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Monday, September 20, 2010

Becoming an Auto Mechanic

I never knew that it would be so difficult to get a used car into perfect running condition. Lesson learned.

It all started 1 year and 3 months ago when Natacha Constant, the H.E.R.O. Vice President moved to Haiti. In June of 2009 she shipped her car from the United States to Haiti with the hope that the car would arrive in August of 2009 for the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. The car arrived in Port-au-Prince but was held up in customs for various reasons. After the earthquake in January 2010, Natacha moved back to the U.S. to seek employment. Unfortunately, the car had yet to clear customs in Haiti, and continued to sit on the docks. 3 weeks ago, 1 year and 3 months after Natacha sent the car, it finally cleared customs! Since Natacha is currently not in Haiti, she has graciously allowed me to use the car for H.E.R.O.’s benefit, a true blessing in a country that relies on transportation to accomplish almost any task.

The car was not treated well in customs. For more than 5 whole days I have spent time in various garage shops (this is an overstatement) fixing various parts of the car, including damage caused to it while it was in customs. Each day is filled with driving the car to a new garage, sitting for up to 8 hours watching and making sure repairs are appropriately made, and trying to find patience. There are positive aspects, however. I have learned how to say “spark plugs” in Kreyol, found the best place to buy a chicken patty in Port-au-Prince, and built some great relationships. The car is just about in tip-top shape. A few more days at the garage this week, and all will be done. I can’t thank Natacha enough for providing this vehicle for H.E.R.O.’s use, it truly is a blessing.


Steven Kirby

1 comment:

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