Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Taxistas Locos.

Tonight we went to a cumpleanos fiesta, Peruvian style, for our friends Jimmy and Elsa (Tito’s brother and sister). Their family lives closer to the center of Lima, pretty far from Salamanca, so the 12 of us piled into two taxis to get to their apartment. So Peru birthdays, dinner and cake included, consist of singing, playing guitar, and dancing. Fue divertido, pero larga. We finally left at midnight.

We walked a few blocks through the sketchy streets to the combi/taxi stop and again split up into two groups to ride back. The 5 girls, me, Susan, Monica, Romina and Gianella (the vescis) were going to go together, but then they told us we should go with at least one guy so Monica switched with Armando. Our taxi left first, and we noticed he was flying down the street. But then he started swerving like an ant dodging a human foot. The red and yellow of combis and other taxis flashed into our windows while we gasped and Romina screamed, “Senor!” He finally got control and calmed down, but we were a little shaken up. After a few minutes, some other taxi made him mad and he started trying to get revenge by hitting him—again, swerving in and out of combis and cars. He pulled over and the other taxi pulled over under a bridge and both drivers got out. We ran out of the taxi and walked along the edge of the expressway, Susan and I holding Gianella and Romina away from the street. Middle of the night, walking in the middle of nowhere on the side of the highway—not the safest night of my life… But after walking and praying for a few blocks for a Christian driver, Armando found us a taxi. Thank God we had not gone with all girls! As we rode home, Susan asked the taxista, “Senor, eres Cristiano?” and he said he was—pretty direct, gracious answer to prayer. We finally arrived home in one piece and thanked God together for watching out for us in a really tangible way.