Friday, August 28, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Arrival in Gabon

We had quite a welcoming committee at the Libreville airport tonight!

We're doing well... running on adrenalin and ready to go to bed.

THought we'd let you know that all the flights went without a hitch and all of our luggage seems to be in fine shape.

The only hiccups that we had started in Paris as we checked in with Royal Air Maroc. They seemed to be unhappy with our documentation and had to go checking with their superiors. That took 10-15 minutes. Then they told us that we had incorrectly understood thier baggage allowances and would have to check the total weight of our bags. THey did this, added up the weight, and then told us we were fine and could start checking each bag in. However, as we got to the 6th bag, the lady said, "how many more bags?" and then saw that when she was doing her addition of how much each bag weighed, she left out two bags. Then we were told that we were indeed over the limit and would have to pay overages. This was 630 euros, making it around $1000 US. Considering the many times that we have been overwieght and not charged in the past, we thought that our luck had run out... so we paid.

We had a good time in Casablanca- long layover at the hotel with swimming and napping.

We're at the guest house in Libreville tonight. Time to hit the sack.

We'll fill you in on the details later.

Thanks for everything... we're excited for this new chapter of our lives to start... here we go!

Monday, August 24, 2009

More Paint Shop Pics

More prep work for the final paint job!

We made a Newspaper!!!

Check out this link to read about Air Calvary in a New York newspaper:


Photos- prep work at Paint/Avionics Shop

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Test Flight

YES! It's out of the hangar and ready for paint! Today the good folks in OK pulled our aircraft out on the ramp, started 'er up, and took it for a test flight. Tomorrow, it leaves for the paint shop. PROGRESS!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Final touches before Paint Shop

Here are some photos (taken today) that the folks at the shop in Oklahoma sent along for us to enjoy... so... ENJOY!!!Once completed, this Cessna 207 will be in the best shape of all the rest out there!
...of course, only 626 were manufactured between 1969 and 1984, but still...

The new, 300hp engine will be added after the paint and avionics.
We'll also add a new Hartzell prop, which is matched well to the engine to give optimum performance.

You have to love these big, double side doors. They're perfect for loading up cargo, passengers, or patients on a stretcher. This aircraft can lift more than three quarters of a ton!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Aircraft Paint Job Revisions

We're working with the paint shop to make the final adjustments. Here is the new computer generated picture. You'll notice a couple differences from the last image- the cargo pod has been added and the Air Calvary logo has gone on the tail.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Another Teenager in the House!!!

Can you believe our little Megan is THIRTEEN today!?! YIKES! This brings the total number of teenagers in the house to TWO! Here are some pictures of our little, American-African girl.

Here's Megs getting her weave done by Audry, the daughter of one of our guest house team members.

Voila! The weave is done and Megan is in her new African dress, made by the tailor up the street from our house.

A teen with a little attitude!

Happy Birthday Megan! We love you!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Surreal Moments

(Subtitled: When the guy with the semi-automatic weapon tells you there's nothing to worry about)

So, as previously mentioned, I'm doing some odds and ends in the capital city for the expats down at the hospital- a 9 hour drive away. Today, my task was to go to the US Embassy to have copies of some US driver's licenses certified. this is one of the documents needed when you submit your paperwork in search of a Gabonese drivers license. I had actually been to the embassy last week for the same thing but, due to an all-too-common communications mix-up, found out that this couldn't be done without having the original on hand. Bummer. Thankfully, a colleague was driving up from the hospital a few days later and was able to bring the originals up.

So, today, with the copies AND originals in hand, I made my way back to the embassy.

The embassy is located in downtown LBV, on a busy corner. They are planning to move from this location to have a newer, more secure facility. For the time being they have a high concrete and steel gated fence surrounding the complex and concrete barriers providing a buffer zone beyond the wall.

To enter the embassy, you must show a piece of identity, like a passport or residence card, to verify that you are a US citizen. This initial check is done at a window along one of the exterior walls. Once verified, you enter a room where you empty your pockets for a security check. Your stuff goes through the scanner and you walk through the metal detector.

Today, this all went well. The surreal moment happened just after exiting the metal detector when I saw an embassy worker, who was an acquaintance (let's call him "Kevin"), walk into the room with his hands full. We greeted one another and chatted briefly. When he asked how our family is doing, I said "fine" but Alace and I are a little concerned about the upcoming elections. He conveyed that it is a situation that the embassy continues to monitor, but feels there's not going to be anything to worry about. As we started to part ways, I caught a glance of one of the items Kevin was toting around with him. You guessed it- slung over Kevin's shoulder and hanging at his side was a semi-automatic weapon! Back in the 'hood, we used to call those things "street sweepers".

I couldn't help smiling as I collected my things from the security scanner belt and moving onto the consular's section of the embassy. Here's a man, whom I've never seen carrying a firearm, toting a semi-automatic weapon and telling me that I have nothing to worry about regarding upcoming national events in the country. Hmm...

So, please join me in praying for the country. Pray for peaceful elections and wisdom in our decisions.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Whale Watching!

The US Embassy extended an invitation to go whale watching on their boat today. I told them I'd need some time to think about it, paused, and then said "DEFINITELY YES!"

Here's our kids along with a couple other of the crew.

In the distance we could see the whales! Water spouting out from their blow holes and other whales actually leaping completely into the air! It was an awesome sight!

Due to the delay time on our camera, it was difficult to actually catch them in the act of jumping or the cool shot where they flip their tail. This is my best shot. Enjoy!

I was told that they needed me in the back for stability purposes. I always new I had a stabilizing affect! ...and a glowing personality!
Notice my long sleeved under armor shirt. It was chilly that day!

After some whale watching, we found a remote beach and stopped for a potluck lunch. It was a fun afternoon of making new friends (about 20 were on the boat), snacking, reading, long walks on the beach, and just hanging out.

We'd like to thank all you tax payers for footing the bill on the US Embassy's boat! We had a great time! God bless America!