Friday, March 2, 2007

I'll have a tuna salad & shot gun, please

It's been a long hard slog on the road, praying as I plod along dead straight roads across dry lowland savanna in sweltering central Venezuela. Yesterday at the 20km mark I stopped at a farm entrance to eat my 1st lunch. The farm house was 100m off the road & as I sat down I spotted someone peering around the corner of the house at me. I sat down regardless, resting against the front fence and watched the traffic go by as I ate my tuna & vegetables on honey wheat biscuits. Ten minutes later I heard a very soft & near, "Oi". Startled, I swung around to find myself looking down the barrel of a pump action shot gun. This was far more frightening than the puma encounter & I very quickly jumped to my feet & backed away from him pleading for the gun to be lowered. I can say with authority that the inside of a gun barrel is very dark - there is no light at the end of the barrel! Eventually I was standing on the edge of the highway, arms raised & trucks hurtling past me. The farmer was irrate & kept me lined up. In broken spanish I explained who I was & what I was doing. He yelled at me to "Go!" but after a little more explanation he finally lowered the gun and allowed me to return to my backpack which he was standing over. Not quite sure what to say to someone who's just lined me up with a pump action shot gun I smiled and enquired, "You want half my biscuit?" At last he smiled slightly and thankfully he declined... I looked down at my biscuit & realised it was now in a million pieces so it may have been difficult to share. I very slowly and cautiously got my gear together & kept talking to him as I did so. It turns out he thought I was a robber and said to me, "It's very dangerous around here." Yeah, no kidding!! I can't imagine why... Incredibly, as I prepared to leave, I had the oppurtunity to show him what I was doing and he was intrigued about my mission. Then he posed for me for a photograph! He invited me to stay & finish my lunch but I told him I was pretty much done & hit the road again. Time for some sorrowful mysteries on the old rosary. By the grace of God I arrived in the most hospitable town I've come across yet and ended up having a great time with the locals, sharing my adventures on the road and inviting them to pray for unity. Likewise, please keep praying. By the way, if upon my return I start talking about the time a puma held me at gun point and tried to get into my bed, you'll know it's all become one big blur.
Peace! Samo.


Anonymous said...

Dude, miss me?
That gun thing's like the scariest thing in the world!!!! You're bloomin inspriational!!
We're all praying for you big time!!!
Don;t miss me too much!!!
Love N Prayers, Lizz

Martin, Lisa, Olivia, Emily & Julian Pannell said...

Hey Sam, Did you want me to punch Lizz for you whilst you're away? I'm happy to help out, MP.

Martin, Lisa, Olivia, Emily & Julian Pannell said...

Hey Sam, Did you want me to punch Lizz for you whilst you're away? MP

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to Martin!!! He's a bit silly!!! You're a nice person right!!!!

Marty said...


did you get a photo of the puma?

-Marty and Duncan Mac