Keeping the Leopard bus on the road

Keeping the Leopard bus on the road
Published: 21 October 2015

The Environmental Education Project is heavily dependent on the good health of its Mercedes work horse, and recently one thing after another went wrong with the bus.  It would impact heavily on us having to deal with these misfortunes alone, and it was entirely because of the kindness and generosity of our sponsors and valued partners who sprang into action that made sure our children would make it to their camps; Environmental Educator Hadley Lyners shares the story:

Regular journeys on the roads to and from the Cederberg mean that our Mercedes Sprinter bus has to endure quite a bit of rough and rugged terrain, and it does this exceedingly well, but once in a while it needs some TLC, as was the case recently. Everything needed repairing at once, and with a quick turnaround before the next camp, the pressure was on to get things done.  Our partner, Bridgestone was first off the blocks and particularly generous, providing us with 7 brand new tyres and a spare for the bus. It didn’t end there - the trailer too got shod with 3 brand new tyres, plus a replacement for its spare wheel.

Max-T in Stikland and Supa Quick (Century City) under the guidance of Malcolm were fantastic and fitted the tyres for the bus and trailer respectively. The team turned into  Supa-Men and also replaced a recently fitted shock at the rear which turned out was defective. Supa Quick also provided us with a loan tyre for the spare wheel to give Catherine peace of mind for her camp with Velddrif High School.

Next the engineers at Allbest in Killarney Gardens fixed the battery compartment which had rusted and had to be repaired to keep the roadworthy intact. Tiffany and Leslie at Phoenix Digital heard about our damaged bus wrap.  The vegetation along the narrow roads leading up to the Stadsaal and Truitjieskraal in the Cederberg scrape the bus, and had caused tears in some places. The lovely Phoenix girls agreed to touch it all up for free and it rose gracefully from the ashes after its new look makeover.

A major repair at Mercedes meant we had a huge bill to settle, but in the process we had the time to get to know Gavin and Keenan a lot better. We know these guys go out of their way to give us some special privileges and favours when it comes to fixing the little things. I do wonder if me repairing their office door handle had anything to do with it?

I am pleased to say that the bus is looking fresh and new after all the work that has been done on it. Against all odds with time pressures it is road-worthied and ready for action.

Thank you to Bryan, Helen and Yvonne for their background support and for the role that they played in getting things organised. But most of all, thank you to our partners, the guys and girls that are part of ’team leopard’ bringing everything together to keep our leopard bus out where it needs to be, on the road supporting environmental education.

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