Saturday, April 28, 2012

This Week has been Surreal-Part 2

Tuesday began weird even before the robbery at 1 p.m.  Daniel was sick and throwing up various shades of blue and pink on our downstairs floor ("Daniel, GO TO THE BATHROOM when you feel like doing that!" is a direct quote).  David was also home from school, recovering from four stitches on his knee from a tumble as he was leaving church on Sunday.

I was frantically trying to catch up with visitor housing and other internship-related tasks.  Turns out we will be receiving 19 visitors from the U.S. between now and June 2, then another one from Canada mid-June.  Then 12-15 more from the U.S. mid-June.  Eight of these people will be here for 4-8 weeks.  All of them need a place to sleep and something to eat while here.  We really strive to make every cross-cultural experience here as satisfying and memorable as we are able.  God always gives us unforeseeable blessings!  Fortunately, our Mexican brothers and sisters and our co-workers make this job a lot easier than it could be.  

For the internship program, we also program different ministry and culturally-related activities every year.  To make this a bit more relevant, just pretend you receive a group of 5-10 Mexicans for 4-8 weeks who, in most cases, don't speak a whole lot of English.  Fortunately for us, we do a lot of non-language intensive outreach.  ESL, Sports, Music, Crafts, ETC.   We're trying to confirm an orphanage experience in Puebla for the last week in June.

(Rabbit Trail here...I bought the book Strengths Finder 2.0 while in OH just recently, and learned that my strengths are: Strategic, Ideation, Arranger, Maximizer, Individualization.  So all of the chaos of every summer is really something I thrive on.  Sometimes my't get as big a rush as I do, something that is helpful to remember!)

So I had just sent a breakdown of where everybody will tentatively be (tentative is a great concept, isn't it?) when Mayra called from an unknown number, the phone at the pharmacy where she was buying medicine for David.  "Rod, the van was just robbed.  Two guys came up behind me when I was buying medicine.  The lady here already reported it.  Come pick me up so we can go to the police station."

Some news just comes and hits you out of nowhere.  I jumped in our Astro van and made my way to where Mayra was as fast as I could.  On the way I passed a state policeman, going the other way, both of us slowly as there were many speed bumps in the area.  I yelled at him,  "Follow me, they just robbed my car."  He didn't.  Crazy gringos.

I actually didn't drive straight to where Mayra was, because in the excitement I forgot to verify exactly where everything had happened, but soon figured it out.  Mayra jumped in and we both absorbed the shock of having our car stolen.  Mayra talked about the two pistols that were pointed at her, how her first reaction was anger, then resignation.  She recalled how several times one of the two guys had shouted at her, "Shut up!  Shut up!" when she asked for her documents back.  Mayra is a cool customer, let me tell you.  No shaking, no tears (at least initially).  

We drove back home, told the kids to hang tight, then spent the next three and a half hours at the police station, reporting the crime.  That's easier said than done here.  We got the the station and wasted probably 20 minutes before someone told us we had to sign in.  Then we gradually figured out certain steps in the process by other people who gave us advice.  Turns out we had to call a total of four different phone numbers to report the crime, BEFORE we could do anything at the station.  One number did not work with a cell phone, only a landline could access that number.  The only phone at the station did not work, and we were far away from another public phone.  The one other number that we called was answered, but then we were put on hold, and cut off.  This happened over and over again.  We finally decided to call it a day and return home, where at least we had a phone.  

We returned to the police station the next morning (Wednesday), and were finally able to file the report.  A stolen car report.  But later on that day, we would have to start the process all over again.  This time, because our car had been found!

Check out Mayra's report EN ESPAÑOL here.

1 comment:

TINA! said...

It is good to know... next time something happens where anyone needs to spend a significant amount of time at the police station... you NOW know the proceedure!

And strength finders. LOVE IT! We did a whole course on it at camp and how to maximize all your strengths!