Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why Airplanes are Better...and Needed

So, we thought it would be nice to drive to a remote part of Gabon with the Kelly family to rest and relax during their last week in the country. Here's the fun that followed...

Here's Tim pointing the way to the best passage way. That's me in our Nissan Patrol.

Here's Tim's car right after coming through a bad section where he almost flipped over... TWICE!

As we were leaving this area, others were still coming (even though they had been warned) and were getting stuck. This guys' car is buried up to the door handle on the right side!

Yep- that's me on the left (white t-shirt) digging out the mud/clay that had become part of the underside of our car! The white vehicle was the first car in our set of vehicles that went through this section and got stuck. I hadn't realized how bad it was and was following too closely to stop in time. I had stopped at a "high" point about 20 feet behind him. I got out of my car, walked across the expanse of the road and determined that, if I could get to the other side, I'd be in good shape.

What i hadn't factored was that, as I drove perpendicular across the road, my tires would drop so low in the old tire tracks, that I would "bottom out". When that happened, I immediately became "glued" to the earth.

In this photo, you can see that I'm getting pulled out with a cable, thanks to Tim K. You can also see that it doesn't matter which way you turn your tires, you WILL travel in the same tire ruts as the cars before you.

So, you'll be happy to know that, after getting freed from this tight spot, we were able to find our way back to a better road and a not-so-remote place, but still very nice, and rest and relax eventually!

Sadly, once rainy season begins, you just never know if roads are going to be passable to get you from one place to another. So, unless you have everything you need close by you and surrounded by pavement, you can very easily become shut off from vital services. This is just one scenario... this scene gets played out all over Gabon. Our aviation program aims to bridge those gaps and provide a lifeline to HOPE.

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