Tuesday, April 12, 2011

less is more

We have finally crossed the last big "to do" off our list. We bought a van! We have been without a car for three months and that is not for lacking of trying to find one. Blake has been searching since we got here, but it is hard to find a car that fits a family as large as ours. Since large families are unusual here, large cars are also unusual. Cars with the appropriate seat belts are another anomaly here.

We sold our 2004 Honda Odyssey for $10,500 when we moved. Guess what that $10,500 got us here? Nada. So, we had to spend another $1,000 to buy a...


2000 Honda Odyssey. That's right. We spent a ridiculous amount of money on an 11 year old car. To add insult to injury, gas here costs over $5 a gallon. It all makes me a little sick to my stomach. We spent three months trying to find a cheaper option, but they just don't exist here. So, literally, less car equals more money in Lima.

Tyler thought about jumping, but thankfully reconsidered.

I drove in Lima for the first time today. Originally I wondered if I would ever get the courage up to brave these streets, but after three months of not being able to drive I was so ready. It helps that I have had a lot of time to get used to Lima traffic and how people drive around here. I know what to expect and the streets are familiar to me. My anxiety has definitely been high the past couple of days knowing I had to pick Brady up from school today. I'm a weird combo of a person though. I am prone to anxiety, but I also love a good challenge. It was pretty exhilarating to drive like a crazy person, dodging cars, buses, and people. There was only one near accident and I blame it on Blake. He told me I could turn right in the lane I was in, but when I went to turn the bus in the lane to the right of me turned left. Thankfully I saw what the bus was doing in time and swerved to turn left. That is how driving is here- any lane is a turning lane. You have to be a very defensive, yet aggressive driver to survive in Lima.

Can I just add one more thing? My brain is fried from trying to learn Spanish. I can feel my brain resisting the learning process. I am realizing how true it is that the learning part of the brain is a muscle that you need to flex in order to keep it active and able. I haven't been a student in 11 years, so my brain is not in shape. It is so sore and hurt from all the information I have been absorbing the past few weeks. There have been many days I think, "I cannot do this. My brain is too old." Slowly, but surely it is coming though.

I am begging Blake to write a post about all things Krochet Kids. I am so tired of writing about us. There's much more to why we are here than cars, but since he is so busy I end up writing posts about cars. Maybe next time...


Sarsparilla said...

So with you on the spanish. I kept at it, and am doing a distance BA now, but ohhhh, if languages aren't your thing, it is hard.
What I used to do to liven it up, was prepare sentences in English that would really enliven the day and meet my needs if translated, then learn them verbatim off my teacher. "Your snoring is keeping me awake", etc.
Another aid is making visual stories for each new term - like, arena means sand, so I visualise a gladiator in the arena rubbing sand on his palms.
Keep at it, they say you need to hear every word 7 times in context to know it.

Anonymous said...

What is so strange about being in a third world country is that you would totally think that everything would be cheap since most people make about, what? less than $100 a month? How can it be that so many things are way more expensive than here?
I remember being shocked at the food prices in Guatemala.
It makes me sad that it has to be that way.
And I'm sorry you had to pay so much for a van. That sucks. How does insurance work there? Do they even have insurance?
Probably don't even want to think about such things.......
Keep hanging in there with the spanish, you'll be fluent in no time.
It's such significant change in your life, you must just want to curl up under your bed with a teddy bear and never come out. And sleep for months.
I am amazed at your courage and strength.
We pray for you and yours every day.

Erin said...

I, too, am always shocked when I learn about how outrageously prices certain items are in other countries. Like the previous commenter, I wrongly assume that everything is cheap in less developed countries. If it helps, gast is more than $4 a gallon here in Chicago right now.

Christen Morrow said...

So excited you guys got the van... its beautiful! Maybe someday I can ride in it and feel like I am in the USA... the cost of cars is just that way. I bought a 1983 Toyota Corona with so many km you don't even want to know for almost $3,000! Make the shift to a manual transition and gas instead of gasoline and you'll be a happy camper!
Blessings to you guys...
PS- Are you going to get a Peruvian license? I need to begin the process, we should go together. Technically the international permit is no longer good when you have a carnet, means I am driving "illegally..."

Breanne said...

YAY!!! This will make our excursions to Machu Pichu and back oh-so-much easier in 10 days. Oh that's right, I'm coming in 10 fricking days!!! :)

Can't wait! Abrazos...

Sarah said...

It is so frustrating how expensive things are in developing countries! I guess because it is all a luxury here?? As frustrating as it is for me, I'm even more frustrated about how it effects those in poverty.

Sarsparilla- thanks for the advice- I need it!

Anonymous-Oh, how I want to curl up in my bed for a long, long time! We have looked into insurance- it is actually fairly cheap which is nice. We haven't gotten any yet, though. We were told for $60 a month you can be totally insured- to the point that if your car was stolen, it would be replaced.
We traveled to Guatemala in 2009. Did you live in Guatemala?

Ree- I don't think this car would be able to make the trip to Macchu Pichu, plus we would probably get robbed on the way. But there is a restaurant in Lima called Macchu Pichu that we can go to.

Christie Elkins said...

I loved this post so much I made my husband read it as well! I am glad there is another mom out there who has to have a van to transport their "large" family. Your family is an inspiration to ours and so thankful God has shown your family His plans and purposes for you in this season of your lives.

Susan S said...

I've lurked here for a long time - I love your blog - but this entry finally brought me "into the light." I have some reassuring news about your Spanish - I've learned three foreign languages (all as an adult) and the symptoms you're describing are a very good sign. The brain is a muscle and takes time to retrain, and in my experience the kind of "gridlock" in your synapses that you're mentioning takes place right before the mental pathways open up on a more permanent basis. Think of it as "the wall" long-distance runners hit during a Marathon. Those who can push through the pain describe a sudden lessening, followed by no pain at all - language works the same way. If you hang in there a few more weeks you should experience a really quick upsurge in your ability. Things will "click in" - and the mental exhaustion actually does usually mean you're close.

Hang in there, and definitely keep blogging. You and your family are a real encouragement to those of us back in the States watching and praying for you.