We were trained in “off road” driving this week.
I never thought I’d say that (and I’m fairly confident my dad didn’t, either).
This Wednesday, Stephen & I went about an hour outside of Mae Sot with Matt, Partners’ Development Coordinator. On a side note, Matt and his wife, Liz, are wonderful. Really wonderful. They’ve been here about five years, are raising three kids here, and organize & host home church each week. And even after just knowing them a couple months, I’m sad that they’re headed back–today–for nearly three months of furlough.
This is why we needed to squeeze in the four-wheel drive training this week. And these are the things that ran through my head during the entire training:
I would have never guessed I’d ever be here. It was bizarre to be discussing how to go through rivers and ditches, how to climb mud slopes, how to avoid sliding backwards down a steep incline. What?! Where are we going?!
He probably wouldn’t have even considered training me in this if he knew how awful of a driver I was in the States–on the interstate, going straight on dry, paved roads! And that’s the crazy thing about starting a new job in a new country, where no one knows anything about you, your family, your values, or your past. Full of opportunity, but also a little overwhelming when you feel like everything comfortable has been taken away and your response is everyone’s first impression.
My dad would be rolling if knew I was here. For instance, when Matt was telling Stephen (this was before my test drive) to line up his tires with such and such, I was immediately back with my dad as he shouted, “Stop aiming at things in the road!” To which I replied, “I’m not! I’m just a really bad guesser!”
But we passed! Yes, both of us. It’s already been established, though, that I learned for more for necessary or occasional circumstances. I’m self-aware enough to know that Stephen’s better in those situations requiring a calm, patient response.
And now we give it a go! We’re headed to two refugee camps next week that are about eight hours north. They are the most difficult to get to and nearly inaccessible in rainy season (due to the mud). We hear it’s about two hours of off-road conditions…hopefully we’re sufficiently trained 🙂