Our official MAF newsletter should be going out next week and gives the latest scoop on our Niassa medical project. But the newsletter never has room for some of the fun pictures and side stuff going on, so I thought I would share them here.
In September, Dave flew the medical flight where we brought the first ever dentist to the area. It was a huge success and Dave enjoyed talking to Dr. Aquiles as he did some of his training in San Antonio, Texas, where I grew up. It is such a small world.
On this trip, Dave brought along a soccer ball for the kids to play with in the area. He ended up having to do some refereeing (not of the soccer match) because some of the older boys took off with the ball and weren’t going to share it with everyone. After wandering in the village to find the boys he got the ball back and the younger kids cheered as they won their chance to play with the ball.
One afternoon while Dave was waiting at the plane he decided to let kids in and give them a chance to sit in the cockpit. At first they were waiting patiently in line. When one girl wanted to look at pictures on the iPad, suddenly the airplane was full of kids excited to see pictures of themselves and their friends.
One morning, Dave was looking out in the distance and saw something out on the dry riverbed. He zoomed in with the camera to discover lions chilling out. While we have heard the roars of lions, this was the first time to see them in Mozambique.
We often don’t talk about the more boring parts of our work here. As a business, there is a lot of paperwork to make sure we are operating legally. We coordinate with the Civil Aviation authorities, update manuals, and renew work permits and authorizations to fly. On top of our normal finance requirements, the end of September is the end of our fiscal year. This means in the weeks leading up to the end of the month, I am busy trying to clean up and balance our accounts. Then in the last week of the month we count our entire aircraft inventory (think little bags full of bolts, rivets, o-rings, and bigger items like hoses, tires, mufflers, etc.). With 5 to 6 six counters, it took us all day and then there was another full day of double checking and making adjustments. It is the best time of year to make sure parts find themselves in their right bin or shelf and remove parts that have expired. On the last working day of the month we have a third party counter come in and spot check our inventory as well as count our cash boxes. It can’t all be bush flying and lions!
It has been election season here in Mozambique and municipal elections were held on October 10th. In the days leading up to the election, posters are plastered everywhere, rallies and parades can be seen (and heard) all over the city. Thankfully, it has been quite peaceful during the campaigning and after voting day.
|A celebratory parade after the election that we drove by|
One day, the president was passing through Nampula, which means we have a pretty good view of him at the airport from our hangar. On this particular day, a band was there to play and they came into our hangar to look at the planes. Dave was able to get a picture with some of the band members!
The bombeiros (firefighters) at the airport came to get some hands on training in our hangar. Our colleagues gave them a chance to get up close and personal with our aircraft to help them be able to better respond if there is an emergency.
|Bombeiros with our colleague, Dave L.|
And as always, some bird pictures...