Trade Tale: Learning How to Drive

Learning how to drive takes time… and trust. Liz had the time to learn and Willie had the time and the car to help her learn.

Willie was comfortable to use his vehicle with Liz as they had traded in the Timebank before. Liz had helped Willie with meal preparation. They got on well, easily could meet due to their location and both had the afternoons available for weekly practice. They met 11 times – totaling 11 hours traded.

Perhaps the most challenging skill to master when learning is the hill start. During one practice day, Liz and Willie were making their way through an uphill roundabout -- everything went wrong at once. Starting, rolling back, stalling and then blaring car horns from all directions. Liz’s confidence quickly drained, especially when another driver rolled down his window and started shouting profanities at her. Liz recalls, “Willie took one quick, alarmed look behind, decided I didn't have to hear what he was saying, and coached me through getting up the hill. In no time I had made it up the hill, and he was telling me to never let other drivers' frustrations get to me. Whatever embarrassment [Willie] might have had from that experience, he put it aside to help me learn.”

Image from Cubic Film

Willie also learnt a lot on this trade. He had forgotten how hard it is to be a new driver, “this trade helped me be more aware of other cars and learner drivers. I would spot the “L” and give more space and time. Not everyone is confident, compared to someone who’s had say, 10 years of experience.” This experience also helped him reflect on his own driving and treatment of others on the road.

Both Liz and Willie feel that this trade is a part of their larger connection to the Timebank. Liz says, “I feel that [the] Timebank is a great opportunity to try new things, be part of a community, and gain confidence in your own skills. Everyone has something they want to learn, and I think [the]Timebank makes a great stepping stone to do that from.” Willie says, “I want to be a part of the community, so I make time. I want the Timebank to be part of my time.”