With your help the people of West Africa have "a chance, not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation".

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Captains Blog 2012 day 32

Solo called up from the carpentry department 'we have no fascias Captain.' this is a tragedy - no fascia boards means no roof can go on. Despite the successful installation of beams and purlins, without the fascia, we are going to be unable to install the 0.5mm corrugated aluminium roofing sheets... 'What happened, Solo?' I asked. 'Korley couldn't find a tree that I liked.' the simple statement told me that we needed to embark on an adventure. 'Where can we source some?' I asked, knowing already that my day was jinxed - it was about to be eaten by a logistical nightmare of transport proportions.

It is not as if you can 'order' your fascia boards. Nor can you just 'have them delivered'. No, you have to find either a tree or a person with suitable wood cut into chunks that you can then turn into Fascia boards. So we set off. Up the river, across the bridge (that is restricted load due to structural issues = how reassuring), then on to Juapong. Upon arrival Solo spotted some 'Afram' to one side, and so we spent the next two hours selecting suitable Afram planks. None to the same thickness nor width. So, they load 38 planks onto the truck - using nails to prevent them slipping, and catching on the truck bucket reinforcement done last week by the AvTech girls (great job worked as it should!) onto the truck. We drove back at 40km/hr (25mph) to 'Korley's Place' the usual wood supplier, who will always let Solo use his machines. The machines could be heard 100m away as they chew their way through some woods that make steel look like putty! It SHOULDN'T take long to process 38 planks into fascia and door frame 'battons'... and we are hopeful of a quick turnaround.

As we unload the last two planks there is a sudden bang, and then total silence. The music from the chop bar is snapped from the air. The sawmill gnawing sounds ceased. 'Light off' calls a labourer. So, there we have 38 boards, waiting to be personally 'sized' by Solo, but the electrons are on strike. I left poor Solo there, with some chop-money, since we cannot leave the boards alone - they will need to be accompanied till they are machined and find some transport to the field.

It sometimes feels as if NOTHING goes to plan in the world of rural development. It feels as if just as you solve one problem another one bites you on the soft parts below your back and above your legs.... How much I wish to have a good Wickes Building Centre around the corner, go in and get kiln dried, identical sized, quality assured, environmentally sound wood and to know that the 'free delivery service' would arrive on time with all the goods'.... but that is not an option, we may miss it, but we still have to 'go where no humanitarian aviation development operation has gone before'.... and that takes a lot of support - from you..... thank you for that support, without it we could not succeed....

Kirk, Spock and Scotty had the federation, but we have the MoMmers - THANK YOU!

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