We have a Toyota Fourrunner that is very sick. The axle has broken four times, it sputters and pants at best when it is running, it always smells of gasoline, the gas gauge is broken, sometimes the keys work, and when they do sometimes the doors open but not always, the check engine light is continually on, the breaks are bad…. seriously. It’s pretty much a death trap. And at best, it is being fixed by “duck tape” mechanics every other week, so it is not unusual to see me having to taptap or ride on the back of a motorcycle to run simple errands.
With new cars in Haiti costing between $40K and $60K for a decent SUV that can handle the hell roads, we have put off the thought of trying to purchase another. My Haitian friends have asked me why I don’t buy another one.Several of them having even offered to donate their necklaces to fund a car. It is way beyond their abilities but they don’t realize that, so it’s cute.
I have never had the serious thought of buying another one really. For the cost of a car, I could put up 20 houses… way more worth it! Hands down.
Until last night.
One of the boys in our program was over at a friend’s house last night. The owner of the house called me last night to complain about too much noise coming from the house. I went over to the house at 11:30 in the night, madder than a wet hen, about to pull their underwear of their heads and walked in the house to find Carlin face down, lying on the floor unconscious. Long story short, when we moved him he started having seizures and stopped breathing.
We quickly decided to take him to the hospital… and then the car troubles began. sputtering, stopping stalling, we took three times longer than normal to travel to three different hospitals to find one that was open. It was a life and death situation as I kept punching Carlin in the gut trying to keep him conscious while driving in the middle of the night with a car (and a boy) on the verge of death. We did make it to the hospital, where he was put on an IV and given oxygen and monitered through the night. Carlin will be ok.
But I shudder to think of the possiblity that my car had broken down. Last night it would have been worth 20 houses, in my opinion, in order to save his life.
We all know Cholera is on our heels. Every day I wonder when it is going to start in my area. Has it started? I have been giving out pedialyte and rehydration packets to everyone who even thinks they may have diarrhea. This is life and death. One of these days I am going to need to take someone at death’s door to a cholera clinic, and I need a reliable car to do that.
Here in Haiti, cars are expensive. If one is donated from the states, we would only have to pay import taxes on it ( can be new or used). It just needs to be a reliable 4WD.. preferrably an SUV, something like a 4runner, Pathfinder etc… If anybody would like to help with this very urgent need, please let me know! I don’t want to have someone die needlessly on account of transportation. And pray for Haiti. My gosh it’s rough here right now!