A reliable vehicle with BLACK BEAUTIES!
So, this is kind of another 2-fer… but it is ABSOLUTELY my top recommendation. One of our “non-negotiables” when we were considering moving to Haiti was having a reliable vehicle. We knew it would be a giant expense and therefore mean we had to raise significantly more support in “start up” funds, but there hasn’t been a single minute we’ve regretted the decision. Because of the incredible support from the Crosspointe community (our church in the states), we were able to purchase outright a brand new Mazda BT-50 pickup truck with an extended cab. It’s a very common vehicle in Haiti and that’s because it’s GREAT in Haiti. One author described the roads in Haiti as tearing even the toughest SUV’s down to their chasses. COULDN’T AGREE MORE.
This vehicle has blessed more than just our family—it has blessed EACH family on the Joy in Hope team as we often lend it to our team members for trips into Port Au Prince, or even just for around town errands.
The second crucial component to making this vehicle a “must have” is what Leann coined the “Black Beauties.” Most vehicles have these strong steel bars welded onto the frame of the car that protect the front and back bumpers. We SHOULD HAVE purchased these bad boys as soon as we bought the car, but we didn’t have the foresight and it took about 4 accidents with the vehicle (yes, literally) for us to take the plunge and get ‘em. We love them. They are VERY necessary in Haiti—protecting the vehicle for most of the bumps it gets on an everyday basis. We’ve been hit twice since having the black beauties and they’ve likely saved us from getting new bumpers. Fender benders are a huge reality here in this country, so having some vehicle protection is crucial. And at a price of $350 US for the whole shebang… SO worth the bucks.
And another bonus is that they make it really easy for your kids to climb up on the hood of the truck to play "library" up there. ?! I'd be mad at them, but hey, it's the only library they really have these days, so I guess I will show some grace.
So there you have it folks. The top 10. I can tell your lives are changed knowing this info...