23 October 2015

Brummies in Africa

Recently we welcomed a team from Birmingham, UK to Mercy Air.

They were here for two weeks and visited a number of local projects and got to see what Mercy Air does closer to home.
Some were able to accompany the helicopter on a rotor track and balance flight.
The highlight of the visit was a five day vision trip to ASAM in Mozambique in Mercy Air's Kodiak.
Many had been involved in fund raising for some of the projects up there and wanted to see progress as well as see what scope there was for further help.
We visited the bridge that had been built to allow kids to get to school safely.
We met some kids who were crossing the bridge and gave them a lift up to the school.
They were there for afternoon lessons and were just in time for lunch provided by the mission.
The lunch
The lunch queue
One of the main reasons for visiting the school was to put some finishing touches to a school teachers house that the group had help raised funds for.
With temperatures in the high 30's it was an effort to stand still and breathe but the roof joists had to go up...

...and the house needed to be painted...
...inside and out.
Some of the school kids came to look and help but some seemed to need more help than they gave.
Others painted their toe nails with a piece of wood dipped in the paint tray.
Some of the team were teachers and were keen to help out with lessons at the school.
Most of the lessons were in the new library that a Church in Aldridge had helped fund.
Some of the kids had never used scissors before so some time was spent drawing round shapes and cutting them out.

Some of them really got the hang of it and produced those 'people holding hands' cut outs.
Paul tried to draw a curve of pursuit.
Some of the team had been medics in the British Army and were able to help out  at the clinic.
There were also a number of visits to the craft project at the training centre.
ASAM also has an orphan project where orphans are placed in local family homes where a 'grandmother' looks after them. The mission often helps build accommodation. In one such place the family used to sleep in a thatched structure that was partially bricked up...
...but now, with the missions help, they live in a quite substantial three roomed house.
Nigel spoke at the morning meetings in his usual down to earth way keeping people entertained, informed and uplifted.
We visited the school three days in a row. On one day our minibus broke down and Nigel immediately went into 'ex fire engine mechanic' mode and practically fixed it with his bare teeth!
Before we knew it it was time to load the plane and set off again for South Africa.
One last prayer and goodbyes in the only wing shaped shade available.
Thank you

Mercy Air team

11 October 2015

Bush Audiology

During the week of 5 - 9 October, Mercy Air partnered with Kind2Hearing (represented by Jane and Chrizelle and In His Name Ministries (Roger and Katy Pacholca) to perform hearing tests on 180 children and some adults at ASAM in Chimoio, Mozambique. With funds raised by the Pacholkas we took hearing aids out to be fitted to those who needed them. It was a great success and many little ears will hear now.

Here Chrizelle is attending to one of the workers at ASAM.

Kind2Hearing and In His Name Ministries team
Jane is assessing audio response with her specialised testing equipment. We found a high percentage of the children had severe ear infections. Roger was able to supply anti-biotics which will, quite possibly be all that is needed for some to regain their full hearing.
The kids were asked to clap when they heard the beeping noise in the headphones
Tomei got his hearing checked... its a miracle its not worse than it is! (He runs our maize mill and we repeatedly find him without his ear protection on... and trust me... its a LOUD machine)
This snazzy tool helps remove excess wax from ears- this little girl's one ear was almost completely blocked!
One of the older boys is in need of hearing aids in both ears - here a mold is being made of his ear. He's a bit of a 'character' but perhaps being able to hear better will help him!
After watching dozens of kids do this for two full days Heather was apparently not clear on the process, so she had a go herself. She apparently had a bit of hearing loss and will need to keep an eye on that ... not bad, but just enough to take note.
A total of 180 children and some adults were screened. We found 25 children with severe hearing loss, of which 18 had bad ear infections.

The team: Jane, Chrizelle, Katy and Roger, standing outside the clinic at Mucombeze that is run by ASAM.  Mercy Air has enjoyed a long relationship with ASAM, working together to the glory of God.
Thank you

Mercy Air team