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Friday, February 16, 2018

Tour the Hangar in Madagascar

Hopefully this video gives you a glimpse of what it's like at the hangar minus our 20+ staff, who are integral parts of the team here. We filmed on a Saturday, typically everyone's day off unless there's a scheduled flight or medivac taking place, so you won't see any of the staff in this video, but be assured, the hangar is buzzing with activity during the week!


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Madagascar - Majestic Beauty and Ashes

Last week I had the unique privilege to go off site! (Meaning, I was able to leave my house and my main area of responsibility and ministry, my children and the homeschool.)

I flew with the MAF plane that was making a vaccination delivery to the west coast and the community of Morondava. This region is the home to over 100,000 people and currently more isolated because of the rainy season. Normally we wouldn't fly vaccines out there as there are roads but, presently due very poor driving conditions, MAF is the solution to lack of infrastructure.

This area is the gateway to the Avenue of the Baobabs. Among the top 10 famous trees in the world, these amazing baobabs sit there majestically. A stark contrast to the poverty living under the trees.

To one of our MAF Staff, local boys show off a large chameleon they found

For me, whenever I get the chance to step off the plane and experience the wilder side of Madagascar, I'm struck with the vast nothing-ness here. If that makes any sense. It's difficult to put into words all of my feelings when I witness the isolation, lack of development, and living conditions, that millions of people face. All I can hear are crickets and cicadas, perhaps a child laughing, or a baby's cry. No traffic sounds, no hustle and bustle of people to and from their place of work or play. It's just quiet. Simplicity and survival: that's life in Madagascar. Lonely women and children are seen in the distance with a sickle and basket, harvesting what small greenery they can find. A man pedalling his bike passes by. A wooden-wheeled cart pulled by oxen with sacks of charcoal, everyone's staple cooking fuel, rumbles along the red dirt road. The only thing that marks habitation, are a few stick huts, and rice patties. The infrastructure is so basic: a single power line providing minimal electricity to a select few. Everyone else relying on candles.

This is truly a world unlike the one I had the privilege of growing up in.......

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We are going into 2018 with a very full calendar as far as maintenance on the aircraft. Currently, Rob is busy installing a new avionics mod to the 182. The dash is completely taken apart, and he has removed the old instrument panel to be replaced with lighter, fancier, more streamlined touch screens. He is very excited to get this installed. When he weighed all of the old wiring and instruments he removed, it added up to a few kilos! In this tiny aircraft, every kilo of weight counts.

This year we had no plans to go anywhere for New Years, and we didn't have anyone over either. Some of us have been sick on and off over the week of Christmas, so we thought it would be better to make no plans (yes, that's my glass-is-half-empty mentality) than have to cancel something and face severe disappointment from the children...

Anyhow, at the last minute, or when we were driving home from church Rob and I started to brainstorm some ideas for the kids and came up with a scavenger hunt for them to do. It was so much fun! And I'm sure will become a lasting memory for them. Now to make it bigger and better next year.  :)