Friday, September 5, 2008
Does God care about Taxi Rides?
If you don't know, my wonderful friends came to visit me. Over the past week and a half Steven, Allison, Julie and I were on 4 flights, 2 major bus rides, 2 minor bus rides, 2 train rides and about a million taxis... and somehow each and every one had something crazy that happened.
I have to tell two of my favorites. The first was in a taxi on the way to catch a flight to Cusco. We agreed with the man on 20 soles (which i still thought was a rip off, but decided it wasn't worth arguing over the other 2 dollars) and got in. Half way to the airport we stop because has to get gas. He gets out of the car, leans his head back in and says, "I need 10 soles now so I can buy gas." Of course I refuse, but he insists that we will not make it to the airport unless I give him the 10, so I cave. He then proceeds to usher us all out of the taxi in order to pump gas (why is STILL beyond me). We finally all pile BACK into the taxi and head off once more to the airport. When we were about 5 minutes away from the airport, he starts digging around in his glove box to find his papers to get into the airport. I hear Allison gasp right before we hit another car. (Allison, use your words!) Luckily it was only a slight fender bender. So he gets out of the car to check damage and talk to the man in the other car. Two minutes later he pokes his head back into the car to ask for the other 10 soles that I will owe him in 5 minutes. Of course, I refuse (yet again) but he assures me that he will get us there and we WON'T get to the airport in time if I don't give him the other 10 soles. Hesitantly I handed it over and needless to say I made sure we never got in another taxi with that man.
Story number two... we were staying with some friends of ours in Cusco, but the main purpose of our visit was to go see Machu Picchu. The lady at the travel place told me about 10 times that we need to be at the train station at 6:30am because the train left at 6:50 (and NOT Ecuadorian or Peruvian time either!) So we worked it out with a taxi driver to pick us up at 5:45 so as not to be late (since they lived about 30 minutes outside of the city). At 5:45 that morning we were waiting and ready to go. We were still waiting at 6 and at 6:10... by the time 6:20 rolled around, we were sweating it. FINALLY the guy shows up and I tell Al I don't even WANT to know what time it is. Let's just say this trip into town definitely INCREASED my prayer life. It feels so dumb now, but at the time I was pleading with God for a miracle. I knew it was just a trip, nothing life or death, but it was going to be a royal pain if we went all the way there and didn't see Machu Picchu. So we're praying and the really late taxi driver is driving like a mad man... Al has stopped looking at her watch at this point as to not stress even more. We FINALLY hit the train station, Steven throws money at the man and we grab our stuff and run into the building. We bypass a bunch of people and jump over ropes that are supposed to keep us in line. And there it is, our miracle... the train hadn't left yet. We got on the train at 6:48 and no joke the train left 2 minutes later. Praise God for small (or not so small) miracles.
All that to say, we had a LOT of fun and got to see God show up in big and small ways.