A Miracle Or an Incredible Coincidence on a Highway in the Dominican Republic
A miracle is described as an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. A coincidence, on the other hand, is a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.
How do you know if a miracle has occurred in your life, and it was not "one lucky day!" which favors the fortunate? Let me explain what happened in early April 2009, and perhaps you will understand why I am convinced that a miracle occurred in the 'wink of an eye.'
I was driving on a highway in the Dominican Republic at around nine in the evening. My boss, his business partner and I were going from the city of Santiago to Puerto Plata. When it is not raining, I can make the drive in an hour and a half at most. On this particular night there was a constant drizzle, and the windshield wipers on our rental car were worn-out and ineffective.
The most exciting part of traveling to the Dominican Republic is the people, and the weather is fabulous-when it is not raining, that is! There is a constant breeze from the ocean which permeates the entire island with the fragrance of exotic plants, ripe fruits, and flowers in full bloom. The people are friendly and very cooperative.
We had spent the entire day in Santo Domingo, and we were on our way home. I stopped in Santiago for gas and coffee. I was ready for the next leg of driving, and night had set in. When you are on the open highway, visibility is minimal. If your rental car has poor headlights and worn-out windshield wipers, like ours had, you can get into serious trouble. Since the start of the long drive from Santo Domingo earlier in the evening, I also had to keep tight control of the car for it had a tendency to veer to the left-meaning, the car was also out of alignment to add to my misery.
The main highways in the Dominican Republic are quite ample, and with at least two lanes one way, and two going the other way with plenty of mid-center guard protection. One great asset to throw-in is the wide shoulders on both sides of the road for emergencies. However, here is the biggest and most dangerous factor to consider when driving in the Dominican Republic: many cars and motorcycles drive at night with minimal or no lights at all. These vehicles are so old and worn-out that they simply have no lights left to turn on. But there they are going at fifteen to twenty miles an hour and on the fast lane, nonetheless, and at all hours of the day and night. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the driver with a good vehicle and a decent set of headlights to avoid crashing into them, or very likely get everyone hurt in the process.
When I go to the Dominican Republic, I help a friend of mine with the repairs of his cargo ship which has acim there since last October. I drive very carefully considering all the obstacles that may come up on you suddenly, e.g., stray animals, people crossing the highway, slow cars and motorcycles, bicycles, huge potholes, and more. On this particular evening, I was tired and exhausted from driving all over Santo Domingo looking for repair parts for the ship, and the countless conversations I had to translate from Spanish to English, and back to Spanish for my friend and his business partner who are owners of the cargo ship.
What happened this night, I will never forget! Driving on a four-lane portion of highway between Santiago and Puerto Plata, and only a few miles out of the city, I kept my lights high for better visibility. Whenever a car came on the opposite lanes, I would drop the lights. After a few minutes of raising and dropping the lights I just left the lights in the lower position. I maintained the lights that way for about ten minutes, and I was driving on what we call 'the fast lane'- that's the lane closest to the median. At least in the U.S. we call it that, but in the Dominican Republic it is the lane that anyone can use, and at any speed they wish to go day and night. Apparently, there is a distinction between fast and slow lanes there, but if there is, probably no one really cares, as was the case this evening.