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".

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A slice of home... CHEESE!!!!!!

A little taste of heaven. Yes. Yes. Yes. Find of the century. Almost out of date Camembert at Ghs3.00... $1.50 or £1.00. Normally 5 times or more that price and a product that we never purchase.

Cheese is a high end luxury item here, but to have it for breakfast at discount. .. even if a little out of date, soft and full of cheese perfume. .. is a total gastronomic delight.

Every body got to try some and, even if most of the folks here were not as appreciating as my own European taste buds, it was a rare opportunity to taste cheese.

When you come to visit Please remember that our diet is very different to Europe or the USA. ... very different indeed. .. you will need to be really lucky to get cheese!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Into the setting sun

Today we pause to remember a friend and supporter who has flown west too early. Today the MoM family is shaken and saddened by the untimely and senseless death our friend and supporter Katherine "Kitty" Houghton. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family today.


It's our battle cry.. EDUCATION!!!!!!

The challenge of education especially in relation to disability and even basic deformity is a major challenge. ..even in the cities. A recent story about a woman being told to abandon her child because it has a mild deformity (see link below) is not unusual.

The story tells us that even the pastors are lacking in suitable education, and that the secondary reliance on traditional priests is not uncommon. Hence the parents were told that their child was evil and a snake disguised as a human.

The positive aspect of this story is that there are decent people who intervene and a court system that takes seriously the needs of such cases if and when they reach the authorities. Education is key to saving and changing lives.

This story may upset some readers.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Training women makes sense

I am often asked why we focus on the training of women and girls in our outreach, especially in the support roles of engineering and aviation.

Read this and see if you can understand it a bit more! m.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21088042

Remember we started with all men and it was far from successful.

Clearly, materials are distributed equally without prejudice to gender, faith or ethnicity.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Neighbourhood watch ... Ghanaian style

Not far from the airfield we have a little family that lives in a simple structure under a tree.

The mother and daughter were suddenly found on the airfield, near the threshold of runway 11, shouting in loud voices, which resulted in the deployment of our 'incursion response'. Pulling up in the car next to them I was greeted with even more shouting.

Apparently they had seen two men use the airfield access road and were chasing them, on our behalf.

We did not find the men, but we did find what they had been up to. In the safety area beyond undershoot 01, about 1000m from the office and workshop areas , had been stealing trees. This is a common practice. They had chopped down about 20 small trees in the area and started to pile up the 'sticks' or thin logs, in hidden areas.

As a reward for their diligence and good airfield neighbour citizenship we loaded the sticks into the car and sent them back to their home for fire wood; to cook with and to keep them warm during these relatively chilly harmattan nights.

We will further reward them with some clearing contracts on the airfield in the coming weeks.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The captain has turned on the "fasten seatbelt sign....."

On a recent road trip with the KIA Truck, we were greeted by the usual wide-open arms of the infamous Ghanaian pothole. Now we must remember that potholes come in a variety of shapes and sizes; these include both the smallest scratch on the surface of the asphalt, to the most colossal, earth-shattering crevice ready to consume a minibus in one fell swoop. In some countries, potholes are fixed almost as quickly as they can appear to maintain a smooth road surface for vehicular travel. Unfortunately, in Ghana, pothole repair cannot be taken for granted whether on a public or private road. Here there is an unfortunate combination of poor road conditions, badly maintained vehicles, and exuberant drivers that leads onto the never-ending path of cratered roadways.

In the spirit of aviation, our driver Patricia issued us passengers the friendly warning of "Turbulence Ahead!" prior to receiving our hole-y treatment in the back seats, getting tossed around like rag dolls, a friendly reminder to not attempt reading any books while along for the ride! And thus was coined the term Turbulence as used in describing the road conditions encountered on our journeys. Many of the roads on the airfield are subject to turbulence, especially when the fresh rains help to wash away hasty repairs of the past. With any luck, and a little work, we can help reduce the turbulence on our roads and provide smooth travels for the coming months.

While we might take this turbulence in stride and do our own maintenance on the few kilometers of roadway that we manage, many others in the country are not so fortunate. Dismal road conditions throughout the country are a sad reality of the current state of road transportation in Ghana. This reminds me of my previous experience traveling by bus along the long pot-holed roads to northern region and how arduous and difficult that journey was. A quick visit to the main street of any village reminds us how challenging and dangerous road travel is and why it is so important for us to keep air travel as an option. Trips that take several hours or even days to do by car can be finished in mere minutes in an airplane.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Amateur Radio at Kpong Airfield!

For the first time ever, we'll be having an amateur radio station activated at Kpong Airfield to be used as a teaching aid for the students at the AvTech Academy. After several months of application time and the help of Bob to finalize the license, I have successfully been granted 9G5MS, a lovely complement to my US license of AI6MS! With any luck, we'll have a station operational in the next week or two, hopefully in time to activate for the ARRL School Club Roundup contest, quite possibly being the first school station in West Africa to ever participate! Stay tuned for details...with any luck we'll establish some standard operating times and frequencies once we get then antennas up and operational. 73 de 9G5MS.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The People make Ghana an amazing place....

Blog Submitted by Marcel Stieber,

Another exciting day today! On our usual weekly expedition to Accra, our lovely KIA Truck decided to give out on us on the drive into the city. Jonathan noticed decreased engine power along with a slipping fan belt that quickly developed into large amounts of black smoke trailing behind. After a quick crew briefing on evacuation procedures (just as we had practiced on the airfield on Saturday!) and a skillful coasting to the edge of the road, we parked the truck, and immediately exited, fire extinguisher and valuables in hand. A quick inspection of the engine showed lots of oil throughout, though no immediate cause visible. Sadly, even though this car was received new, it suffers from the usual maladies just like any other we have. The harsh roads and hot weather are always hard for any vehicle. Fortunately we broke down only a mile away from our amazing mechanic Charles who arrived within minutes of us stopping on the motorway and immediately let us borrow his personal car for the day whilst he sorted out getting the truck towed and the other car repaired so that we could continue on our journey.

Incidents like these remind me how amazing the culture is here and how wonderful all the Ghanaian people are. With a simple phone call we had our car repair in progress and a courtesy car at our disposal for the day to complete our errands!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

FIRE!!!!!!!! ... OK just a drill, But practice makes perfect.

Blog Submitted by Marcel Stieber,

 This morning, on our first day of flying for 2013, Jonathan and I simulated an emergency in flight to get everyone back into the safety mindset required for air operations. Towards the end of our flight, Jonathan simulated a partial radio failure due to 'fire' damaging the wires for the radio controls. This meant that the tower could not properly understand our radio traffic. After some attempts to 'regain' communications and the partial transmission of one of the emergency codes, the ground crew prepared for an emergency landing. Jonathan skilfully piloted Kilo-Tango for an abnormal approach to runway 01 (reverse from normal operations) where we landed and quickly evacuated the plane to 'escape the fire'. The ground crew and those operating the tower were quick to arrive with fire extinguishers ready for this 'unexpected emergency'. At the debrief of the drill we discussed proper action given the situation and the unknown emergency due to 'lost radio contact'. The drill sure helped bring up everyone's emergency response awareness at the field. Future "incidents" will most definitely have the girls immediately preparing the emergency vehicle complete with fire extinguishers and first aid kit. After all, it's much better to bring everything you've got than to show up empty handed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Motor-Vehicle-Gremlins ... again....

It is a long time since we had a vehicle sage... but of course, with a new year, the Motor-Vehicle-Gremlins decided to play with us. Both vehicles, the Pajero and the Kia Truck, have been playing up over the holiday period. Fortunately, Charles, our friendly 'motor-mechanic' popped up and identified the needs over the weekend. He then headed to Accra to try to find the parts necessary to fix the alternator and other problems being experienced. Consequently, Monday morning, after setting the site up and running, and needing to visit GCAA for certification matters, we headed out with the Kia. Along the way the Kia decided to over heat. Some 'judicious' driving - which included a good deal of 'coasting', got us to the 'Charles-Cave'. Seeing that the job would take longer than planned, Charles kindly lent us one of his own cars for the day. This is a rare service, and we feel honoured that Charles trusts us with his own vehicle to facilitate movements. But the story does not stop there. As the day went on, the clutch on the car got 'softer'. Then, Charles called to say 'the truck wont be ready today, you can take my care home and I will bring the truck back in the week.' I had hoped that we would get the car back to him before the clutch went completely. This was now a 'mission'. As we left our last site and tried to make the road our of town, the clutch failed completely. The car was in 'drive or drive'. In order to stop in the 'start-stop' traffic, the car had to be switched off, and then restart with the car in gear! We reached the Accra Mall car park and called Charles with the bad news about his car. He laughed heartily, and said he would come out and fix it. An angel, a gentlemen and a scholar! However, it was getting late and we needed to get back to the airfield.

Contemplating the knock on challenges and planning how to juggle the situation, a friend drove past in his truck and offered us a lift home! Leaving Charles' car-keys with a friendly shop assistant at the mall, we got home, not too late! (Charles went and fixed his car and got it home before midnight too!).

The roads, the climate, the humidity, the dust, all seem to attack equipment here with a vengeance. It is therefore wonderful news to hear that the Medicine on the Move team in Germany are soon to ship a working car to us! An Opel Astra, supported by funds raised from concerts and sponsors from all walks of life, coordinated by Francis Norman! It will take a while to arrive, but the need for another vehicle to meet the 'critical moments' and to facilitate lower cost 'local journeys' is clear. We thank all of those who have supported the procurement and shipping of the new MoM-Mobile and look forward to receiving it later in the year!

(in the mean time, we hope to see the Kia again on Thursday!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mali and West Africa

For those who have asked, and those who have wondered, Mali is not very far from Ghana. The 'southern most troubled areas' are about 600 miles, or 1,000 km away. We have one country between us, Burkina Faso, and yes, Ghana, like all other West African countries, is on a heightened security alert. Clearly, we watch the news, as do you, and we wish peace and a rapid solution for all sides involved. We think especially of the women and children that are vulnerable, and for the families of those who are ordered to the area. West Africa is a wonderful place, Mali is magnificent. Troubles, whatever their cause, whatever the reasons, whatever the misunderstandings, whoever the people involved, are sad, especially when people are killed and displaced. This is not a new phenomena it has been around for thousands of years, and although much reduced in our modern world, there are still pockets of 'bigger troubles' in some areas than others.

Having grown up in the UK during the days of the IRA bombings on the mainland, and the regular bomb threats in school; as well as driving past a particular Hotel in Brighton hours after a major hotel was blown up, just failing to kill Margaret Thatcher, the then Prime Minister; having been in the USA when the 'Batman Movie' horror took place; having been flying a small plane in the UK at the time of the underground bombing a few years ago; and having worked in some places where the 'risks' are higher than average we consider this as a normal, albeit unacceptable, part of life - everywhere in the world.

Today, it does not matter where you live in the world, we are all at risk from something - sometimes we are not as aware as other times. At times those risks rise, at times they fall. In Aviation we take risk management for breakfast every day, and understand that being aware of the risk is the first step towards its management.

We all know that the media has a sad tendency towards sensationalism and antagonism.

What are the facts that we have right now:

Mali is a fantastic country filled with wonderful people.
It is full of culture and history.
It is home to Timbuktu.
With about 16 million people in a country which is the size of Texas and California put together, it has a population density of just 12 people per km2 (USA 34 , Germany 229 , UK 260 , Ghana 103 )
Much of the land is infertile, the North is part of the Sahara Desert, the South is fed by the river Niger and has some sub-tropical areas.
Mali experiences the Harmattan at this time of year - they experience it for longer and more densely than we do.
The children sing songs, and dance, and play.
The women fetch water and cook for their husbands and family.
The men often farm the poor soils, animal husbandry is very common.
It is a poor country.
In Mali they have less than 1 doctor per 20,000 people (the USA has 1 doctor per 375 people, Germany 1 per 283, the UK 1 per 365, Ghana 1 per 12,000)
Their life expectancy is 53 years (USA 78 , Germany 80, UK 80, Ghana: 61 )
The average age of the population is a little more than 16 (USA 37 , Germany 45 , UK 40 , Ghana 22 )
They suffer with Malaria and Schistosomiasis, poor soils, a harsh climate and poor infrastructure. The north is more poor than the south.
90% of the country is Moslem, the majority of them are praying for peace several times per day.
Most of the population would open their doors to you, offering you a cup of strong, thick, black tea, sharing what little they have with you, without giving it a second thought.
When they laugh, you hear music, as their heads tilt backwards; sadly today few are laughing, and tears are brimming in their deep brown eyes.

We have an expression in Ghana that says 'When two elephants fight, it is only the grass that suffers'. In Mali the grass is the general population, the women and children, the men folk who want to continue in their often simple way of life.

Yes, there are those who want to fight, they have their reasons, on all sides. But let us not focus on the negatives, there are so many positives about Mali and we all hope and pray that one day we will be able to take some of our health education programmes there. They have a need, but until peace prevails, we will continue to watch and wait for the opportunity, and one day it will surely come.

The truth is never what we all get fed by the Media, it is far more complex, and I accept that I will never fully understand it, and I am sure that many people in Mali do not fully understand it either - how much less those from the developed nations. All sides have their reasons, and yet we all know that this conflict will only end with discussion. As Winston Churchill once said' to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war'. I cannot think of a single armed conflict that has ever been declared 'over' in the battlefields, no, it always ends up with signatures on piece of paper, sitting at a table, and with handshakes between leaders, always. We hope that such an agreement will come swiftly and that peace will prevail in our region.

Yes, we will change some of our systems and routines. We will be more cautious about going to the 'higher risk areas' but we will not let 'fear stop us doing our work' - the people of West Africa are amazing, wonderful and we love working and living here. For visitors, we advise the usual travel precautions, but I think that we have all got used to that in recent years - regardless of where we travel to.

Spare a thought today for the people of Mali, our neighbours, and let us all hope for a swift and as peaceful as possible resolution for all parties.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Welcome Marcel.....

Blog Submitted by Marcel Stieber,

My last stay at Kpong was 4 years ago when I came as a welding instructor and general volunteer. My first impression when I got here 2 days ago? Wow! It's absolutely amazing how much has changed in these few short years. On my last visit, the airfield was but a small place with only the briefing room, restroom, and the large skeleton of the green hanger. Today, I'm sitting under the same overhang with a completely different view. The briefing room has more than doubled in size, the green hanger is long since completed and is now joined by a whole row of hangers and workshops flanked by the new fuel depot and car park. Right in front of me proudly stands the tower for managing the air operations. And off in the distance across the field I can see the 4 buildings that make up the living quarters which my father affectionately dubbed "Hotel Kpong", a true staple of luxury! Last time, I shared the room with Matthew and his gargantuan Rock Python, with me sleeping on a mattress on the floor. This year I have the pleasure of a whole room to myself complete with freshly painted walls, a real bed, and a newly surfaced floor. The food is lovingly prepared by Mavis who, having heard stories of my previous visit, is serving me enormous meals! We'll normalize that soon enough so I don't totally stuff myself 3 times a day trying to finish the food!

The other big change for me is being here during the harmattan, the dusty season. It's definitely a change to not have miles of visibility everyday and also to have the constant bushfires in the area. Even when I flew into Kotoka Airport on my arrival flight to Ghana, I could see the glow of countless brush fires in northern Ghana and Togo on our approach. Just in the last 2 days, Krobo mountain, south if the airfield, has been consumed in flames that crawled slowly up the sides in large billowing smoke. Jonathan took me up for a quick flight in Kilo-Tango to see everything from above. It sure puts some perspective to the constant bush fires when I can see for myself the perimeter to the airfield, the controlled burns that have been performed, and the safety margins that we maintain at the site to ensure the safety of ourselves, the planes, and the rest of the facility.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Paging nurse Lydia....

Lydia got to practice her ever improving first aid skills when I nicked my fingers in the workshop this week.

She really does have the skills and understanding, and is ever day adding experience, necessary to handle many of the minor injuries that lead to serious complications such as she herself suffers from daily.

If only somebody had these simple skills when she was younger. ...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

It takes some inginuity...

The District Chief Executive, sort of like a Mayor, from one of the rural districts we fly over regularly came with a request for us to help an elderly lady in his area. It appears that she has had her legs amputated and now needs a wheelchair.

Currently we have some in the workshop where we are looking at whether we could manufacture something locally, and we were able to help.

The DCE will be delivering the chair personally and will send pictures in due course.

It is always a great pleasure to find that we can hold hands with others as we forge strong partnerships in the communities.

Friday, January 18, 2013

NOT a place to be squeamish.....

We enjoy a number of Owls around the airfield. Locally they have connotations of mystical powers and thus act as excellent security personnel. Furthermore, the owls eat mice, rats, small reptiles and the odd smaller bird, and are welcome workers in the bid to keep the airfield clear of vermin.

Normally we are greeted by an owl pellet every 2-3 days, however today Juliet found a spare bird leg that had been dropped onto a tail section of an aircraft. There is no room for squeamishness in our line of work!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Team work....

When we teach the young women to fly here, we start lessons in a simple tube and cloth, forgiving, aircraft. This particular aircraft is currently in the workshop for a new set of skins and replacement undercarriage. The task is a training opportunity in more ways than one.

The team work, as well as the occasional first aid, that naturally comes with such an activity is a bonus as part of the engineering training that results in these girls being appropriately enabled and competent in their future roles in taking community health education to the rural parts of their country.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chocolate fufu.....

Sometimes things don't go to plan. This wonderful gift of a box of chocolates traveled not so well!

All the same we made the best of it, and send our thanks to Serge for his kindness. Chocolate fufu was thus invented. ...

Many times in our work we find ourselves with what others may consider a 'mess', it is out of a corporate spirit of innovation, and readiness to find something positive out of whatever life throws, that enables us to achieve much of what we find ourselves surrounded with.

Visitors and volunteers quickly find that our glass of water is always more full than it may at first appear.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Good Girls don't fly.....

Whilst at Oshkosh last year I made contact with Captain Yaw and Patricia Mawuli, and have had several Skype conversations with them since. I have been sharing my ‘Think Global Flight initiative’, and they have been sharing their vision of Aviation as a tool for development in West Africa. It soon became clear that I, Captain Judy, and the operations at Kpong Airfield, WAASPS, Medicine on the Move and the AvTech Academy, shared a common mission – and that if we could weave some threads together, it would make for a strong partnership.

Let me share with you some of my background, and let us share a common journey, one that will change lives and provide sustainable solutions wherever we are in the world…

When I was young I was told “You are a girl. Good girls do not fly.”

You might be thinking that everyone that lives in America has the opportunity to fly, or has the opportunity to become what they want when they grow up. Yes and No. Sometimes, it does not matter what country someone lives in, dreams are not understood. Especially if these dreams are thought to be only for certain types of people, like those with money or a particular gender, or color.

Although many of you reading this may live in West Africa, and I live thousands of miles from you in America, I understand that working toward a dream sometimes seem so hard that, at times, you may find that pursuit very challenging. That is why I want to share my dream with you over the next few months in these blogs. This is my first blog, and there will be many more … and one day I plan to come to Ghana and work with the young women of Kpong, sharing our dreams and helping each other make those dreams come true!

Captain Judy’s Most eXcellent Adventures, Part I

I dreamt of flying ever since I can remember. However, my dreams were kept to myself because “Good girls don’t fly.”

Instead I became a teacher for those students that had difficult time learning. I also had a family.

My dream became reality in 1997 when I earned my private pilot license. At the same time I discovered the power of aviation with my students. Some students didn’t like certain subjects, such as math or science. I would take these subjects and create airplane questions that made it more interesting for the students.

This is when I knew my mission in life was to inspire people to work toward their dreams.

While I was teaching, and working toward my private pilot rating, I started many aviation clubs for young people at airports. Similar to the one you are now attending. One of my first clubs was at the flight school where I was learning to fly. My flight instructor, Fred Nauer, was my assistant. One of the other aviation clubs was located where two brothers were starting an aircraft factory, it became known as Cirrus Aircraft.

These aviation clubs became well-known. I then realized that I had to dedicate my energies fulltime to my mission, inspiring people to work toward their dreams. Therefore, I had to leave my teaching position at the school. This was a difficult decision because I love teaching, but at the same time I knew that I must in order to accomplish my life’s mission. I must, somehow, reach across the globe helping people understand that they can reach their dreams.

It was not long after I started this new career when I worked for the Experimental Aircraft Company, most known as Oshkosh Airshow or AirVenture. AirVenture is the world’s largest general aviation airshow. I became good friends with many of the well-known aviation pilots, one was Dick Rutan. Dick and Jeana Yeager made history in 1986 by flying non-stop around the world in the Voyager. Dick said to me one day, “If you really want to inspire kids, you should fly around the world.” YES, this was the answer on how I could fulfill my mission, reaching across the globe inspiring others to work toward their dreams.

(My Skype conversations with the girls at Kpong are a part of that dream!)

I knew that I must prepare for this incredible adventure. I needed to have much more flying experience and knowledge. I also had an immense amount of logistics to understand and then accomplish.

In April 2014, my next big adventure begins, flying around the world – meeting new people and inspiring others to ‘dream big’. My first flight instructor will be my navigator on this adventure and, who better to trust in that role than the person that helped you earn your wings?! You can read more about my plans at www.thinkglobalflight.org

Check in regularly to this blog site for more of …. My Most eXcellent adventures …

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meet Commissioner

Meet Commissioner, he is known as a drug seller here. That means he sells medicine! Commissioner purchases medication at a reputable pharmacy and then travels to rural villages to provide a range of products and services. We met in our local pharmacy where he was purchasing praziquantal to sell to a family in the Afram Plains.

Today he came to learn more about what we do and has agreed to take about 80 poster packs to his villages. He will also prepare the minds of those he visits about aeroplanes.

Many people think that we could or even should just fly out and drop, , but it is far more complicated than that.

We still need to obtain up to date logistics on the lie of the land and ensure that all relevant partners and stakeholders are aware and engaged. The work of Commissioner will help us to create awareness and reduce certain potential resistance from the grass roots of the target areas. It may take longer but it will result in more lasting results.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Weather.... gone mad

Whether the weather be cold,
Whether the weather be hot,
Whatever the weather,
We'll weather the weather,
Whether we like it or not.

The weather is confused. Or we are. Or both. This the MAJOR dry season. It does not rain. Then, out of the blue, or rather dusty, sky, comes a physical line of rain across the country.

Rain can move the harmattan away - or it can draw it down. Either way, the belt of rain shown here is bizarre to say the least. We hope it is a good sign, since we plan to fly towards to that area, where the belt of rain occurred, as soon as the visibility permits to scout for potential development areas and drop sites.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Education is a powerful tool.....

In Ghana we have an excellent undercover reporter, called Anas.  He has worked to expose issues in many areas of our society.  His report on the ritual killing of children for being disabled and other reasons, has finally been brought, in a fairly balanced way, the issues.  The only hope for these communities, often remote and without ready access, is EDUCATION - both general and health (for many of the issues are related to health - be it maternal health or child health).  This link is tough to read, please only do so if and when you are ready for some tough facts about why children are being killed, but please understand the bigger challenge 'HOW do we get a change in the understanding of the community?'  

We strongly believe that young people like Lydia can really have an impact. and hope that one day soon we will see Lydia flying to some of these communities and showing them that disability is not a curse, it is a simple fact of life, and can be embraced.  Imagine a few years from now, Lydia, and others like her, will be earning, and supporting their parents... now, that is the story that needs to reach the ears of these folks who lack understanding.  Before we condemn, just remember the past of the developed nations - witch hunts, dragons, crusades, freak-shows, etc. - many societies have gone through this sort of thing at some point.  Help us to find ways to bring health and related education for sustainable growth, that will save many lives, here.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Time to Tidy up.....

The dry season and the harmattan together allow us to hit many of the cleaning up and tidying jobs that got pushed on due to other workload challenges. Today Lele and Bernard are finally completing the post construction cleanup around the accommodation site. At the same time acting as fire watch as a bush fire burns close to the site.

This will be a great relief, since the debris from last year's construction is a fire risk in itself and has sat out far too long.

Volunteers coming out will be given the opportunity to help to keep and develop the site this year, as aim to gain better, if not full, control of the 100+ acres of Kpong Field.

The big vision is beginning to look like it could become a reality sooner rather than later, thanks to your Support and encouragement.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Work continues....

While we focus on the day to day operations, the ladies of the AvTech academy are continuing to work on the Belly pod.. We hope to see a functional design very soon.

To see their progress stop by the AvTech Blog

From Cardboard to plywood.... progress

Moving on from the card template a wooden structure with pattern parts is undertaken. If this works, then work can commence on the 6061T6 sheet metal product, hopefully sometime next week.

A lot of testing will take place with the wooden structure prior to finalising the pod. It is fantastic to have young people from the very rural areas that this and similar projects will benefit involved with this development.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Afram plains outreach preparations continue

As part of our outreach to the Afram Plains and our desire to drop more useful items, we are working on a new drop pod. The prototype is first produced out of cardboard. This is already mk4! However, thus far this idea set appears to be very promising. Watch this space!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Dry season is apon us...

The dry season has the runway in its grips. Grass browned, soil cracking, hard as concrete. The dusty, limited visibility, coupled with crisp sound of grass crunching beneath your feet, as you inspect the runways and safety areas, hoping that visibility will increase and flights resume, is like walking through a Martian wasteland. The occasional rabbit or Partridge suddenly crosses your path reminding you that this is a temporary state. Soon the rains will come, and with them the sky will clear and the grass regenerate overnight to soft green, and the cracking earth will heal. It just takes time. We must make the most of that time when it reaches us.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Things you might not consider....

Toilet roll holder. There are many every day items that simply do not exist in this rural part of the world, for most people, at least.

A simple example is the toilet roll holder. Yes, you will find a find many Chinese plastic versions in the towns, but even the toilet roll itself is still not as widespread as you might imagine!

We provide toilet rolls on site, not always what you're going to find in the rural areas. (It is common to take your own when outside the metropolis). However, the sitting on the cistern and falling on the floor challenge, has led to the delightful demonstration if ingenuity that we enjoy as part of our daily lives... in the form of a plywood and 2inch nail t-roll holder of high functionality

Visitors to Kpong will get to compare the bush made item to there home version. .. moreover it has raised questions and discussions of an educative nature at the airfield with staff and visitors alike!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Meet Safi

Safi is currently an intern with us, doing administration and helping us prepare for the new operations into the Afram Plains outreach.

She is currently helping to sort out the office, to enable us to get a better control on our administration processes.

With several volunteers coming out in Q1 2013, Safi will also be that first point of contact and support for day to day activities on the site (safety briefing, food and toilet roll needs, etc.)

Please welcome Safi to Medicine on the Move and the Kpong team.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Afram Plains outreach ...

In preparation for the forthcoming Afram Plains outreach in Q2, we are working on building an improved mapping solution aimed primarily at the details which others ignore. We expect to identify several hundred drop sites in the area and to work together with other agencies as we reach places and people with pressing needs in terms of awareness and associated behavioural change.

Here Patricia is considering a forthcoming photo mission into the area using a Google Earth printout. Informed planning is Key to success.

Sadly, the satellite images are out of date and lacking in detail for the needs of a health education drop programme.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A belated Happy New Year.....

Please print this out, snip along the lines, and pin to your fridge or notice board. The nice thing is, once a particular need is used, you may replenish simply by reprinting. Have a wonder-filled year with all the love, peace, patience, perseverance, faith and courage, etc. that you need. Help us to change more lives, one flight at a time, throughout 2013....  Link to pdf

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two crew members rarely mentioned...

Spitfire and Catalina are the airfield dogs.  They provide security and are also a way of giving the girls at the airfield an opportunity to realise the benefits of caring for an animal.

Normally, domestic animals in the rural environment are 'self supporting',  fending for themselves.  Here we encourage the daily care and associated rewards that come from these two essential members of our team.

During this seasonal break Patricia and Jonathan enjoy the care giving whilst the rest of the team are away.   The New Year will see a larger run for the dogs, their reward for security work in 2012.