Thankful for the Small Things



Ojeda Car

This pic was taken during my first time driving in Venezuela (2012) when my school gave us cars to use. 

When you live in Venezuela there are many things that are not as easy as they are in the US.  Owning a car here is one of those things.

As I was driving to class Sunday afternoon my car turned off FIVE times AS I WAS DRIVING. I don’t know how most people would react, but I was terrified!

Thankfully Sunday afternoon is normally family time here, so there were few cars on the road. The first time it happened is when I had to break for a red light. A car behind me honked their horn at me and swerved out of the way. The second time was at another red light. The third time was as I was turning the corner onto the biggest/busiest street in town. Then it turned off twice as I was trying to parallel park! By the time I got into my class I was shaking with stress and anxiety.

I was very thankful to my kind dance partners who helped me focus on Kizomba while I was in class. It was a blissful hour and a half in my otherwise stressful afternoon. I don’t know if you have tried Kizomba class before, but it basically feels like you are slowly dancing around as you hug your partner closely in a very sensual way. Think of what it would look like if Argentine Tango had a baby with Bachata and you can see how I was so easily distracted!

Instead of going to the dance party with friends after class as planned, or someone’s house to practice what we had just learned (as a friend in class suggested), or even to the market to look for eggs (since I forgot to go in the morning), I went home. I knew I had to just get my car back to my apartment safely. It only shut off once (again as I was making a turn onto Avenida Bolivar (the biggest street in the city). Thankfully at this point I was able to nearly avoid using my breaks at all on the way home. I was very thankful that traffic laws are not really enforced here!

I could be really upset that I’m having car troubles when my mechanic just checked out my car three weeks ago when he replaced my battery. Instead I’m thankful that my mechanic will likely show up at my work in the morning to look it over.

I could be angry that I am missing out on a dance party that a nice guy invited me to. Instead, I am thankful when he understood that I would rather drive home safely while it is still light out, rather than trying to make my way home in the dark from an unfamilar place.

I could be frustrated that I was unable to adequately explain to my local friends what was wrong when they could see I was upset. Instead I was thankful that they had asked and were willing to listen to my broken car Spanish.

Instead of dancing like I had planned to do, I will try to remain positive and count my blessings with a glass of tea in hand. I will just be thankful that I made it home safely, thankful for good natural pepermint tea, and extremely thankful that my internet is now working!

Please comment: Have you owned a car in a developing country before? 


2 responses to “Thankful for the Small Things

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