04 June 2014

An Golly Goche

Last week four Mercy Air staff flew in support of Martin and Simone Schumann, who are German missionaries in N. Mozambique. This was the sixth time Mercy Air had flown there.

The total trip was 2200 miles (3500Km). The white line on the map below is the length of the UK.

 We flew past some pretty impressive scenery on the way up.
The place we landed was an old military fighter base and still had a hangar load of Mig 21's.
We took 1200 solar powered audio Bibles and another load of Artemisia tea which can be used to cure malaria. We also took supplies to help them finish some projects on their house.
The plane was full but getting it and us into Martin's vehicle was another issue!
After that there was only the matter of a 2 1/2 hour drive in the dark on a dodgy road to where they actually live.
Arrival after 11 hours of travel
Apart from delivering the Bibles and Artemisia we were there to help with a number of projects.

The Schumann's have had no running water in all the years they have lived there. Paul re-wired a water pump...

...before he and Allan plumbed it in to transfer rain water caught in underground tanks...

up to a header tank and then in to the house for use in the bathroom and kitchen.
Allan made a mess in a bathroom...
...but then tidied it up leaving a newly installed sink.
Hendri worked on the Schumann's vehicle which had suffered after many kilometres on bad roads.
Then he attacked their motorbike which hadn't run in over two months. Martin uses to access the villages.
How many blokes does it take to change a motorbike tyre?
Up to four apparently.
Cathy did an ante-natal checkup on Simone who is expecting their fourth baby.
She also did a fair bit of baking.
  Paul climbed a tree...
...and then ended up on the roof patching up holes and cracks.
Mad dogs and Englishmen...
Prior to that he conscripted some help in cutting the strips of fabric.
Child labour
While he was on the roof some guys called from the beach (which is less that 50m away). They had a Yellow fin Tuna which they'd just caught.
We negotiated a price and then they carved it up in front of the kids which didn't seem to phase them. I guess it happens quite a lot.
Allan went off to visit some villages where Martin teaches. They had to go when the tide was out though so they could cross the estuary. 
No wonder his bikes don't do so well!
The village was still someway further on - and on - and on.
Cathy and Simone did their own visiting...

...and even found one man listening to one of the audio Bibles Martin had given out.
We came across quite a few moths including this interesting beast.
Next day we got up at 04:00 to drive 2 1/2 hrs back down the Black Widow road that even eats the vehicles that helped create it...
...to be in Nacala in time to take off and fly 125 miles down the coast to be in Angoche by 08:30.
To drive would take over 6 hours, by Cessna 310, a mere 40 minutes.
Our welcoming committee was comprised maily of local kids.
We went to Angoche to meet a team that had worked in Angoche in the past but were back on a follow up visit. Just so happens that two of them were both traveling back to SA at the same time so we spent a night and flew them back the following day.

But not before traveling out to the bush to see some of their work.
One was way out on a dirt road - did we say road, that might be a bit kind. The whole village gathered under a huge tree.

 You always see some interesting T shirts where you'd never expect them.
 After lots of singing and dancing and talking we were led into an overly warm hut and fed.

Our accommodation in town was quite comfortable although Health and Safety might have some concerns with the hot water arrangement in the shower.
Note the dodgy switch and exposed wires by the shower head - circled.
The next day we were up early and off again. Before we left the airport we looked in an almost derelict hangar and found two Piper Cub's well past their fly by date.
A quick check on the web when we got home revealed a picture taken in 1950 of the aircraft at the same airport.

The aircraft was made in 1948
So, as quick as it came a week full of activity was over, leaving only a 5 hour/950 mile flight to get home. Plenty of time to look back and contemplate what was accomplished and look forward to how we can help serve in the future.
Thank you.
Mercy Air team

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