20 October 2017

Going The Extra Miles

No Avgas in Beira!

I hung up the phone and glanced at the map. With no fuel in Beira or Vilanculos, the only other  option would be to fly via to Nampula, a five hour flight from Kruger. Sure, the Cessna 310 could make it, but I would have to leave behind precious cargo to carry the necessary fuel and fly almost 100 miles further than planned. There were boxes of medicine, audio Bibles, groceries, building supplies and four passengers (one of them was my daughter Elliora). A quick message to Martin Schumann, the missionary, solved the dilemma. “Please bring all the medicine and Elliora, you can leave some of the groceries, if necessary.”
So there we were, waiting at the airport for the weather to clear up. The three hour delay resulted in us having to spend the night in Nampula. MAF, who operate out of Nampula as Ambassador Aviation, were very helpful in sorting out some of the logistics.
The following morning we flew on to Angoche, where Anne and Santi would be staying to help with literacy training.
Bruce, Elliora and I continued on to Nacala, where Martin was already waiting to drive us to his home (2+ hours away). Aside from the stuff we had brought to support the mission work, Bruce and I had come to help replace Martin’s roof which was leaking terribly.

Elliora’s 'mission' was to be a friend to the four Schumann children, who are growing up in quite a remote environment. At the moment they are the only European kids in that whole area.
Elliora also made a few other friends. Four puppies were excited about the company.
For Bruce and I, most of the week was spent on the roof replacement. With the help of Martin, Arlindo and Francisco it moved along quite well.
We had to cut some corners (but that’s not unusual in Africa).
Despite leaving some groceries behind, we did not suffer from any hunger. The kids even helped to make pizza!
Throughout the week the Schumanns' regularly expressed their gratitude toward our team and Mercy Air for all the practical support we have been able to pour in over the years. 
By the end of our week we had run out of roof tiles. As I began packing my stuff, Bruce counted how many roof tiles it would take to finish the project.

It was time to head home. We flew to Angoche, picked up Anne and Santi, and then flew home to South Africa via Nampula 'again'. As the passengers slept, exhausted from a full but rewarding week, I pulled out a little snack to keep me company.
Thank you.

Azarja for the Mercy Air team

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