Trip Start Jan 12, 2006
41Trip End Mar 12, 2006
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We arose at 5 AM to journey the 3 hours to Tarija City to investigate building materials for the center at Narvaez (naar VICE). There were a lot of unknowns in this purchase. We knew what we needed, but not where to find it or how to get it to Narvaez, a 2 hour trip from Tarija.
By the middle of the afternoon we were tired from the trip and the shopping as well as confounded by the transport problem. We found what we needed at a good price, but were literally chasing down truck drivers unsuccessfully and thought that we'd just better purchase the stuff we needed, put it on 'hold' and pick it up for transport later. I felt stuck and helpless. Adding pressure was the news that a road blockage/blockade was scheduled to begin that night (usually they start at midnight), so we'd better get going if we wanted to get home.
As we paid, the owner said he didn't know any truckers for hire. Overhearing this, a fellow in the store inserted himself into the conversation and offered to take the job. His truck, parked outside, was a perfect size. Then, the owner stalled on producing the goods because they needed to be cut to size. But we pressured him, pleading the impending blockade, and he relented and got his staff on the job.
It felt miraculous. But since we didn't know the driver, we made Paul ride with him while Suz and I followed behind in the jeep. Suz knew that sometimes delivery stuff doesn't make it to the destination. We all gassed up, picked up some fried chicken to go for supper, and took off. We passed through cordons of police guarding the road and drove off into a dark, rainy night.
Paul and the driver, Victor, hit it off great--turned out Victor was Catholic and was appreciative of our mission in Narvaez. We all unloaded our cargo in the pitch black rain at Narvaez--dead tired at 9:30 PM. Victor decided to go on to Entre Rios (1 hour trip)instead of returning to Tarija (2 hrs), so we hired him to deliver a big iron fence from E.R. to Narvaez in the morning. We were incredulous at the sudden shift of our reality: from desolation to completion of the mission beyond our original goal. We decided that Victor's appearance bordered on the miraculous for us.
Less than 24 hours later, the main building at Narvaez gleamed under a shiny new roof. And liberation theology says "to best experience God: live among the poor."