Monday, February 27, 2017

Motherhood Moments #21

Sometimes motherhood looks like this...
broken glass and glass shards. Our main door is a sheet of glass with bars surrounded by a metal frame. The door is difficult to close at times. On Saturday evening, as I went to close the door behind me, it did not shut the first time. In my hurry to get the littles inside, I pushed it a little too forcefully and the entire glass plate shattered! I did not realize how weak the glass was until that moment. After an embarrassed stutter-filled apology to Kevin, he cleaned up the remaining bits from the house and called Pepe to come get it fixed. The next day, Pepe came to measure the door and by Monday we had a new glass.
Francy sealing the glass

We have a functioning door again!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Murder Mystery - Terror in a Toga

Some days remind us of what "normal" used to feel like. Two of the ladies here came up with the idea to have a murder mystery party. They were able to buy a kit and invite people to the party. I cannot begin to describe how fun it was! Each person is given their role ahead of time and a character description. You then show up to the party dressed as your character. You are given a set of instructions and at this point, you are improv acting! Then the murder occurs! You must use the clues you have determined by talking to others to guess who did it. No one got it right this round so it made things even more fun. It is a mix of Clue, Mafia, and improv acting. Here are some photos from our event taking on my cellphone!

Justus Ruler the Senator and his wife Claudia

Money made from squished bottle caps painted gold (so crafty)

Some of the others dressed up

Our game faces...Kevin's method was to
always look like he was lying

The Senators

Some of the Roman food people brought - I took photos too early

The Senator and his Charioteer forming a plan

Amazing decorations!
Tables were set up with cushions

The most realistic costume and hair


Here is a photo of everyone taken by the amazing Jocelyn Frey, who was one of the ladies to set up the party. 

*The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this event are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.
No person or entity associated with this event received payment or anything of value.
No missionaries were harmed in the making of this event.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hangar Happenings #4

In Hangar Happenings # 2, I talked about the beginnings of the construction on the new bathroom. Here are some updates to the amazing new bathroom!

The original bathroom access was walled up to make a new wall for one toilet stall. 
The original door to the bathroom is now covered.
A wall was placed inside the toilet area to separate the sentinel shower from the new bathroom. The original space was large enough that shelves were in there and they were used for personal food storage, encouraging an abundance of rats. The sentinels will eventually have new lockers placed in a new common area to replace the dilapidated and water damaged old ones.
Leopold adding a wall between the
Sentinel shower and the new bathroom
After the walls were put up, Leopold placed new tiles.
The walls were plastered and painted.
Matthew placing plaster on the concrete.
Matthew setting up the ceiling fan/light.

For a new sink, Kevin found an old rusted Craftsman tool cabinet. Matthew removed the bottom drawers and cut a hole for a sink.
 Kevin painted it a shiny new red color.

 Matthew found someone to put in new cabinet doors.

 Matthew even came up with the cool idea to use old sockets for handles!

Finished product
Kevin is in the process of welding the doors and Wane will paint them. We will soon have an amazing bathroom!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Vaccine Flight

Many of the villages we fly to every day can be reached by other modes of transportation, however it's typically a combination of both boat and car or moto. A trip like this is expensive, dangerous, and quite time consuming. We know of two villages that are only 15 miles apart, but it can take up to a full day of travel to go through the deteriorated jungle trails on a motorcycle. 

Every couple of months, we partner with a local doctor to deliver vaccines to some isolated clinics in the interior of the Congo. I was able to go on this most recent trip where on the first day we landed at 6 villages. On the second day, we delivered to 4 more villages. And on the third day, we offloaded vaccines at 3 more destinations.

One of the other pilots who was on the trip with me.
Visiting these 13 villages using a method other than an airplane would have taken several weeks to accomplish. Also consider that most of the medicines we were transporting require a "cold chain," or constant refrigeration, and it would have been an impossible trip without the small aircraft. The medication would have gone bad.

Over a ton of medications, syringes, and other
miscellaneous medical supplies
Every day, we would begin at our home airport and load roughly 1,000 kilos (2,200 lbs) of medications, syringes, and medical supplies in to the airplane. After making our rounds, we would return to Ndolo and prepare the airplane for the next day.

Everything loaded and ready to go
All in all, over 3 days of travel, we were able to deliver 5.5 tons of vaccines to fight Polio, yellow fever, pneumococcus, and a few other diseases.

Unloading the supplies
In Kinshasa, we see the effects of Polio every day driving down the street. We also recently had a yellow fever outbreak that we helped combat. These are not vaccines of convenience, or something to do just in case. There is no "herd immunity" such as we have in developed countries. If children, pregnant women, or the rest of the population are not vaccinated, it is nearly a certainty there will be an epidemic and many, many people will become disabled (which is worse than death in an unforgiving place like the jungle) or die. 

Unloaded much needed supplies
These vaccine runs are just an example of many vital flights we are able to accomplish with small aircraft because of our love for the isolated people of Congo.