We’re in AutoPlex speaking with a nice young man and woman about purchasing a truck. They have two brands – Jac and Hino – so the choices are somewhat limited. Jac is a relatively new brand from China that I’m hesitant to go with. It is, however, about $10,000 cheaper – one factor I must consider. We’ve had $8,200 in our Haiti restricted savings for 8 years and another $25,000 in savings for 5 years to buy this truck. I always explain to people that when someone designates a gift to Aslan, we keep it locked away until we can spend it. It’s the right (and only ethical way) to do business, but even some Christian ministries have a hard time looking at it this way. They have other needs, so they figure they have the right to spend it where they think best. There are many reasons why we haven’t been able to purchase a truck until now. A big one is we’ve had no place to park it where it will be secure and untouched. In Haiti even a mirror from a truck has enough value to feed someone for a few weeks. Stealing is wrong no matter what the reason. It’s just easier to understand why some people steal, when they’re starving to death!
We’ve looked at the Hino, and now we’re trying for the best price. They want $41,500, but we just can’t spend that much. I’m praying God will move the price down a bit for us, with our friend, Hugues, doing the negotiating. Hugues, Joseph and I are very happy when they come back with an offer of $38,500 – which includes a canopy to keep our supplies and passengers dry in the rainy season! We’ll have the money wired from New Jersey tomorrow. We look at our watches and it’s 3:55 – five minutes to spare before closing. It’s a miracle that we’ve taken care of everything in about 1 hour. Finishing the truck bed and canopy will take 2 weeks, I’ll have to change my plane ticket and stay an extra week here in Haiti. It’s definitely an inconvenience, but after waiting 8 years for a truck who can complain?
Next we travel to a nearby appliance store in search of a propane/electric refrigerator. You read this right. It cools with electric when the generator is on and cools with propane when the generator is off! We have $900 from some wonderful friends in NJ, but Hugues returns from the store with some interesting news. One model is $1,800 and the other is $2,000. No problem. We’ll just wait on the fridge until we find another $900!
Hugues needs to get back to San Rafael, so we’re on the road again and heading a different way home than the way we came. First step is “Goat Mountain,” and it’s easy to see why that named it so. It’s a long, steady and steep climb – slow going up this mountain road on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. I’m preparing myself for the 5-hour drive and hoping and praying some of it is paved.
Next post ~ dangerous driving in Haiti at nighttime!