Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Port Issues & Flying News

I think that our big container from the STATEs is in the port of Libreville (called the "Portuaire"), but waiting on paperwork. Like everything in Africa (at least all that I have seen), a piece of paper work with many stamps and initials are required. I was informed that every 2-3 years a new document is required for anything coming in from the Port.

As for my 3 items from France, I spent all day yesterday on the "port side of town" waiting to hear that the last signature had been put on the last document for me to get my stuff. However, that never happened! HA! It's a good thing that I'm not holding my breath. It's a little frustrating. What I DID do, was help a little at the Bible College (unloading furniture), help the Bongolo Hospital (running their oxygen bottles to get refilled), go to the train station (to pick up the fiance of our Gabonese business agent in training), and then...

I actually SAW OUR 3 ITEMS!!! In fact, I was allowed to touch them as they were sitting in the corner of a mostly empty warehouse near the port! The two footlockers did not appear to have been opened and they all seem to be in great shape. What a journey they have been on!

Needless to say, it was bittersweet to get to see them, but, because of one official who is dragging his feet (he didn't come to work yesterday), I don't get to take them.

So... the wait goes on.

Two days ago, a ship sank at the port- we're happy that it was not our ship!

In other "non-port" news...

I had coffee this morning with Egmont. If you remember, Egmont's company is helping me get my Gabonese flight permit in their twin-engine aircraft (Beechcraft Baron). However, the person who will perform my "verification flight" arrives in Gabon on Friday for about a week stay and I am not ready at all! Egmont has been out of town for the past 2 weeks, so I haven't been doing any flying. Now, Egmont is back in town, but has already left again (after we had coffee) until Saturday! The crisis is that he wants me to pass this thing so that I can do his flying for him and he can go on vacation... AND... the examiner is only in town for a week!

Well... if I am not comfortable with flying the airplane, I'll get in it and make a fool of myself! I let him know this morning that I will not do this. Am I being ridiculous about this? I don't think so. I told him that I need a minimum of 2 hours of flight time and some coaching time from him to make this happen. He assured me that Sunday afternoon we will fly and perhaps some time on Monday morning, if he does not have a flight. The problem is that his company's arrangement with him as that they call him, at the drop of a hat, and say that they're ready to go somewhere. What a life.

So, please pray that this all comes together. I'd like to fly with Egmont, but it is not all together necessary.

That's the update for now.

ps. While at the port, I had my first hamburger in Gabon... a double cheese-burger oozing with slimy american-style sauce! A little peice of Heaven!

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