Well, you usually have no reason for concern about your wheels when they are going round and round, however, in Roatan anything goes. Or so we are finding this out…
Yesterday, Melissa, Carmen and I, as well as all six of our children, all loaded up in the car to take a quick trip into Sandy Bay to drop off Carmen at her home and me at the school for a meeting. As we were driving, we noticed a strange noise, maybe a tire was flat or about to blow out, not really sure about what it was we pulled over and walked around the car to check it out. Nothing. Okay, so we were on our way down very steep, hilly, curvy, pot-hole-filled roads. We decide yet again that the noise needed to be checked out because it was not only heard at this point, we could feel the car swaying back and forth, somewhat like the feeling of an earthquake, only in a moving vehicle. As we neared the chosen stopping point, the car made a very loud noise and began to lean and try to swerve out of control; we braced ourselves and yelled for everyone to’ “HANG ON!” The car stopped and we looked out the front of the car and saw our wheel rolling downhill away from us, down the road, and over the ravine into the jungle! We left quite a trail along the road where the car rested its axle on the blacktop, dug in and kept going downhill to where we finally stopped.
We were shaking and thanking God that everyone was okay and in disbelief of what had just occurred. Immediately, three men came running out of a bar at the corner of the road and just jumped right into the jungle and began searching for our wheel. What a blessing to have good Samaritans, even in a third world country. We called Trey, he was down the street dropping off the engineers that had just flown in and was in route immediately. The lady that runs the bar grabbed all the kids with Carmen and they took them to the outdoor terrace to have a soda and get out of the street. Everyone was in motion making sure the kids were okay and trying to figure out if a round, damaged wheel would fit onto a slightly flattened axle. How did the wheel come off? All of the lug nuts were just gone, not there. Either someone stole them or borrowed them and did not return them or they somehow worked their way off. The tires have not been changed or serviced in quite some time, so we can rule out faulty workmanship. The nice taxi driver that stopped to try and put the wheel back on was unable to do so, so we called the mechanic and he was on his way in the next 30 minutes. They were able to get the spare wheel on the car and deliver it to Melissa’s house later that afternoon.
I cannot express how scary this was and the reality of how much more differently this could have turned out is still being processed. We are so thankful for God’s great presence in protecting us and our children. What an eye opener in the midst of so many other adjustments that are going on right now in our lives; to just remember to be thankful for the little things like hanging out with the kids and doing fun stuff as a family. We very well could have had all of those things taken away in the blink of an eye, but we were spared that reality. Thank God.
Needless to say, we now regularly check for a full set of lugs on the tires and everyone wears a seatbelt, even if we have to double buckle. Life in the tropics, you never know what each day will bring; new lessons on life and giant tests of faith.
Take Care and God Bless,