Posts Tagged ‘Santiago’

The Taxi Driver Sent by God

December 17, 2010

Two days ago our interpreter/guide showed up at the house without me knowing she was coming.  Rick knew, but he neglected to mention it to me.  She needed Nora’s Colombian identification card for some such important business.  She was only stopping by quickly because she needed to deliver the card to our lawyer on the far side of Cali. 

We invited our neighbors for dinner that night, making a trip to the grocery store in town necessary that day.  I figured we would do a family trip on the bus.  We had not yet been brave enough… but adventure is out there!  Then I realized I could get dropped off at the store by our guide and take a taxi home!!  I quickly ran a brush through my bed head and asked Austin to accompany me. 

We arrived at Jardin Plaza, where we had shopped before, but didn’t realize there was a grocery store!  We only needed the ingredients for a fine Mexican meal… plus we realized we would have to carry all the bags, so we wouldn’t be long.  I was thrilled to find my first quality flour tortillas in Colombia!  Auntie Connie’s burritos are now famous in South America!  Our neighbor asked for the recipe… twice.  :o)   As we were leaving the store…. sad realization sunk in that I didn’t remember the full name of where we are staying to tell a taxi driver.   The name is Ciudad Campestre El Castillo Conjunto Herrerier #1.  I could only remember Castillo. 

Austin thought he solved the problem by suggesting we call our guide.  That’s all fine and good if I had the cell phone she gave us.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t know her number either.  The next solution I thought of was to call Santiago, a wonderful taxi driver that we have been using for three weeks.  But I didn’t have his card with me.  We knew where the hundreds of taxi drivers lined up at Jardin Plaza so we headed there…. with dread in my heart.  I knew I could explain that we needed to go toward Jamundi… but you’re supposed to agree on a price before you get into the taxi… and we didn’t need to go all the way to Jamundi.  I could say “our house is in the middle of Cali and Jamundi”… but that wasn’t true… it was ALMOST to Jamundi.  I had heard Rick negotiate with the taxi drivers in that very spot… they started at $28,000 pesos ($15 US).  I knew Santiago only charged us $13,000 pesos. I hate bartering!

Just as we emerged from the plaza, I spotted God’s little gift to me that day…. SANTIAGO was the first taxi driver in the line of 57 cars!!  “Look who it is, Austin!” I said quickly as I hurried to get his car!  “Hola, mi amigo!”  and I truly meant “my friend” at that moment.  I asked if he could take us home, he said it would be his pleasure and he removed the grocery bags from my hands.  “God is taking care of us today!” I told Austin and he agreed.  I marvelled once again at the Lord ordering our steps!  Santiago speaks very rapidly in Spanish and I can’t understand most of what he says, but after we got in his taxi he said something to the effect of “that was perfect timing!”  I replied, “Gloria a Dios!” (Glory to God!)  Then he smiled in the rear view mirror at me.