Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Petersfield residents help to fund Colombian coke wagon

The generosity of Petersfield residents will help bus driver
Pablo Escobar get the kids to school on time

A group of children on the other side of the world will soon be taught the meaning of the word “traffic” thanks to the generosity of Petersfield shoppers.

Visitors to a fun day in Rams Walk last weekend helped to raise £894 towards the cost of a minibus which will be used for transportation of children and soft drinks in and around Fusa, a remote town in Colombia.

The fundraising event, organised by the South American Poor Society (SAPS) involved picking up loose change dropped in Rams Walk by Petersfield’s affluent population.

Ewen Meermugs, SAPS chairman, was delighted with the sum raised saying: “We planned this day knowing we were almost guaranteed to make a small fortune.

“It is well known that the shoppers who park in Petersfield’s dearer car park and shop at the expensive supermarket, don’t bother to pick up dropped coins. If it’s a pound or less they can’t be bothered, it’s deemed embarrassing.

“All we had to do to reach this magnificent total was gather all the loose coins that we could find on the day.”

Meermugs said the people of Fusa have been quite specific about the specification of the minibus. Designed to look like any normal Colombian school bus the vehicle must be bullet proof and fitted with a false floor.

While these enhancements may seem a little extreme to some, operating in such a volatile region, prone to ambush and attack, the Colombians insist it is imperative that the children’s school books can be hidden away safely.

With the safety of the children paramount, a further secret compartment will house a weapon for use by the driver in extreme circumstances. Further subtle defence systems may also be added if sufficient funding can be raised.

Meermugs was emphatic regarding the need for the minibus, advising how Fusans are currently having to use a clapped-out estate car for all school runs and coke deliveries.

"We need to raise £10,000” said Meermugs. “We already send £8,000 every month. This is needed for coke. That seems a lot of money for a children’s drink but we are assured this funding is absolutely necessary."

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