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Thursday, March 22, 2012

You can't fight Mother nature

Yesterday it rained, leaving the field rather wet, and the air hanging with mist as well as some harmattan dragged in from the North by the change in pressure. Looking to the North we had a clear 5km vis and so set the drop bags up ready to go (drop references A001 - A020 for the Dawakpesebi to Battorkope area).
The drop plane, our CH701, 9G ZAF, with Patricia as Pilot and Lydia as 'Drop Master', set off with the 20 'pinging' drop bags - the 'first contact' bag that will be used to identify the community, and included a 2GHS phone credit so that the community can call in their receipt - once they can get to a communications point! The chase and observation plane, 9G KT followed with Capt. Yaw in the left seat and Rosie from France 24 ready to observe the first delivery by air.

As we climbed through 1000' the vis was dropping rapidly. We needed 2500' to clear the ridge. At 2000' ft vis was permissible - but only just. As we approached the ridge climbing to 2500' both PIC's declared 'abort mission' and we returned to base. It was not possible to use the alternative passage due to a clear line of Harmattan to the East of Juapong.

Meanwhile, out in the field, our ground Crew (Rex, Melissa, Ben and Michaela) are out of contactable range and will have to guess what is going on. It really does highlight the challenge of communication to these villages.

We will wait for a better day, and then drop again, again and again as we stretch out the hand of health education friendship to places which are in need and have, in many cases, had no such support before...

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