Friday, May 10, 2013

{Everyday in May} - Driving in Haiti

Today's Blog Everyday in May's topic is your Most Embarassing Moment. What I'm about to share with you, is my Most Embarassing Moment in Haiti!
When I first arrived in Haiti. I had no idea how to drive a stick shift. I also was nervous about driving in Haiti. So I made myself drive. One day in August, Wes, called and asked me to pick up our interns. I went downstairs and realized that we only had the Kia, which was a stick shift. Growing up on a farm, I should have learned to drive a manuel vehicle, but I didn't. Anyways, I made it through the day. Not my most embarassing moment.
 (Here's a picture of the KIA)
Photo Credit: Vern Pechta
For the first month or so, I mainly only drove the Kia around our community. To improve my skills, Laura and I decided I should take the KIA for practice, up the mountain :)
I had driven up the mountain (where we go grocery shopping) before, just not with a manual.
Well we made it up the mountain just fine.
We went to pull into the parking lot, which is under the store and the security guard starts yelling at me. Laura and I looked at each other and had no idea why. So we inched forward, and he yelled at me to stop again, as did some people walking.
It finally clicked. I had forgotten about our cage on the back of the kia. It was definitely clear that I wouldn't clear the vehicle was too tall.
Normally you would just back up. Remember, my skills were not good, I was stuck on a steep downward slope and at this point 15 Haitians were yelling at me, honking at me and staring. I paniced. My heart starting racing and I frooze.
I looked at Laura and told her I had no idea what to do.
A Haitian man, who was waiting to also park his car (mind you I'm blocking the road for 5 minutes now), got out of the car and told me what to do (in English). I told him I didn't think I could do it.
So I put the car in park, he got in my car and backed it up!
Still to this day, I'm so thankful for this man!
I was mortified...everyone was staring at me. The stupid white girl that can't drive :)
When we got home, Laura and I had a great laugh about this....


Allison said...

Stopping by from the link up. Oh, I feel your pain on this! I still can't drive a stick shift... probably because I have had so many bad driving experiences as it is! Good for you for making yourself drive it anyway :)

Claudy Ashlee Francois said...

Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad I made myself do it :)

Nicole said...

Oh NO! I just left you a comment on another post (hard portion about your lot in life) and continued scrolling to see if I could figure out where you're living. HAITI! I just have to tell you, I almost came on a medical mission trip this August to Haiti (Port-au-Prince) but timing didn't quite work out. Haiti has been on my heart like a heavy weight for the past year, and I have a feeling that's where God will be calling me! Anyway, I almost fell straight over when I read you're in Haiti. Sister, we have got to connect :)

Ashlee Francois said...

That is crazy. Haiti is a wonderful place, filled with wonderful people! Would love to connect with you to talk about Haiti :)