During my six-months on the island many challenges were faced and conquered; whether it was going spearfishing (I manned the boat), learning to live without air conditioning, or walking everywhere instead of driving. But there was always one challenge that kept me up at night…driving into town.
For those of you who don’t know “town”is short for Kingstown, the biggest city in SVG, and the place where you can get pretty much anything. It’s also where you will experience some of the craziest driving on the island.
Though I am getting better at driving (no longer hold my breath while cars pass by) driving into town wasn’t high on my list of things to do because it stressed me out, and this made my driving slow or passive. Trust me when I say being passive is one thing you DON’T want to be while driving in town!
Of course there were moments when I needed to go into town for one reason or another. In those situations I would take what Vincentians call a “van” or public transport. These are eighteen passenger vans that for the fee of $4 will transfer you from where you are into the city. Thats the good news…the bad news is they somehow succeed putting twenty people in the van, rap music is constantly blaring, and they are known to be the most dangerous drivers in the city.
- So instead of taking my own van I chose to pay $8 ($4 both ways)
- Get crammed into a small space
- And listen to rap music while putting my life in danger 🙂
The thing is I was willing to go through that discomfort and annoyance to escape the stress of driving in town. But at the same time part of me wondered if a comfortable ride was worth the stress. Yet I wouldn’t act on that idea myself, God would have to force me.
A few weeks ago a large delivery of medicine was delivered to the Kingstown pharmacy for a medical team coming later this month. As you can imagine this delivery came in very large boxes that couldn’t possibly fit onto public transport. So for the third time in six-months I drove into town.
For the first fifteen minutes or so I was incredibly nervous, but eventually started talking with a Church member who came along about Christian camps, the “friend zone”, and my return to the States. Before you knew it we were there and actually survived! The interesting thing about that trip was it showed me I COULD drive into town…not only that but I actually enjoyed it since there wasn’t rap music blaring and someones elbow in my ribs!
This week I drove to town three times and each ones been more comfortable than the last. I’m not sure if going to Kingstown will ever really feel like a Sunday drive to me, but I do know facing our fears (whatever they are) makes us realize they weren’t so scary after all.