27 January 2012

Hanger Progress

Things are really progressing up in Chimoio.

Gary and the guys are making the trusses!

The trusses are long and are made under the shade of the make shift building. With temperatures of 35 deg it would be difficult to do the work without it. We still need rain to break the heat and for the people's crops.

Bernie has been working on top of the structure all week and Al has spent a lot of time on the ladder at the other end helping secure the trusses.
Everyone has been working well together.
Looking the the building from the back side.

Ron the backhoe operator, who has done a great job and Barb, who serves the guys with food and drink to help them do their job.
We are all encouraged and blessed!

Mercy Air team.

23 January 2012


There is only one cyclone/hurricane/typhoon active on the whole globe at the moment. Unfortunately it's in our back yard.

Occasionally we have to delay a trip for a few hours due to early morning fog. Once or twice we've had to divert to another airport due to bad weather. It's not often, though, that we postpone a whole flight altogether.

Right now we were expecting to be in the village of Nensa on the banks of the Zambezi with an education development team, but instead we are sat in the office in South Africa typing this update.

One of the last entries below detailed some weather that we had about a week ago that affected us in the east of South Africa. It seems that when that dissipated some of the moisture got sucked into another depression that was developing off the coast to the north of Mozambique and the result was another more powerful cyclone, misleadingly called Funso.
To give you an idea, two of the boxes on the map above are a little further than the length of the UK.

Currently Funso is a Category 3 cyclone but is forecast to develop into a Category 4 tomorrow (Katrina in the US a few years ago was a Category 5). Here's a map that shows rain intensity. Basically as you can see from the key, all the pinks and purples are as about as heavy rain as you can get.
The next two maps shows how quick it developed and are two days apart from each other.

All is not entirely lost though.

Mercy Air has a working relationship with a number of aid organisations (CARE, OXFAM, Save the Children etc) based in Maputo and we are on call to assist with natural disasters of varying magnitudes. The rain we had last week has now made it's way into the river systems and the levels are currently peaking in the lower Limpopo River Basin. They have asked us to do some survey flights to assess the situation and we will likely fly over early on Wednesday morning to take various NGO representatives to have a closer look.

Mercy Air team

22 January 2012

More progress in Chimoio

Further to the last blog entry, we have received more photos of the hanger construction from our base in Chimoio.
The wall sections going up.  The backhoe is always in the middle of the action.
Connecting the wall sections to the foundation wall with the metal straps which were placed in the cement.You can see them if you look close. The guys put at least 10 screws in each strap to attach them to the columns.

The level in the center of the picture is used a lot. As in flying, straight and level is important.
Ron is running the backhoe, which is a huge asset. We couldn't function without it.
Man power is always a part of the equation. We have had 8 Moz guys helping us all week.
It was a great week and by Friday almost all the wall sections were up. Monday we will be doing the first trusses.  Please pray for safety as they work at height with heavy trusses.

Persis and I are keep the guys fed and in clean clothes and whatever else we can do to help them do the work they are doing.  It's been a pleasure to serve them.

On Sunday we went to an African church service.  It was a special time with lots of singing and great teaching by Joao, who is a Mozambican man and a missionary to the Moz people.  The service lasted two and a half hours but it didn't seem long at all.  

In the afternoon we went to the market to shop in one of the villages near by and this evening we had a braai/barbeque with the rest of the staff here on the mission. Lots of good food and fun, telling stories and laughing together!
Mercy Air team

18 January 2012

Chimoio Progress

You may remember that we have built an airstrip at the ASAM/Mercy Air base in Mozambique.
Well a donated hangar recently arrived in Moz from the U.S. by ship. It cleared customs (no small task), then was transported by truck to the mission where it was off-loaded. It then had to be literally dragged along the dirt road from the drop off point by the highway all the way up to the airstrip.
The container with the hangar, being dragged along by the backhoe.

Well, the road probably needed to be graded anyway!

Logs had to be put underneath it so it could roll rather than drag over the bridge.

Hangar construction materials from inside the container had to be unloaded.

Ron Wayner and crew

Then the foundations for the hangar were poured.
A team from the US is now on site putting all the pieces together.
In the meantime, some final grading and work still needs to be done to finish the airstrip.

Mercy Air team

Inclament Weather - and then some!

Here in the eastern part of South Africa we have had about four days of almost constant and sometimes heavy rain. Any of the maps below will give you an idea.

This might be great for the fields, and crops and certain animals, but it certainly wasn't good for a couple of trees on the Mercy Air farm.

As you can see two large poplar trees fell down last night, one narrowly missing the Ziessler's house.
At least we'll be OK for fire wood this winter!

Mercy Air team