The Impossible Pursuit of Justice, Part 1.

February 10, 2012

Left turns in Paraguay are the bane of my existence. Most intersections don’t allow them, which 1) is simply an inconvenience and 2) makes for a significantly small margin of error when I’m bumbling my way around a city I don’t know (miss a turn? Stinks to be you. Not only are the streets not marked, you also can’t just take a left or a U at the next light and double back…). But where you can actually make a turn in the lefterly direction, it is almost more trouble than it’s worth and the illegality of it all suddenly makes so much sense.

As you can see from the above [expertly drawn] picture, this was pretty much my situation yesterday afternoon as Y, R, and I were returning from home visits to La Ruta girls. There were tons of cars on the road and my butt was totally sticking out into oncoming traffic (don’t worry, this is how everyone does it here). After waiting for what felt like years, I was finally able to make my left turn into a clear lane. I was at least a minute removed from cleanly completing my turn and was heading straight when a loud scrape and substantial force shoved my car toward the center divide. We all gasped to see this giant white truck attempt to squeeze its way into my lane without looking and effectively failing by ramming into my car. Fortunately, I was able to maintain control of the vehicle.

[Would now be a good time to note that it has been less than a week since I picked up my car from the body shop for the last hit-and-run? Apparently, Paraguay thinks she can push me around…]

I tried to make my way over the right side of the road to resolve this ridiculous situation, but with the density of traffic, it took a bit longer than I would have liked. In the meantime, we watched the big white truck veer onto a side street to flee the scene. Rude. Emboldened by the fact that I was not alone (I thank God so much for this), I quickly turned down the next available street and raced over a jarring cobblestone road in hopes of at least catching a glimpse of the culprit’s license plate (which, after throwing down placa several times and having everyone stare blankly at me as if I were speaking Chinese, discovered it is called chapa here. Weird.).

Just as we thought to give up hope, we peered around the corner and saw the white truck barreling towards us. Sucka! I quickly pulled over and Y and R bravely hopped out into the middle of the street, blocking the truck from further escaping. The driver came out swinging. He mistook Y as the driver (clearly someone wasn’t paying attention–Y is not only Paraguayan, she is also three times my size!) and started barking defensively at her, laying the blame on rather thickly. I called my boss to notify him of the situation, all the while keeping an eye on Y, who was clutching her pepper spray in hand. Since the driver belligerently refused to give us any information, R snuck behind the truck and scribbled down the license plate number right before the truck sped off again, this time escaping for good.

Part Two to follow shortly.

*Grateful Y, R, and I emerged relatively unscathed. Thank you all for your continued prayers for my safety. God was definitely watching over us.

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3 Responses to “The Impossible Pursuit of Justice, Part 1.”


  1. […] he recited (barely because he was laughing so hard): “How do you say car accident in […]


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