That’s Not What I Was Planning to Do

For the morning, things went fairly normally. After chores, I had office work. Steph was baking cupcakes. Percy was working on the kid pen.

I got my office work done and went out to help Percy. We needed the truck, so I went to start it, but I could not find the keys. I searched all over the house before checking the truck. They were in the ignition. The doors were locked.

This is a troublesome thing about the truck. It locks automatically and quickly. I’ve had a number of close calls with that. Finally, I left the keys in without leaving a window open.

Percy happened to have worked as a locksmith when he was younger and lived in Lima. He tried one method of trying to get to the lock by sliding down past the window after removing the window trim. No dice.

He did that on both front doors, but the only progress made was ruining the trim pieces. Next he pried out the top-most corner of a door and fed wire in to try to unlock the lock. Nothing doing.

I suggested trying to push the unlock button, but he didn’t think it would work, so he didn’t want to try, but finally he tried. Boop! The doors were unlocked. That was a few hours gone.

In the meantime, Daniel Prieto arrived. At one point he declared he could get the door unlocked. “I have eyes like an eagle!” he said. He went feverishly to work making lots of noise and scratches with the wire he’d taken from Percy who looked on in astonishment.

Finally, he gave up. “You may have eagle eyes, but you need patience,” Percy said matter-of-factly.

It was well after lunch when we got the keys out, and I needed to go to town to sell bread. Daniel asked for a ride to town to sell his books. He said he needed enough money for pasaje for a bus to Arequipa where his wife and children are.

I talked quickly with Percy and Steph and decided to take Daniel to the bus station in Cusco and pay his way. Arequipa is over twelve hours away by bus, they say.

Daniel was thrilled. He said it was the blessing of God and began shouting hallelujahs–literally. I dropped off my breads with Daniel helping hand out the deliveries. At Rafael’s, they decided someone should go along to make sure Daniel didn’t deceive me. Elisabet happened to have a dentist appointment in Cusco, so she accompanied us, riding in the back.

On the way, Daniel talked about surprising his wife and looking forward to seeing his children. He seemed excited. He told me what turns to make to get to the bus station. We got up to the station, and the lady at the counter asked for his DNI to print out the ticket.

Daniel had told me it was over S/100 for a ticket. Turns out it was only S/30. He said for me not to bother going with him to the station; he’d just go alone. Turns out it was good I did. He decided he didn’t want to go to Arequipa after all.

Both Elisabet and the lady behind the counter lit into him. They told him what a shame it was to deceive me, to waste my time, and to refuse the ticket. They really gave him the what for.

He said he would be ready to travel on Monday, but he needed to pay an account he’d opened. Elisabet talked more with the lady about tickets for next week. I talked with Daniel about the truth of his intentions.

I kept pressuring him. He said he had a few hundred to pay. Maybe S/600. Actually, over S/1,000. He remembers it was close to S/1,500. The truth is he owes over S/2,000, he said.

He is going to sell a lot of books by Monday and pay the S/2,000 (an impossibility) then he’ll be ready to go. Elisabet rejoined us and gave him another talk, telling him how shameful his actions were. But we told him if he calls us, I’ll come back and buy his ticket. Elisabet also gave him the store number and told him if he can’t reach me by phone, they will come buy his ticket.

She further told him not to return to Izcuchaca until his debts were paid. He said he wouldn’t, and I sort of think he won’t. Then he went off, singing to himself and offering books to passers-by.

I left Elisabet to go to the dentist and called Rafael. “David, what am I going to do with you?! You cannot help these people! Why do you keep trusting them?”

Well, maybe I can’t help them. But I’ll keep trying to do my best, I guess. I told him I just try to do what I think Jesus would do. I got home at bedtime. Tomorrow is another day.

The keys. So close. So far away.
Daniel… helping.
Daniel opened the door when Percy unlocked it. He was shouting about how he’d unlocked the door. Percy looked unimpressed.