Drivers License….

Unbeknownst to Hugo and I, our drivers licenses had long since expired.  We’d had a five year one which we’d gotten in Jayapura, five long years ago.  occasionally the police do what they call “sweepings” here.  A “sweeping” involves them pulling over random people and checking to make sure they have a valid drivers license, a valid registration for the vehicle they are driving, and if on a motorcycle, are sporting a helmet.  In past years they weren’t too picky about what kind of helmet so you had people wearing the flimsiest helmets possible.  But now they are getting a bit more strict.

Just the other day there was a guy in the middle of the road at one of our two red lights in town, wearing a zebra costume and dancing around while official looking folks handed out rather professional looking flyers regarding road safety and helmet use.  I thought the whole road safety thing contradicted a bit with the dancing zebra in the middle of the road…  I wasn’t interested in a flyer but they made me roll down my window and take one and of course there was a guy with a big camera filming the whole thing.  I had just played sports so I looked really….   sweaty…

Okay, back to the drivers licenses.  Over here you go to the police station to get a new drivers license.  Our MAF guy who facilitates these sorts of things went ahead of us.  (Love him!)  On his way he saw that they were “sweeping” on the main road so he called us and told us to take the back way to avoid the “sweeping” because of course, we had expired drivers licenses…  We went in, sat down on the bench and waited.  We had to wait a while and I had a nice little chat with an adorable three-year old Papuan girl who spoke like an adult…  Then it was our turn.  We went into this little room and we had our thumb prints scanned, our photos (horrible!  see photo below) taken and we had to sign a paper that they then scanned and put on our card.  The cards were immediately printed out.  I think they need to clean the printer heads…  And maybe get a new camera or adjust the angle.  I’m not sure I even look humanoid on the photo…  I had just washed my hair so that’s why it’s so flat…

In the room there’s a sign (see photo).  It says, “We aren’t perfect, but we always try.  Underneath the sign is a cot for naps…

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About Erica Feunekes

Myself, my husband Hugo and our five kids live and work in Sentani, Papua, with Mission Aviation Fellowship.
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3 Responses to Drivers License….

  1. doulanic says:

    Awesome photo. 🙂 And yes, don’t we all try to be perfect? Perhaps some organizations more than others, eh?

  2. Karen says:

    OK Had a good laugh at that one Er! Love it!

  3. Ken says:

    sounds like they do need the zebra guy to help with road safety from how you’ve described the traffic. love your candid writing

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