Paula was stopped at one of the three traffic lights in town a couple days ago in our little red pickup truck. She was waiting for the light to change and had been stopped for several moments. Then, she felt like what seemed like an explosion, knocking her head into the rear window, bouncing it into the front window and back to the rear again. She got out to look at what happened when she noticed an older man in an older white pickup truck right behind her. He backed up and drove away. The white truck had rear ended our pickup. As so often happens here, the guilty party fled the scene.
As you can imagine, Paula was pretty shaken up and had difficulty driving back. In fact, the collision jarred the battery cable loose and when she tried to start the truck later in the evening, it would not start. To top it off, she was out of minutes on her phone so she just waited until I thought she was running late and gave her a call.
She has a very sore neck. The truck sustained minor damage but it wasn't anything to look at before the hit. We are getting it repaired because the tailgate cannot be opened.
Of course, I was a bit enraged that someone would hit the truck, injure Paula and leave her behind. I absolutely had to report the accident to the police the next day. Jose and I want to the police station and were waiting outside the "Transito" office (transito police are the ones that deal with traffic violations). Behind us walked up a man that introduced himself as the "jefe" (boss) of the transito police.
We told the policeman that there was an accident and showed him the damage. We also told him about the injuries Paula sustained. He made some small talk and ended up saying "If you find the guy that did this, call me and we'll take care of it.". No formal report was made. Nothing was written down.
The hit and run guy probably lives in town because he was driving into town late in the afternoon. Policemen know about every vehicle in the city because they stop us every month or so on average. Silly of me I know, but I really thought that in such a small town you might be able to file a report and one policeman might say, "Oh, I know that guy, he lives over in...". There was no such luck.
From there the conversation turned to how I could procure a computer for his family and give a discount on pigs to the police.
This morning IHNFA (child protective services of Honduras) showed up unexpectedly, as always, and asked for 15 minutes of our time to fill out documents. 15 minutes became just over an hour of questions and crosstalk. The end result was that we were not legal and need to go to Tegucigalpa to obtain IHNFA identity cards.
I like dealing with the government officials here in the same way I like hitting myself in the head with a ballpin hammer. Because when you stop doing it, it feels better. In the same way, I enjoy travelling to Tegucigalpa.
In the grand scheme of things, these problems are little. I just have to remember why we are here and not to sweat the small stuff. In the words of the famous philosopher, Bob the Cucumber, (sing along now) "God is bigger than the boogie man. He's bigger than Godzilla and the monsters on TV. God is bigger than the boogie man and he's looking out for you and me...".