23 April 2012

Interesting places to sleep

Last week we flew another education team out to Chimoio and Marromeu in Mozambique on a trip which included a few interesting accommodation options.

In Marromeu, while the team traveled by road to the YWAM centre, the pilot stayed at the new Mercy Air 'Shipping Container Base' (http://www.mercyair-sa.blogspot.com/2012/03/accommodation-in-mozambique.html) and helped Mikael, a Swiss volunteer, with a few jobs. First they put a roof on the departures lounge..

and then installed some security lighting..

which gave quite a cool effect at night..

They ,well Mikael, also installed a windsock..

The education team came down and spent two days flying into the Zambezi Delta..

On Thursday the team flew back to Chimoio where they were picked up and driven one hour north to ASAM where we saw the progress made on the Mercy Air house.

While there was just enough room for the team to stay in the house, the pilot got to stay in a tent..

Mind you, how many bush tents have a double bed?

The next day they spent some time with Rick Cogbill whom we had flown up the previous week (http://mercyair-sa.blogspot.com/2012/04/educational-medical.html). They saw the workshop he was building and watched him give a lecture to some of the Mozambican students.
The inspection pit
Lecture about suspension

Lastly, they visited the 1.2 km long airstrip and hanger that was shipped from the US in a container and erected earlier this year.

After that, all that was left to do was to fly back to SA just in time for the weekend and to prepare for next weeks flight to the north of Moz.

Mercy Air team

10 April 2012

Educational, Medical, Mechanical

In some respects we felt a bit like a Swiss Army Knife during the last trip, doing a bit of everything in one small, neat and efficient package.

The initial call was to take Rick, a Canadian motor mechanic, up to Mozambique so that he could continue to develop an auto workshop training facility at a mission base that Mercy Air is connected with.
To help him fund this there were also people connected with Mercy Air/YWAM's education ministry who contributed and traveled up for meetings. We had also received a call a week earlier asking us to transport a missionary who had been involved in a car accident and who had head and spinal injuries.

For us this meant a lot of parallel planning and initially spending two days in Nelspruit helping the car mender man shop for all manner of tools - boy shopping in the extreme!
The result was not only a shed load of tools, but a huge tool box for them all to live in. Rick's penance was that he had to dismantle the tool box so it could fit in the plane.

The following day people and cargo were inserted into the plane like a 3D jigsaw and delivered to Chimoio in Mozambique. The pilot then flew on another 1h45 up to Quelimane on the coast where some missionaries took him to the local hospital to meet Elias. Elias was part of a team that had been driving up to Nampula in the north of Moz three weeks earlier when he had had an bad accident resulting in injuries to his head and spine. After stabilizing he was now faced with a two day drive on dirt roads in the back of a minibus, or a 1h45 flight with us.

The next day they went to the hospital where they loaded Elias onto a stretcher and wheeled him outside...
where he was loaded into the back of a pick up truck...
and driven at 5kph, due to the heavily pot-holed roads, all the way to the airport.

After loading him on the plane they flew the 1h45 back to Chimoio...
Any passenger with his thumbs up is a good sign!

where he was met by friends and family.
The pilot then picked up his original passengers and returned to South Africa via Beira where they landed just after heavy rain, resulting in an interesting picture of the plane 'floating' on the apron.

Mercy Air team