Has it already been a month? I guess so, aye?
So to start off, we closed on our car today!! I know I’ve said in the past I wanted to just buy a bike or a scooter, or something to that nature, but they are ridiculous amounts of money here (and it would never get to the top of our hill). We have been looking at vehicles for about 2 weeks now, and finally found one that our mechanic liked in terms of mechanical problems be at a bare minimum. The three things wrong with the car that we were aware of was that the handles on the doors didn’t work (you have to roll the window down to open the door from the outside), the AC wasn’t functional (which is really no big deal down here when you have such a great breeze, especially when driving), the driver’s side seatbelt wasn’t anchored down to the floor to prevent the driver from going on the window in an accident. After looking it over with Wycliff, we found that there was a potential oil leak, but in the grand scheme of things, we just have to add oil to the car frequently. Other than that, everything was great.
The breaks, windows, blinkers and lights all worked, and the transmission supposedly has no problems. When you get down here, work with Wycliff! He’s the best guy down here that I’ve met who does mechanical work. He works SO well with students (and their stupid schedules), insuring that other students/locals don’t sell you an dysfunctional car without taking responsibility for it. Wycliff has made sure to look under the hood at all the cars I was interested in, and didn’t even drive a couple of them due to the state of the vehicle, and test drove them up the longest incline hill on the island. If everything didn’t check out, which was all the cars I looked at except this last one, he told the owners what was wrong, what needed to be fixed before (a) he would drive it and (b) allow us to purchase the vehicle. Most of the students didn’t give a rat’s behind to fix the problems, they just wanted money. Unfortunately, for those students, their cars are likely to sit in a lot and rot; they aren’t going to make any money off of them.
The person that I actually bought my car from was a student that already moved off the island. He was very friendly over Facebook messenger, willing to work with my current budget, which was the determining factor of buying a vehicle. Unfortunately, I only received $9,000 USD to live off for these 5 months (Aug-Dec) with a family. I was able to get the vehicle for $3,100 USD (after paying for my semester’s rent of $3,400 USD) with the deal of paying the full $3,100 USD instead of splitting $3,800 USD into two semesters. The car was originally $4,800 USD, but he dropped it to $3,800 USD when I requested information on it, so I got completely blessed (we had prayed for a vehicle for a long time). And yes, if you did the math I only have about $2,500 USD to live off of for the next 3 months. EEEKKKK.
Oh and by the way, there is a PAYLESS SHOE STORE here! I donated all my shoes before I left with the exception of about 10 (yes, that was the “few” I kept; shoes make me happy), so I haven’t had tennis shoes the whole time, which has been a pain in the behind. I bought a pair of lightweight Champion tennis shoes for $89 EC ($33 USD).
In week 4 and 5, we have 4 tests. All within 2/3/4 days in-between. It sucks! Keep on top of it.