Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Putting It To A Vote-The Zebra Stripe

As many of you have been praying about our vehicle situation here is an update and stick around until the end because we need your vote!

Most parking lots catering to expatriates look something like this:

IMG 0192

IMG 0193

Full of the standard issue vehicles, Hard top Toyota Landcruisers. These vehicles just keep on going and are the African edition, built incredibly sturdy. This is what we were advised to get as well. All well and good until one starts to investigate the insanity obtaining vehicles here. We are talking over $90,000 for a 10 year old vehicle and, we haven't even been able to find one hard top to look at (We did see one Arabic version, built less hardy, but it was newer and at $120k, we had to walk away). Pictured on the right is a Toyota Prado. Commonly referred to as "sissy", yeah, no pressure here.

In general, vehicles are an incredible cost here for many reasons I cannot explain on a blog.

So, enter a friend serving in a very remote location talking to Jon about a…minibus. He drives a 4WDr Hard Top Landcruiser with a full front bull bar, a wench, large front spotlights and a snorkel and he convinced Jon that their next vehicle is going to be a minibus.

 Toyota HiAces are public transport and they are popping up in remote locations all over this country.

I dragged my feet for awhile, I am very apprehensive about losing the 4-wheel drive capability. We did lists of pros and cons.


A photo of a HiAce

Toyota HiAce (Minibus):

-Brand new $40k

-We may get stuck in the mud but we can get pushed or pulled out. There may be certain times of year when certain routes are not possible.

-Can seat twelve people and have plenty of inside storage

-Rack on top can fit more stuff

-We can start a taxi business on our free days. ;)

-Have to wait 5-6 months for the vehicle to arrive (used Toyota HiAce on the lots cost MORE than a new one because you don't have to wait).

-Hold their value dollar for dollar better than all other vehicles.

-It's big, small front end but LONG back.

Toyota Landcruiser:

-Umm…we can't find ONE available in our price range under $90k

-We won't get stuck in the mud because of our 4 wheel drive-may get stuck because of engine troubles as 10+ year engines have issues

-Depending on seating, can usually fit around 8 people but leaves room for only a bit of inside storage, rack on top adds

-It's so cool looking, what I think "real" missionaries in Ethiopia should drive. 

-With a snorkel, can cross rivers

-Hold their value pretty well

-It's big.

Can you guess what we chose?

Yep, we are going to be proud owners of a MINIBUS. A big white one. Yeah, umm, so try to contain your jealousy. We are the first "down country" family within our organization to try a non-4wheel drive and I guess if it goes well, others may follow suit and if our experience is poor, everyone will battle it out for Landcruisers. 

And we are now waiting for it to arrive for the next five months.

Now for the vote:

I was feeling pretty neutral about the whole thing but glad a decision was made. Until I looked over in traffic and saw this. "Eek! Jon, can we paint our van like that?!" He actually thought it was a great idea. 


Having a giant zebra van may hurt the resale but it would be super-fun.

What do you think? May your opinion be known in the side bar.  


Matt and Kristi said...

YES! Paint it with zebra stripes! How awesome would that be?! And, aren't zebras striped in order to camouflage themselves in tall grasses? What better way to "fit in" in Ethiopia--those zebra stripes will help to just disappear into the Ethiopian culture, right?! :)

Jeff Waibel said...

Why stop at zebra? Why not cat, or turtle, or skunk?

Anonymous said...

I say go for it! Zebra stripes would be cool. But of course, that's coming from somebody whose car has been nicknamed by many, "The Shiny Turd." Just look up "2009 gold focus" on Google images, and you'll see why!

Kristen Hoerr said...

I have to tell you I voted no. I'm too conventional I guess. :) I think I prematurely formed my opinion when I saw your instagram and thought you and Jon had opposing view points. however, if you are united on this idea, maybe it's a go. You didn't give me an option for a "Maybe" vote. :)

Britni said...

Yes, yes, and yes. Also, perhaps consider stepping off the beaten path of only using black/white? ;)

Betsy said...

In additional to starting a taxi service you could also get into the safari business!!?!

J and A said...

I think it'd be fun! I'd say you are artsy enough that you could go further and paint it with cheetah spots or something, but I guess with the white base, the zebra is more economically friendly ;) and shoot, when you have visitors, I'm sure you will be pointing out the sights enough that you will feel like a safari driver anyways :)

Jenna said...

I think I vote yes too. It might actually help your ministry because people will recognize you "around town", but in another way it might hurt because if people know that the zebra bus is the rich white americans than people will also know where you live and you might have more break ins... food for thought! I hate being practical though. :)

Anonymous said...

I vote white because we have long history of being fond of white vans in our family! Also, I don't think you want to be more noticed than you already are! :-)


Todd ~ Teresa said...

We're pretty practical here. We're not sure that's what you want the people in your community to take note about you and we are concerned about your safety.

Sheila Schwab said...

Amy - We have a delivery van that is wrapped in strawberry decals ... It's amazing what a marketing statement it can be. That being said, I drive that vehicle a bit differently because EVERYONE knows it's associated with the farm. So, if you don't mind EVERYONE knowing immediately it's you, I would said paint away.


Anonymous said...

From Betsy's comment... I think zebra would go well if you start a safari business. Keep you better camouflaged from "man-eating beasts"... :)


Christen Leigh said...

Such a fun idea! Although I have to echo the other more "practical" posters--maybe it would make you stick out even more than you already do? I don't know though.....maybe it would be a fun "marker". :)

Sheila said...

I say "yes"! You didn't go on this mission to hide! God is in control and I totally believe He gave you this God Wink! Have some fun! The girls will love it and your ministry will be easily recognized! Unless if course you start a new fad!!!