Saturday, July 21, 2007

Goodbye, Old Friend. Goodbye.

How do I start to write the story of our old Toyota bakkie (truck)? It’s been a part of our lives since our kids were pre-schoolers, before our move to Mozambique. In fact, this bakkie was purchased specifically because we had plans to move to Mozambique. Originally, it ran on gasoline which Dwight had to convert to diesel. Diesel was about the only fuel available in Mozambique at the time. The bakkie’s first major task was to move us from South Africa to Mozambique in April, 1993. That was when our adventures in Mozambique began!

In 1993, Mozambique was a country recovering from many years of war. It seemed as though everything everywhere was broken, especially the roads. The jolting and jostling of a drive ANYWHERE pretty much killed the joy of the trip. In the words of a friend, it was cruel and unusual punishment to bounce over sand roads and pot-holed streets in what felt like a tank. The Toyota took to our new life like it was born to it. I, on the other hand, clearly was not!
The poor suspension issue (and some “side effects” of the conversion) aside though, that vehicle outperformed any Dodge Ram or other widely acclaimed 4X4’s out there.

(Hauling stone)

Besides serving as our one and only family vehicle for many years, it bushwacked in place of a bulldozer, pulled trees down then drug them into place for bridges, hauled everything imaginable from crops to building stone to livestock--even a ram who proved his status by bashing out a window. Now that's "ram tough"! It often was our home-away-from-home and was slept in and slept on. We once pitched a tent on top of the canopy so we wouldn’t be sleeping down among the snakes. Essentially, it was a faithful companion and ultimate versatile piece of equipment through the thick and thin of our first 10 years in very difficult circumstances.

(Pulling logs)

(Hauling school benches)

(Hauling people)

Considering the fact that the bakkie was 10 years old already when we bought it, the old thing had been getting pretty tired for the last few years. How does that old saying go... “If it’s not workin’ it’s not breakin’”. That’s what the last several years have been like. My dad, who is a heavy duty mechanic, has fixed it a number of times on his visits to Mozambique. On his most recent visit he said, “I think it’s time to sell the Toyota”. That day will go down in history since my dad can, will and always has fixed anything. When he says, "sell it", you KNOW things are bad! I guess he saw that over the years the old beast was doing alot more breakin’ and a lot less workin’!

(Not workin')

We thought quite a bit about my dad’s suggestion before we actually made the final decision to sell. It took no time to find a new buyer. He complained a bit about the price, as all buyers of used cars do. But Dwight assured him the price was fixed, and should it take too long to sell the thing, he may even change his mind! We felt like we were selling our old friend. The buyer didn't hesitate. His crew of mechanics spent a few days on it and managed to get it working again. There were many smiles on faces as they drove off with our old treasure.

We’re not sure what will eventually replace our old Toyota bakkie. But whatever it is, it will have to be a very versatile work-horse! Farewell old friend. We’ll never forget you!


Amanda said...

WHAT?! I don't remember agreeing on this! :'(

The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

Ahh Lynn I loved this blog, it's so important to bid a proper farewell to a trusted old friend even if it is just a hunk of metal, it carries many fine memories.

Anonymous said...

have to pick between beauty or the beast.

Gimme' the beast back!