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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!)

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