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Friday, October 12, 2012

Tony arrives in Ghana Oct 11,2012

What a delight to be back in Ghana after five years absence. Last night, after an uneventful flight from Amsterdam, but with some stunning views of the Sahara, I arrived in Accra. 1.5 hours after landing, I was thrilled to see Patricia, Matthew and Jonathan again. Coming to the airfield in Kpong was amazing – the place is almost unrecognizable with all the new buildings. I stayed in what I have to call the Kpong Hilton which is a new bungalow complete with fan, flush toilet, shower, and lights powered either by the generator or for a couple of hours by rechargeable batteries when the generator is off.

The netting on the windows was so good that not a single mosquito managed to come and visit me during the night – despite all their good intentions! My big mistake, however, was to not wear earplugs, so my night’s sleep was far too short: after a long evening with Patricia and Jonathan, I got about 4.5 hours of sleep before being woken by a melodious concert from some highly talented birds and insects.

My first morning started with a delicious egg breakfast prepared by Mavis. The day proceeded with all the usual fun and games that I would expect, for example the starter motor of the truck refused to operate, so once we got it working (with a quick ground-assist), the poor driver would be harangued with repeated cries of ‘don’t turn off the engine’ as we ran our errands in the local area! This included getting more diesel for the truck, generator and tractor, but we couldn’t fuel the truck directly because we did not dare remove the key from the ignition in order to open the tank cap! Then it was back to pumping fuel from the oil drum in to the truck using a hand pump once we got back to the airfield.

Another job: a medical bed which had kindly been donated, required cleaning, some changes plus a new cover, so we took it to a roadside upholstery shop. We left the bed at the shop in the care of Emanuella, and she did a stellar job supervising the work. It got done within a few hours, and now we have a nicely re-covered bed ready for the opening of the mini-clinic on Saturday.

During the day, the whole team worked on cleaning up the engineering training center in time for the events on Saturday – after a few hours, a magical conversion took place under the expert guidance of Patricia. She even choreographed a team of the Avtech girls as the turned over a wing so that it would be displayed properly.

One more day before the mini-clinic opening on Saturday, so we have a lot to do tomorrow!

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