LETTER: Pfunanane Academy bids farewell to Mpho… Can you help fill his tyres?

Mpho the Toyota Condor transporting children from Pfunanane.

The LETABA HERALD received the following letter from Pfunanane Academy’s tired Toyota Condor, ‘Mpho’…

Hi!

My name is Mpho (a Sepedi word meaning “gift”) and I am a 2004 Toyota Condor 4×4. I am tired now, and at the end of my days, but I have had a long and fruitful life with the Terwey family – they have driven me almost 400,000 kilometres! Those guys sure stay busy!

I am supposed to hold only 7 people, but I regularly stuff in as many as 15 – to church, cross country meets, school trips, funerals, weddings, the airport, you name it. It was easier when the kids were really little (see picture), but for some reason they have gotten bigger and bigger! Most weekends I am busy being a funeral vehicle, unless I am at some sort of sporting event or pulling a horse trailer and two really heavy horses. Sometimes when I am pulling the horses, I like to just stop and refuse to go any more, as I feel it should be the horses’ turn to carry the humans.

It is a fun trick of mine, stopping and refusing to go, and my lucky humans have had many adventures on the side of the road because of it. We have also had many adventures driving through villages – those are some tough roads! It takes a special car to make it up and down dirt roads, mud, rocks, and hills, so I always get to take the village trips, usually carrying food and other things to give out to people. People in the villages know me well, and some get excited when they see me coming. They can also hear me coming from quite a distance, as I like to make lots of noise!

This is handy whenever Sarah or Mark pick up the kids from school, because the kids can hear me from far away and know to come outside.

Sarah likes to brag about all the stuff I can hold – I once carried 11 bales of hay in one trip! Once I even carried a whole couch – I have helped a lot of people move! I have driven a lot of people to and from hospitals, and so far I have managed not to stop on the side of the road then, because I know it’s important. I know it’s important when I am called upon to pick up a kid in the middle of the night too – Sarah says that’s an emergency.

I have taught a lot of people to drive – once Nyiko confused the gas and the brake and we almost drove off a cliff. It was exciting! I got some new parts from that adventure, as I accidentally drove over some big stumps. My reward for teaching people to drive seems to be getting a new clutch every once in a while. I have lots of dings and dents, but that just adds to my charm! Sarah says she doesn’t mind, because people are less likely to steal me.

I am getting tired though, from doing all this ministry and hard work. I’m told that I can’t be fixed anymore, and the Terweys need to find a younger car to take over the special work that I do.

This is sad for them, as they really love me, and they say a younger car is expensive. As my last important job I want to help them get enough money for a car special enough to take over for me.

I’ve got big tires to fill – he needs to hold lots of people, pull heavy stuff, and be able to drive on rough roads!

They stopped making Condors the year I was born, but if you think you could help them get a car good enough to replace me, Sarah says she will put the information you need at the bottom of my letter. And thank you SO much to all of you who have helped to keep me going all these years!!!

Love, Mpho

Sooo… A good used Toyota Fortuner, which seems to be the best car to meet our needs, runs between $12,000 and $15,000 (and financing is incredibly expensive here). If you’d like to help us buy any part of it – a tire! a fender! – you can send a check to our ministry P.O. Box (in which 100% of the donation goes toward the car purchase) or give online through our Allegro account (in which a small percentage is taken out for admin costs).

  AUTHOR
Beth Coetzee
Journalist

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