Monday, January 15, 2007

Today we went on a 5.2 mile walk around the perimeter of Camp Foster. It was a beautiful day so it made for an enjoyable workout.
Some things have been happening lately, both good and bad...
About a month ago, during Walk and Roll (a stroller/mom group) my stroller tire went completely flat. I figured it just needed a pump, but upon further inspection, I noticed where the inner tube and the valve met was completely split. This meant I needed a new tire all together. Given our current location, finding a repair shop (let alone, one that has someone who speaks English) was going to be tough. So, I saw this a great opportunity, not open one myself, but buy a new stroller. I hated the stroller I had anyway, it had very small wheels and didn't roll very well. I had bought it on sale because it came with a car seat that was a lot lighter than the one I had previously, and I needed a it seemed like the right purchase at the time. However, then I joined W&R, and soon realized that this wasn't intended for long distances, uneven terrain, nor the hills this instructor has us climbing! So I started looking around at thrift shops, and in the local classifieds, but I hadn't really found anything we could afford at the time. Even used, they were still going for over $100.
Then, my good friend let me borrow hers, since she now has 2 kids and a single stroller does her no good. So, I thought I would save my money and get a new one after a bit.
That's when the car accident happened.
We met, as usual, around 9 am on Monday at our ever changing location to begin Walk and Roll. It had been rainy that morning, but looked like it was going to shape up to be an OK day. However, a little after we arrived, it started sprinkling. Someone, and I won't say who, had the brilliant idea that we should, instead of walking, go out to breakfast. See, we have never done that before, it would have been a first (and fun) time. So the head of the group and another lady knew of a nice place so they instructed us to follow them (by this time it was starting to really rain). We all packed our kids back into our cars and set out in a chain of 6 cars.
Japanese have a way shocking the hell out of you with their driving. One minute they are putzing along below the speed limit and carefully merging into lanes, signalling all the while. And then all of a sudden they STOP, in the middle of the flippin' road, and put their flashers on. They don't really pull over, just kinda "veer" off to the side. And one did just that, in front of the lead car. The reaction times had to be fast, and the first three cars made it into the next lane without any damages, the last three weren't so lucky. It was a blue car, and navy car and then my bright blue teal van. The navy car rear-ended the blue car and pushed her a little ways. I saw it happen, slammed on my breaks, and (since the roads are made of coral and get very slippery when wet) I went sliding for about 15 feet and slammed into the back of the navy car.
No one was hurt, but everyone was shaken up. However, even after getting out and checking the damage, the biggest decision was whether we should try and find the restaurant or go somewhere else (hey, we were hungry) and we didn't know whether the lead cars had stopped or kept going.
Seeing as my headlights had to be "kicked" back into their premanufactured spaces, and my wipers stopped working upon impact, I decided that the best place for me to go was home. I think the rest of the women decided the same, and we all left, very carefully.
When I got home, I gave the woman who runs the W&R a call to leave her message telling her why we never showed up. A few hours later, I got a "check-up" phone call from the woman I rear-ended wanting to make sure everything was OK. Then, she dropped the bombshell. She told me that the women in the front 2 cars had stopped and waited for us up the road, and when we finally didn't show up, they decided to turn around to come get us. They got into the turn lane and made a U-ey (they're legal in Okinawa), but once they straightened out and started heading back, 2 Japanese people slammed into the back of them! Both of those people had to be taken away in ambulances, but the W&R ladies were fine. Well, fine injury wise. They stayed 2 hours dealing with military and Japanese police, and the American was found at fault.

That night, Ethan got a fever that lasted 2 more days. He was cranky, and woke up at least 4 times in the middle of the night.

Paul was in the states on business (of course) while this was all happening, so I had to take Ethan to daycare, take the van down to the body shop, and catch a ride back. They called later that afternoon with my estimate. $1680.00. We paid $1700.00 for the van when we bought the thing a year ago! No way was I spending another 17 getting it fixed! So, this raised a dilemma. Paul would be back in a few days, and carpooling at 5:30 am was not fun, so I had to go look at the lots on base to see if I could find a nice car for cheaper than the repairs would cost.

No comments: