Friday, November 30, 2012
Your bags can't hold what you'll take away....
The airfield represents a great deal of effort, just keeping it operational is a challenge that goes beyond our original expectations. Mowing, fencing, approvals, repairs and more - just to ensure that we have a safe place to operate from. The airfield is also the engineering base and test site for drop solutions and other aspects of our many-faceted outreach.
Just seven years ago this airfield opened.... today, it is the Headquarters of Medicine on the Move and the AvTech Academy, and is beginning to take shape. Our future plans include much more expansion... Our basis is 'if we got this far in the past seven years, how much more can we achieve in the coming seven!' But it takes a bigger team than just those of us permanently on the field...
Tony has just completed a seven week stay with us (third time in Ghana), and he has made a real difference, moving us forwards positively, in that time. Tony also completed his conversion training to a Ghanaian National Licence and is already planning his return visit, where he plans to participate actively in drop missions!
We received word this week that Donna (USA) is coming over in February (her second visit to Ghana, but first as a volunteer) to spend a month with us, training on sewing and upholstery skills - this will improve our aircraft upholstery capabilities as well as add a new skill to the team - and making of some uniforms! (Donna also hopes to demonstrate her building skills, as an active Habitat for Humanity volunteer in the USA)
Rex and Melissa hope to come over, from California, for their third visit to work on documentary filming and EMT training skills.
Franz, from Switzerland, is planning a first visit to help with 'anything I can' and team building skills.
Ute (third visit), Onni and Angelika (second visit), from Germany will return to help with aviation related and pastoral care skills during their two to three weeks stays.
Marcel, California, will come over for his second visit. He will run an EMT training session for us and a local hospital, and teach 'how to ride and maintain a bicycle' (none of the local team have those skills) as well as welding and general engineering (pus a variety of projects) over his three month stay.
Francis Norman, Germany, will return for the fourth year, and will lead a musical session - a skill that is as essential as any other - appreciation and self-creation, as well as fly some hours in our aircraft, thus supporting the operations.
Jake, UK, is thinking about spending some time between school and university, to open his horizons, to share some of his skills learned in school, and to start flying lessons.
Pablo, again from California, may well get to pop by for a couple of days again, on his next business trip to Ghana - he hopes to sit and chat with the girls about their training and to make a couple of flights to see the real challenges from the air!
David, UK, would like to come out and help with, and to teach: all aspects of construction, interior design and we hope he brings his guitar with him!
Clay, Iowa, had better get out here next year - he works EVERY day on some aspect of our activities from his home in the USA - and we hope that once he gets to Ghana he will be in the workshop, learning more about the final assembly of his own aircraft in build, as well as sharing recipes with Mavis and the team.
above all, these folks are interested in changing lives...
As more and more volunteers step up to the plate and put their energies into the training and development of the young people that make operations happen, it will grow and make more of a difference in the villages. Our focus remains on training the local people to help the local people - it is more sustainable than 'just doing' - but it takes longer, more energy and a lot more commitment in the short term
What skill do you have that you would like to share - or gain?