that the water is unsafe to drink right now, due to all the rain we've had. Now, when the municipality in a place like this tells you the water is unsafe, that means it's VERY unsafe.
Ken left on the moto ("No, I don't want to go along, but thanks.") to get a jug of water, at the moment that all the stores were closing. We have no all-night Wal-Mart in Paraguay. He found someone who'd let him in to buy some, and hooked it on the back of the motorcycle with his bungee-cord net, which popped on the way home, causing the water to fall onto the cobblestone road and burst. So much for clean water for the night.
Now, Caroline had been very sick with what we thought was a stomach virus (guess it was the water), a couple days before. She'd ended up in the ER, and Saul took his turn with it next. Ken had been complaining of some stomach pain, so he went to lie down and we decided we'd drink Coke instead of water (all the little stores in people's living rooms sell Coke, but hardly any sell water). So within a few hours, Camille and Ken were sick, followed by Amber. I seem to be the only one unaffected, but I'm the one who refuses to drink the water even on the "good days" here. I guess it paid off this time.
Ken's anxious for me to get back on the motorcycle and practice more in the sand, but I may be hanging my helmet. My knee is a bit swollen and I'm not fond of this soreness, and I bonked my head quite firmly on the ground going down. Amber is very sore but came out well for the wear. We're both very thankful we always use the helmets, and aware that God is very good to us. Thank you all for the daily prayers for our family. I just wanted you to know that they are needed and they work. :)