Or at least really up high in elevation. I drove to Abancay again today in the final step of getting everything legal with the car. You pay an extra fee for having tinted windows. As of today, if I get pulled over at one of the numerous police checkpoints, I will have all the paperwork I need. Of note, I had just left the National Police office in Abancay and got pulled over for having tinted windows. Really! I was just around the corner. I smiled big, and told them that at this very moment I was trying to get everything I needed to get the permission. I showed them all the paperwork I had collected (at that point I only lacked one paper of around 10 things they require to give this permission), and they let me go on without the several hundred dollar fine. I was breathing easier at the end of the day today when I finally drove home with the final certificado that I needed to be completely legal. Check out the photo below from an altimeter watch that my father bought me as a gift (with some help from my brother who works for Garmin). I went up and down a mile while driving in each direction from Curahuasi to Abancay and back. The highest elevation reached was 12,873 feet! The big number in the picture is the elevation in which we live. I need more hemoglobin!
I wanted to write for those of you who have been praying for us this week. Will did pass his medical exam, psychological exam, written test, and driving test. Hooray! That means he’ll have to go back to pick up his license next week (they don’t give you a paper proof) and we’ll be ready to take a trip or two with my dad. Will will have spent four weekdays and nearly 16 hours taxi-ing to and from Abancay by the time he has his license in hand.
Now it is my turn to study! We have heard that a couple should not attempt to get their licenses at the same time because the test givers will think, “Only the husband needs the license!” and fail the woman. The failure rate for women is much higher. Yes, you can joke about that, but it is also because they are reluctant to give us a license here. Apparently the process is a lot quicker in Lima and you can get out of the driving test by having your US license. A couple of weeks ago when a friend suggested I go to Lima to get my license, Will and I laughed– what a lot of trouble!– but now it is sounding better and better.
I am so proud of Will for memorizing all those laws and taking all these tests in Spanish. He really hasn’t been speaking the language for long. I am thankful to God for helping us and for answering our prayers for quick positive results so that we could travel with my dad. I am thankful to you, friends, for praying along with us. I wish we could take you with us somewhere to see the unbelievable scenery!
Addendum: Will drove up to our house (well, almost) this morning for the first time. Our driveway/ road still has a huge trench gouged across it, but the rest of the road is more or less filled in. Loading all the groceries in a backpack and carrying it up the hill from the hospital was good exercise, but I’ll be ok with driving up.
Will has been studying like crazy this week to get his Peruvian driver’s license. He traveled to Abancay, about an hour and a half over the mountains, to take his medical and psychological exams and to show proof of his highest level of education this past Tuesday. Yes, these are all requirements for a driver’s license. On this upcoming Tuesday he will take the written test and then he’ll have to go back another day for the driving test. Whew! We want to be able to go to Cusco in our own car and to explore around the beautiful countryside on our days off without fear of going to the police station or having the car impounded.
The written test is hard. We have heard that they may give you some street signs and you have to write their official name in Spanish, like “Empalme en angulo recto con via lateral derecha” or “Interseccion en angulo agudo con via lateral secundaria derecha” You have a multiple choice section and the questions are very specific about the punishments for breaking certain laws. We have heard that in the driving test, you have to park the car within a certain number of centimeters of the parking space lines. There are rumors that they make the test hard so that you will give a bribe to pass the test. Many of our friends have taken it more than once. Fortunately we have not heard these rumors regarding our testing site in Abancay where the people have been nothing but helpful in the process to this point. Please pray for Will to pass it the first time and for God to help him recall what he has studied. He has always been a good test taker in English. Let’s hope it helps him in Spanish too!
Friends of ours, Brendan and Erin Connally, in Abancay, the closest city to Curahuasi are involved with this ministry. The video explains the impact of their work.