Monday, August 09, 2010

The car is running

Saturday morning July 31 I left my pickup with Martín’s Taller y Jounker (Shop and Junkyard) to have some work done. (Several priests had recommended Martín.) I left a list of what needed to be done with one of the mechanics.

I didn’t get back until last Saturday, August 7. When I arrived the mechanics told me that Martín was out testing the pickup. He soon arrived (with his two sons int he back of the pick up) and told me that there were a few more things to be done. And so he went with me to the Tecno Diesel Laboratorio to get the injectors recalibrated. Jorge, the owner, came out and looked at the car and then we went into his business to talk. He greeted me, “Juan.” He’s involved in the church and recognized me from there.

After about an hour, I returned to pick up the car - recalibrated, with a new battery and air filter. I had to get some lights replaced and so Martín went with me to a nearby car parts place. Getting out of the pickup I saw César, my landlord. His brother is the owner of the shop. We talked and Martín told César that they should take down the newspaper photos of scantily clad women on the walls of the shop.

After all the work was done I went back to Martín’s shop and he prepared the bill. He also told me what I should also do as soon as I can – including replacing the radiator and fan - about $550.

As Martín was calculating the costs, I noticed a copy of the diocese’s second pastoral plan on Martin’s desk.

Reflecting on the morning, two things struck me.

First, how small Santa Rosa is – and how connected I am with so many people, many of whom recognize me even though I cannot place where I may have met them.

Secondly, how pervasive faith is. I don’t think there are many car mechanics I know who would have a copy of the diocesan pastoral plan on their desks or other signs of their involvement with the church. But I’m probably mistaken. My guess is that Tom Carney of Carney Auto Parts in Ames probably has some sign of the family’s faith in their shop (beside the ever-present shamrock!)

Faith really permeates the society here in a way that I have not regularly encountered in the US.

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