The Honey Badger Diaries
We’re not beating about the bush anymore! It’s been two years since I had my momentum dilucide and announced our longing to spend our “retirement” bush whacking throughout Africa.
Our dream is a reality. With fingers crossed Precious was able to secure a viewing of a vehicle and on Thursday two weeks ago Precious and pal George, whom Butch accompanied to Botswana 30 years ago for the first time, winged themselves off to Johannesburg to inspect an Isuzu 300 4X4 truck. They put it through all sorts of tests, took a close inspection of all its vital statistics and unanimously agreed this was to be our girl.
With a spring in their steps the two inspectors reported to me that we’d hit the jackpot, here was a vehicle with a very low mileage, good age and in excellent condition, with a service record to boot!
A contract to purchase was duly signed (lawyers do things like that) and we’d settle scores as soon as the vehicle was handed over to us in Worcester. The owner would deliver the vehicle to us himself and it was with huge excitement that we took possession of our Isuzu last Thursday.
In Afrikaans we say “die een se brood is ‘n ander se dood” (quenching one person’s hunger could be the death of another) and with much emotion Wian Marais bid his vehicle goodbye after he’d safely parked our Honey Badger with our local panel beater, Basil Niemand, the owner of M&N Bakwerke, who has space in his large workshop to safely garage our truck. We’re also free to admire and coo as much and as often as we like! Basil has his thinking cap on and regularly reports back with interesting tidbits.
My status on Social Media on Valentine’s Day read “Most gals get cards, roses, diamonds or chocolates from their Valentines, my Precious Vaaltyn bought me a truck! Our dreams of traveling through Africa are coming together! Whoop-whoop! Will keep you posted via my blog”. A record (for me) 134 "likes" and 53 Comments!
Much to our surprise this announcement has sparked a lot of excitement, speculation and idle chatter wherever we go. We have lists of suggestions coming in, some good, some impractical, but mostly our minds have been opened to ideas which we’ll certainly consider and mull over. Fortunately we have plenty of time to investigate all our options. Some of the ideas are far too grand (Debbie) but, one can but dream. Mossie, from Tyre King, tyre centre has given us an excellent idea for a rooftop gazebo! So with a limited budget we’re going to take baby steps, although we’re already dreaming of a trip to Mana Pools in May to experiement and see how she "feels".
Our engineering friend and perfectionist, Hannes Cook of Vissers Engineering has been to inspect and with bated breaths we waited for his verdict, he solemnly declared we’ve got a winner on our hands! The most overwhelming and heartening opinion has been that we’re embarking on a dream that many people would love to do and have on their bucket lists.
We’re calling her The Honey Badger and I’ve just discovered that “Nsele” means honey badger in the Zulu language. It is a cultural belief that if a Nsele comes into your life, a miracle has occurred. I agree.
On Monday evening the other George asked what colour would The Honey Badger be, Emily chimed in "Cheetah print!", her favourite design, can you imagine this huge predator ambling along? And I thought red (our Land Cruiser) was like a cloth to a bullfight.
Small town living has it's advantages and this paid off when it came to registering the vehicle. The thought of paperwork, the long wait in queues, roadworthy tests etc was daunting but, with the help of our friend Sam Myers who took over the administration we had our new licence within hours. Thank you Sam you're a star.
Wian thank you for driving all the way to Worcester to deliver the truck, your enthusiasm and fondness of the vehicle makes us confident that we’ve purchased the right product. We hope you’ll follow our journey and we wish you the very best with your new venture. Like the Cottar family's 1923 picnic we hope we'll be able to send you a similar photograph in a few years time.
If you’d like to participate in our journey and you have knowledge of, or ideas for, the conversion of our vehicle please send them to: we’d be delighted. A photograph or video clip and website address is always useful as a reference too. To receive regular updates on our progress please SUBSCRIBE to my blog.
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When our Honey Badger grows up we hope she'll look something like the picture below!