Ready to hear about my HORRIBLE experience on Thursday? My roommate Marina has a car and often lets me borrow it. It’s perfectly legal for me to drive it with my American license and passport, and car insurance in Honduras covers whoever is driving. I was going to the teacher supply store to get a few last minute things with Stephanie and Eric (2 other missionaries) and Stephanie’s Honduran boyfriend. I missed the turn into the plaza and so I had to turn around. There are places everywhere to make u-turns, and people here do it all the time. Perfectly legal.
So at the first u-turn place I saw, I turned around. There was a police officer on the other side of that U-turn who motioned for me to pull over. I started freaking out. He walked up to the car and I handed him my license and my passport. He then informed me that the U-turn I made was illegal and that he was going to take my license. I was talking to him in Spanish with my best American accent because I didn’t want him to think that I knew all the laws because I could speak Spanish- because I really didn’t know that it was illegal to turn around there!! He told me that I had to wait to the next turn around and that I could have caused an accident. I apologized profusely and asked him if he could just give me a warning. He said no, that I broke the law and had to suffer the consequences. “In the United States you have your laws and you have to follow them. It works the same way here.” Stephanie’s boyfriend, Jimmy, explained to the officer that because there was no sign that said you couldn’t turn around; that I should be excused from the offense, because in the States there are signs everywhere. He suggested that we get out of the car and talk to the other officer who was nearby to get a second opinion. I felt like I was going to throw up.
I got out of the car and walked towards the officer. Jimmy was explaining to the 2nd officer what had happened, while I just stood there, nervous as can be. The officer who pulled me over asked what I was doing here and I told him that I was a missionary teacher. I told him that I love rules and always follow them, and that if I had known that it was illegal to do what I did, I never would have done it. He looked at the other officer and said, “Should we let it slide?” The other officer said yes and he gave me my license back. I thanked him, and headed back towards the car. It took every bit of self control to calmly walk back without reacting.
Once I got back to the car I rolled up the windows and let out a huge sigh of relief. I could not believe that I almost got my license revoked by the Honduran police!! While Stephanie and Eric waited for me in the car they prayed the whole time, and it really is by the grace of God that I only given a warning!! Thank you Lord!!!!!