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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Captains Blog Year 2012, day 24

... barely three weeks since we started the construction of B3/4 we are nearly at the roofing stage. This is possibly a miracle, but Scotty would say that we are no where near warp-speed... but we are at warp-running-around-brain-ache. With the weather closing in again, any hope of flying over the lake remains way off, so we are pushing the construction as much as is possible - to be free of it when we can fly! In the past 24 hours we received the roofing sheets and the wood for the roof beams and purlins and we finally cast the last part of the lintel. This means that all block works should complete by Friday... and roofing is attainable (provided we are not struck by construction fever again) by the end of next week. That will leave the finishing.... We know that we cannot afford to finish the whole building at this stage - especially with the currency sliding 15%, and costs rising at up to 50% since the beginning of the year, but we are set to complete the 'less costly parts'. The biggest costs will be the training room and the mini-clinic - furniture, white boards, cabinets, tiled floors and walls (the rest are simple concrete floors with a few tiles in needed places ... eventually), we also hope to air-condition both of those rooms.

Ben and Michaela will arrive in less than 2 weeks - at least when they arrive they can 'apply pressure' whilst we fly... and we are so looking forward to them being Ghana based team members. The good news is that we are presenting our Bag-Drop initiative on Friday (meeting permitting) and with that we hope to see a lot more air-borne action in 2012. We extend our heart felt thanks to Paul H who has made a generous donation 'to be the first volunteer to fly a bag drop' - thank you Paul - your donation purchased the roofing timbers and other essentials this week!

We hope that once we get the 'Bag-Drops' running you will be able to sponsor a 'Bag' - current estimate of one drop (based on 100 bags per run) is between $10 and $20 (depending on the location of the communities) - that is a fraction of the cost sending a motorcycle with materials to a community... in fact, I cant even run to the market and back with my car for that amount - let alone send much needed health education materials and encouragement to health reps in remote communities - so, please, start thinking about how many drops YOU would like to support in 2012? We are working on the costings of training sessions in the new facility 'v' in the community areas - and it looks like 'Kpong Based Residential Courses' could be one way that we can maximise our outreach.... another reason to complete B3/4 asap!

Meanwhile, the work on the 801 continues - but we cannot work on fuel systems during the harmattan - the dust into the tanks and lines would be a safety risk... nonetheless, progress is being made.

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