Posted by: Kara | August 6, 2009

Jumping off moving trains in foreign lands

I’ve experienced some rather interesting things during my 29 years on this planet and thought my blog would be a great forum to occasionally share some of those crazy tales. Today’s story happened 9 years ago somewhere near Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was on my very first mission trip with College Life through Denton Bible Church. We’d been doing work in the small town of Merlot but on this particular day had traveled to the big city of Buenos Aires to do some sight seeing. After checking out the scenes, we enjoyed some traditional Argentine cuisine (McDonald’s) and went to the massive train station so that we could catch a ride to the smaller town of City Bell. Here’s a shot of the crazy place:

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Now the local Argentine missionary had warned us that these train stops happened very quickly. When they announced your stop, you needed to get up and get off the train. No problemo right? And so we’re all sitting there on our train, chatting and having a good time. The train makes a few stops and I guess within about an hour or two our leader announces, “Here’s our stop guys, let’s go!” I see my group in front of me stepping off the train one by one and I head to the door to follow. I’m carrying my trusty and over sized Jansport backpack that weighed about half of what I do, when I suddenly get the feeling that I left something behind on my seat. I quickly turn around and check under my seat but I apparently for once, actually had all my stuff. I go back towards the exit door when I realize that the train is moving, the doors are closing, and there is loud unintelligible Spanish being spoken over the loud speaker.

I start moving faster as images of me being stuck in some town hundreds of miles away from my team, with no idea how to use an Argentine telephone and Spanish speaking skills that could at best direct me to a bathroom, loom in my head. I make it to the doors which are now closing on top of me and have my backpack wedged in between them. I look off to the right at my fellow teammates standing there with their jaws dropped wondering what in the heck my plan is, now that I am completely stuck. And there I stood…wondering the same thing.

Moment of  truth, do I risk staying on the train and getting totally separated from my group or do I make a jump for it and risk getting trampled by a train? The answer seems pretty clear in hindsight but I was a young and naive little whipper snapper. I see the moving ground beneath my feet and the cement slab in front of me and decide to go for it. One, two, three – straight up James Bond style. I even had a nice roll maneuver. Aside from a little bruise and some soreness the next day I managed to escape unscathed. One of my group leaders, Jenn, later told me that as she stood there watching me make that jump, she was silently wondering how she was going to make the call to my parents to inform them their daughter had just jumped off a train and been run over. Clearly, we’re all glad no one had to make that phone call :).

And here’s a shot of a shaken, more solemn, and hopefully wiser Kara, with one my teammates Jimmy, after it’s all said and done:

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Ahh, buenas epocas…

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