Anyone who has ventured far knows that driving and riding vehicles outside the United States is always an adventure. An adventure in the sense of being dangerous, haphazard and unpredictable. Now, picture little ol' blond me behind the wheel in a truck that has got to be as old as I am and pointed down the left side of the road, the opposite side than I was used to driving on. Throw in a truck bed full of kids on the Burmese-Thai border...and that completes the picture.
It always starts out so innocently enough. What's the harm in driving a truck-full of kids to school? Did I mention the truck was a manual and I was driving on dirt "roads"? Going downhill? Anyways, as I was driving down the Bamboo School* driveway I took a left onto the main village road and felt a good sized bump. I didn't think anything about it because the road literally has two-foot ruts in it until I hear a loud chorus of "Teacher! Teacher!" I slow down and turn around to see what they are yelling about when I see a great big geyser of water shooting up behind me. Little ol' blonde me had just ran over the village's main water supply line that had been so conveniently placed near the road. It was quite easy to run it over there, but now the hard part was figuring out what in the world was a person suppose to do after running over a water line, in Thailand.
Fortunately, one of the locals hopped on his motorbike and rode down to the local municipal office to get help while I doggedly drove the kids to school, a little wetter than when we had started and with a new town fixture spewing in the background. (Didn't you think a water fountain was just what the village needed?) A little while later, the kids safely studying at school, I am trudging very red-faced down the now muddy, rutty drive. It had to be a site the whole village enjoyed as I handed out ice cold water to the burly, muddy Thai repairmen.
Unfortunately, the adventures of the Old Green Truck do not stop there. More adventures to come soon.