26 November 2015

Deepest Darkest Northern Mozambique - for the seventh time

Last week Mercy Air flew up to Nacala in N. Mozambique along with Allan, Mercy Air's CEO and Dave, an electrician. We routed up via Blantyre in Malawi but returned direct. The trip involved over 12 hrs of flying, 2200 miles (3500 km) and a number of diversions. The one flight on the way back was 5 hours alone.
As usual in N. Moz we got to fly past some pretty spectacular scenery.
We flew in support of Martin and Simone Schumann who have been working for Globe Mission for many years now.

In the past we have taken consignments of Artemisia tea, used in combating malaria, as well as solar powered MP3 bibles. This time we were tasked with wiring plugs, sockets and lights in a new building but we also took up a few thousand bibles...
...and a plane load of other supplies that they find hard to obtain in the bush.

Good job he had a 4x4 and a big roof rack!

Before the electrical work could start we had to put the roof on.
Then the cabling could begin.
Many of the light fittings had to be 'adapted' to make them work properly.

As in many places across Africa water is an issue and many people wash certain items of clothing in the sea.
The Schumann's do everything they can to collect and conserve water and every roof surface is plumbed into giant plastic tanks or stored underground.
One of the things that needed fixing was the pump that transfers the water to a tank on the roof so that they can have running water in the house. It did actually almost take three of us to get it going!

Being miles on questionable dirt roads from anywhere takes its toll on vehicles and so we had bought up some spares to help keep things running.
Oil change

Even the motorbike got some attention
Cathy got bust with a number of things including a few trip to town with Simone to see lady's who were ill. First she had to dress up 'appropriatley' for the culture which wasn't so pleasant considering the immense heat all the while. She didn't take a camera so no pics - sorry.
As the beach is only 30 metres from the house we did get o col off in the sea (if you can cool off in water that is 30 deg C).
It was interesting to see the locals fish which at this time of year is about the only food there is. They would row out in their boats...
..drop a net...
..and then guys on the shore would pull it in.
The only other food that seemed readily available were mangoes.
So we ate quite a few of those!
Then it was back to fixing things. Here we are mending a sewing machine foot pedal.
And then a generator for when the power goes off - again!
On the Sunday we took a little time off and walked along the beach to a little cove which was also a little short on shade. Towards the end there were some amazing Baobab trees.
This path was far too hot to walk on bare foot.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, red or yellow is about to win - but I can't remember who's turn it was next.
Then before we knew it it was time to leave and the two hour bumpy ride back to the airport. Nacala used to be a military airport and there are still some Mig 21's in a hangar.
Thank you

Mercy Air team

02 November 2015

Mercy Air 25th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

November 2015 Mercy Air turned 25 years old and to celebrate the event we invited friends and people we'd flown in support of over those years for a bit of  a get together at the farm.

The weekend started off with a meal on the Friday evening where we honoured Ron and Barbara Wayner, the founders of Mercy Air who had flewn in from Alaska for the event.
The previous week we had flown a Swedish team to Mozambique and one of them Bengt Johansson, a well known Swedish musician, sang a few songs.
The following day different mission organisations put up stalls in the hangar to showcase their work.
Our aircraft were on display.

We put a big marquee in the garden...
..and served food and drinks and sheltered from the sun.
Etienne came and played a nice background set.
Zippy the Magic Clown pitched up and entertained the kids.

There was also a fair amount of face painting going on.

For those kids for whom clowning and face painting weren't enough there was a bouncy thing to bounce on - and a pipe to crawl through.
In the evening we had a spit roast in the marquee...
..as well as some music, this time provided by Mercy Air staff.
We had practised the previous week in the Groot's garage thus technically making us a Garage Band - who'd of thought!
Thank you

Mercy Air team