Friday, August 17, 2012

03 August Flights- To & From Bongolo!

They all loved Bongolo so much they're back!  Here are repeat teammates- Dennis and MaryAnn S. and Annalise O. behind me.  Since they are staying a bit longer than most, I removed the 3rd row of seats and piled their luggage up high.

Still dry season in Gabon, so low clouds are always a part of the flights.  On this flight, we cruised down to Bongolo at 7000 feet and on the way back, it was 8500 feet.  The "dry season" overcast hangs out around 2000 to 3000 feet.

Arrival at Bongolo airstrip.

After a some calculations we're ready to drop off the passengers coming to Bongolo and load up the new load.

My co-pilot for the ride back to Bongolo- Amanda M.  She's a new teammate at Bongolo helping with the nursing school.

The other passengers were (R to L) Ching-See (med-student), Joan M. (Doc), and Dr. Tchoba's mother-in-law and daughter.

Back to School Blues...

My children (Joe-17; Megan-16; Sam-14 next week) absolutely love their school.  For Alace and I, it's a love-hate relationship.  We love it because it is, without a question, one of the best high schools on the continent of Africa and because the environment is one that nurtures their walk with the Lord.  We've really seen them grow at Rain Forest International School.  However, we do hate it in that, it is not located in Libreville, but rather in Yaounde- a two hour airplane ride away.   For weeks at a time, we are empty nesters... way too soon for Alace and I.

 Here are some pics from back to school this year: 

Dinner at UBAC house!  12 students live there.

Here's Megan with her roommate, Krista.

A day before classes, the boys headed up on campus to set up some soccer.  Joe is on the left with his friend Jon.

Megan also headed up to campus to walk around and catch up with a friend, Rachael, whose family was on furlough in the states last year.

Sam also got in on the soccer action.  He'll be 14 in a week!!!  (25 Aug)
All in all, we are so thrilled that the kids have such a great place to attend.  With skype, facebook messaging, cell phones, and frequent visits, we stay connected.  It's never how we thought our kids' teenage years would look like, but our Heavenly Father knew this.  He is taking care of us!

I Lied To My Daughter

Subtitle:  "Megan's Sweet 16 Party"

I have a confession... I lied to my daughter!  After spending two days back in Cameroon getting our kids settled in to the new UBAC dorm house , we kissed our kids goodbye as they headed off to their first day of the new school year.  However... that was a bald-faced lie!  Joe and Sam were in on it, by the way.

Alace and I set the stage in the UBAC dorm house living room.

... the dining area was readied as well...  Joe had actually made a facebook page (somehow kept it secret from Megan) to announce the party and invite everyone. 

The plan was to have everyone come to UBAC right after the final bell (the house is adjacent to the campus) and get ready for Megan to arrive.  Joe and a friend had a plan to keep Megan distracted for a bit on campus.  It all worked!  About 50 or so showed up!

THE BIG MOMENT!!!  SURPRISE!!!  In the end, she had sensed something was up, but was still not expecting what happened.  We are so blessed to have a wonderful, beautiful daughter who is maturing into a Godly woman!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Air Evac- 06 August

 I was called on Sunday night by the president of the national church saying that a terrible accident after the conclusion of the Alliance Woman's annual conference in the east of the country had left many injured- some of them seriously.

Eastbound from Libreville to Makokou at 9000 feet.  This is what Gabon looks like during dry season- a lower solid overcast all day long.
Using the "jungle jepps", I descended on the prescribed course and broke through the overcast nearing the village.  It's was my first time to this village runway where regional airline service lands 2 or 3 times a week.

Descending for runway 0-6 over the village.

The ambulance was waiting as well as quite a crowd- almost two dozen.  The first load from the ambulance were two ladies with head and arm wounds mostly.  They sat along the left side of the aircraft while the right side was left for the woman that would come and need to remain laying down.

I was blessed to have Yolande, a Bongolo-trained nurse and also an Alliance Woman, along to assist during the flight.
This flight had another first- landing at Bongolo the opposite direction then normal... runway 2-7.  You can make out the airport ahead- we're on about a 4 mile final approach.

Upon arrival, Steve H., a Bongolo doctor, jumped into action, treating the woman laying down first.

Bongolo Hospital's ambulance driver, Philippe, was on the spot, waiting to load up the injured, along with Karen F. who used her personal car as well.

We all pitched in and got the ladies loaded.  Our hospital administrator, Pastor Serge B. has his back to the photo.  His wife, Jackie, is closest to the airplane.  When's the last time you visited a medical facility and the director was there to meet you?!? Now, that's service!