Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gringo With A Machete

We had a funny moment last month when we took a day trip to the pacific coast. For the last 8 miles of the trip, we drive along a dirt road. As we were driving along, we had to stop because there were some large branches in the road and 2 men were cutting up the limbs. There was also an older gentleman who had been riding his bike, but was now chatting with the other guys as he waited to pass.

We stopped the car, and now I (Jeff) had a choice to make. 1) I could wait in the vehicle until they were done, and look like a priveledged gringo, or 2) I could get out and help and end up looking like a crazy gringo. Well, it is a forgone conclusion that I am crazy, so I hopped out of the car, with my machete in hand (you never leave home without one ... it is more useful than a credit card).

Now, without knowing the culture this next part may be hard to understand, but this was one of those rare days that I went out of the house in non-cultural garb. Because we were headed to the beach, I looked more like a tourist wearing my bathing suit, a t-shirt and crocks.

The men were wide-eyed with astonishment as I approached them with my machete in hand. They were probably afraid for their lives, and blinded by the whites of my legs, as they thought: "Oh-no, here comes a crazy - crock wearing - machete wielding Gringo.

I asked for permission to help them and they gave it with a bewildered shrug, and then our machetes began to sing together as we made short work of the branches. I thanked them for their help in clearing the road, and as I got back into the car my wife was having a hard time controlling her laughter at the sight me and the men's response to me. She tried to take a picture without appearing too conspicuous and here it is for your enjoyment as well.