Our go-to-guy in Guatemala, Berny Leonardo, was at the dock the next day to see about getting the rig through the customs process. He presented the paperwork to the dock master and began to talk about money. When a figure had been arrived at which was higher than expected but still within the realm of sanity, it seemed that all was working out. Then the customs man announced that there was a “problem” which is usually a sign that more money is needed, but not this time. He could not find the VIN on the truck.
After several phone calls to the states and useless attempts to find the VIN on the 1942 GMC 6×6 military vehicle, Berny began to realize the magnitude of the “problem”. Without the VIN it became obvious that the rig would not be released. The specter of delay contributed to the risk of theft and “storage fees” that would soon place the rig out of our financial grasp and result in its loss to us. Berny left the docks and went to a small boarding hotel for the night. After much prayer and little sleep, he started back to the dock without much hope or a plan. He passed a little store and without thinking wandered in to look around. His attention was drawn to a plastic label maker. He bought it for a few Quetzals and got onto a bus to go to the dock. On the bus he created the VIN number off the paperwork onto a blue label with the label maker.
Upon arrival at the dock, he asked if he could look at the rig one more time. The dock master said yes and waved Berny out the door. Berny went straight to the rig, peeled off the back of the label and stuck it inside the cab above the windshield. He then walked back to the office and announced that he had “found the number”. The customs man confirmed it without comment, took the US $12,000.00 and stamped the documents. The rig was released. Now his task was to get it to the school without incident.
That is another story and another miracle.
If you would like to help us, please contact Gary or Lynn Bartholomew at 509-466-5075 or 509 466-5134