Friday, July 23, 2010

Other job - curious mechanics

For those who have come to Chichi you can see that driving here can be tricky and unpredictable.  As a result we have random bumps in our vehicles.  Since we have 5 total vehicles here, 3 from HTI and 2 personal, we have to keep them maintained which means extra time with the local mechanics.  Our 2 personal vehicles are a 1987 Suzuki Samari (first vehicle purchase from Gene Luna, a long term missionary to Guatemala) and a 1996 Nissan Pathfinder, both of which hold up well and do not cause us too many problems and to everyone's surprise the Suzuki holds up like a tank and has not found a hill it cannot conquer with ease.  We needed a longer trip vehicle when we moved to the city for awhile but decided to keep the Suzuki which still finds much use with little maintenance (Sheri's favorite vehicle).

Over the past few days I have been spending time with the mechanics checking brakes and changing oil on the Nissan and also, changing the glow plugs and fixing a dent on on of the trucks.  The dent happened a couple of years ago and is starting to rust, so best to get it sanded down and painted.  We did not feel the need to fix it real perfect as dents are a part of life here, so we had it banged out as well as it could be, painted and had the bumper straightened so the tire does not hit up against the frame anymore and had a hole repaired in the back side of the head light with fiber glass (so now no dirt will get in the head light weaking the beam).  All for Q100 or about $13.  With changing the glow plugs and fixing the dent, total cost Q570 or $71, with most of the cost on the glow plugs (Q320 / $40).  At least our mechanic costs are low here.  Here are some before and after pics.

Not perfect, but good enough for Chichi! 

Spending time with mechanics is actually quite fun and a great learning experience as these guys can fix almost anything and are very creative in their methods.  They are also very curious about the big gringo and why we are here which gives us plenty of opportunity to talk to them about what we do and why we do it and to slowly invite them to clinics and to invite them to local church services.  A couple are now even interested in stoves and water filters to take a step in bettering their living environments and possibly allowing us to visit with them in their homes.

When time permits and funds permit we will be visiting again to paint some other rusted dents. 

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