It seems like a long time ago that I promised to show a picture of the modified truck. I am so glad you were not holding your breath on pins and needles like I was to see what it would look like!
Can you believe it is the same truck?
As soon as the last job was done on modifications, Tucker and I were off for home! KhonKaen is a very large city and we longed for our jungle home! KhonKaen is a super long way from MaeSot, and with the red license plate there is a curfew. The red license means that the truck was purchased in somebody else’s name. We were not allowed to drive it past 6 p.m. and it was already 5 p.m.. Consequently we did the entire trip the next day which is 9 hours all the way to Sunshine Orchard school to pick up BletJaw, and then about 5 more hours from there to BYT. Fourteen long hours of driving. This new truck is about to get broken in. It will soon understand what kind of life is ahead for it – – Not an easy one!
BletJaw began to drive it on the bad roads. It is not like the Mitsubishi. We discovered that 4WD high is no good on these roads. On one particular steep and rocky corner, we found ourselves in trouble. The truck did not make it. Every time BletJaw tried to start up, it would not pull forward, but stall and roll back a little more. There did not seem to be enough power to pull us up. We were perplexed about that, but even more concerned about the position of the truck. It was now in a precarious position with both right tires hanging over a precipice! One more tiny roll backwards and over we would go. This is serious! We put rocks behind the back tires, and considered our situation. We must turn left to get out of there, but there were only jagged rocks and it would not pull. There was to be NO backing up!
BletJaw handed me the keys with a faint smile and said: “It’s up to you!”
Just then I pictured clearly in my mind the many times we had been in trouble with the Mitsubishi. I saw how the angels pushed us up numerous impossible, steep, rutted, mud laden roads. “So many miracles Lord,” I breathed. “Thank you and now just one more Lord. Please. You have given us this beautiful truck, and not only that, but it has been lifted. It has suspension with stabilizing bars. It has 33 inch 4X4 tires. It has steel bumpers, a winch, skid plate and steel guards underneath. It has everything to make it strong. It is a gift straight from Your loving hand. It is here to do Your work in Your way—-not to go over the cliff just now! Please help us.”
I sat there behind the steering wheel for a long minute praying, then I put it in 4WD low and drove that Toyota to the left, up over those jagged rocks, up that hill and away from the frightful precipice!
“Oh! Thank you dear Lord!”
We discovered after that episode that this truck must stay in 4WD low the entire time. This gear is very strong and terrific.
I found out later from the 4X4 mechanic that 4WD high is for more flat terrain. It sends all the help to the one wheel that is in trouble. The 4WD low is for steep places. Another wonderful thing I learned about 4WD that I NEVER knew before, is that in 4WD low first gear, you do not have to use the clutch!!!!! You can even start the engine up without the clutch! Then as you are coming down something very steep and treacherous, you don’t need to worry if you stop without the clutch, the engine won’t stall out. 4WD low holds you back a lot on steep descents, but using the clutch lets the truck go! Now we don’t have to worry about that! Also these very large tires cause the gear ratio to lessen which is why we cannot use 4WD high with such a good effect. If you’re a mechanic reading this, and you know more about stuff like this please let me know more!
Now we are in BYT at last. People here have stayed sick just waiting for us to come back. It seems they are swarming in, but in just a few days BletJaw had to leave for 9 days! He took the motor bike, and there I was with my poor language skills! I am so thankful that Tucker is here! Nothing is as stressful when there are 2 people. Things were going really well, I figured that the beautiful new truck could wait for BletJaw to come back. It could take a rest. WRONG!! What is the new truck for anyway?!!
At 6 a.m. the next morning someone began to knock on our front door. It was Taxsin, a 20 year old boy from BYT that I knew very well. He had been bitten by a green pit viper on his left hand the day before! He could not get to me any sooner. Now his hand was more than twice its size and had an ashen color to it. I knew the poison was in the blood stream by now. He was in extreme pain. I took him the 2 hours to MeDooGlow clinic where he was taken on to Omkoi hospital. The road was terrible that direction. At one point they were putting new cement down and a detour had to be made over the steepest most torn up pathway you could ever imagine. There was such a sharp corner on a hill that had to be made perfectly or else you would hit the side of a bank and then roll your tires on the wet concrete and ruin it. It was downhill going out and uphill coming back. What an obstacle course for a new truck and a beginning new truck driver!! (However the patient got taken care of and is now better)! I parked the truck carefully after that episode and told myself that there it would stay until BletJaw came back to do the driving.
That night at sunset a 30 year old lady returned to see me. I had sent her to the hospital the day before. She had said she had someone to take her, but apparently that fell through. This lady is very sick. She is worse today. She has the loudest heart murmur that I have ever heard. She is so weak and tired that she can hardly walk. Her skin is slightly cyanotic (blue) and diaphoretic (Sweating, cold clammy skin). I take one look, take the vital signs and tell Tucker:
“We’re going back to the hospital!”
Four more hours of driving, and we return home at 10p.m. (I still have not heard how this lady is doing).
I am afraid to think that the truck will stay put until BletJaw comes home. I think it probably won’t and I am right!!
The following night someone comes and calls me to go check E Pe, a young girl in WahSueTah who is having labor pains. I know her well, she had a miscarriage a long time ago and almost bled to death. I am afraid she will have to be taken to MeDooGlow. She is eight months pregnant and having false contractions with complications. It is late once again. The sun is already setting behind the western mountains and I am already tired. I look at my watch – we will be back at 10p.m. Oh how I wish BletJaw were here. This girl is taken in. She stays 4 days in Omkoi and finally delivered a healthy baby boy!
The truck is no longer clean. I have just totaled 12 hours of driving on the bad roads in two days. It is now broken in to its life work! It is driving so well. The larger tires are wonderful over those rough ruts. (All except they rub on the fenders in the turns, which we got fixed later) It drives so tight and well with no rattles, bangs or vibrations. It still has the lovely new smell, and now it has already helped to save 3 desperately ill patients.