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Jay | Susan | Alex | Beth | Samantha
November 24, 2008 5:28 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

the Northern Frontier District.  That was Saturday and today.

Saturday was Gatab to Loiyangalani to Wamba, and back, then later down to Loi, back to Gatab, then to Nolpilipili and back.  With a pause at both Wamba and Gatab for a flat tire (yes, airplanes get them too).

I landed at Wamba wondering what the thwap thwap thwap was and why wouldn’t the airplane go straight…then looked at the left main wheel. Drat.  So, I got the passengers out (two of them had been sick the entire flight), and dug out some tools.  Hmm, let’s try just pumping it up, if it will hold for take off I can fix it at home where I have all my tools.  It might even hold air long enough to get it into the hangar.  So I pump away with the little bicycle pump we have in the toolbag.  The nurses from the hospital show up with a stretcher (I’d requested a wheel chair, the one patient was coming to Wamba for surgery to correct a hip-leg problem, and could barely walk).  “Why’d you park here?  It’s very far from the hospital!” they said.  I keep working the bike pump. “I had a flat tire, and couldn’t move the airplane.”  “Why’d you park so far away?  It was a very long walk.”  Sigh. “Pole kwa safari refu yako.”  (Sorry for the long walk).   The tire holds air, and I head back to Gatab.

It held air long enough for me to land and get turned around, but went dead flat not quite half way back to the hangar.  Oh well.  Up to the house to get a floor jack and some tools.  Then another trip to get a tube of tube-patch cement, the one in the airplane was all dried up, even though it had never been used!  Arg!  Finally the tire is fixed.

I went to Haven Home’s graduation ceremony, held for the students from Haven Home who have finished 8th grade (high school is optional here, and less than 50% attend).  Then to Loi, and back, and then to Nolpilipili and back.

Today I was working on the Gatab hospital’s ambulance, trying to get the brakes fixed.  Some progress.  I replaced the cracked brake line but I can’t get the brakes bled properly. It always takes about 2 pumps before you get brakes. Not acceptable.  I was scratching my head over it when Jeff Heidorn came up. “Want to drive to South Horr?”  Huh?  “Job was asked to go pick up 3 policeman there and bring them here, and he just can’t say ‘no.'”  So Jeff and I saddle up (after getting 30 liters of diesel from the police) and go pick these guys up.  It was actually rather fun.  About a 4 hour drive all told.  The roads, after the rains, are horrible.  Egad. There’s one culvert where the road has nearly washed away.  If we get more rains there it will likely become impassable.   Anyway, a good drive. Saw half a dozen ngurunik (giraffe neck  gazelle) and a Grevy’s zebra.

Up and down and all around the NFD.

November 19, 2008 2:09 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

A family in Nolpilipili has been struggling for nearly 4 weeks to send a mother and child to Kijabe to have the infant’s (he’s 3 months old) hydroencephalitis treated.  We were able to get them on the airplane today coming down to Nairobi, and stopped in Kijabe on the way.  Also on the plane were a lady from Gatab who’d fallen from a tree and torn her leg open.  The nurses at the Gatab clinic were able to save her life, but not her foot.  She’s getting her leg amputated below the knee.  We also had a doctor up visiting, part of a medical team over to do cleft palate corrections, his 13 year old daughter and her best friend.

Just south of Maralal (about the halfway point) the daughter comes on the intercom, “Dad, I think something’s wrong, the lady’s crying.”  We all look back.  Tears are streaming down her face.   I asked the doctor if there’s anything he can do if we land.  He  shakes his head, so we continue to Kijabe.  The ambulance is waiting there for us, and the nurse with the ambulance quickly confirms what we’d feared, “The child is not with us.”

How does one answer this?  God is good.  God is in control.  How then tragedy like this?  It’s easy to say the book of Job has the answers, which it does, but as a missionary how do I comfort this family?

November 14, 2008 2:38 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

It works!  The fence around the airfield here in Gatab seems to be working.  It was completed last week, and so far, no animals on the runway!  Well, crows, but the fence is a bit low to keep them out.  I took Hunter running down on the airstrip yesterday and she was wanting to chase the crows.  They were catching updrafts off the clifff edge so I didn’t let her…I could easily see the goofy dog jumping the fence to go after a crow and not noticing there was no ground on the other side. Not good.  But, the no animals is very good!

November 8, 2008 6:20 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Well, Mom left Kenya yesterday for South Africa.  We had a great visit!  As far as seeing the country side, Mom’s timing was perfect.  She got to go to Loiyangalani, Ngurunit, Korr, Kurungu, Olturot and Nolpilipili.  On one flight I dropped her and Jim Teasdale and Bob Cornuke off in the desert at Sedar while I shuttled people from Kurungu.  She rode in the back of a lorry and on the 4-wheelers between Gatab and Luai.  She got to meet all the people here at the Gatab mission station and went camping with us in the lugga and got to hang around with the missionaries from all over the NFD.  Alex and Beth and Sam got to spend lots of time with her, as did Susan and I.  It was a great visit.

But…I dropped her at the airport yesterday morning to continue on to South Africa to visit her friend Christine, so it’s back to work as usual for all of us.  Today I go to Lodwar to pick up some people and take them to Ngurunit, the on Monday take them on to Kisumu and then I return to Gatab.  Assuming, of course, I can get off Gatab anytime soon. The rainy season is here! I dodged rain showers all the way from Nairobi to Gatab yesterday.  This is a good thing, actually, since we need the rain. If rather inconvenient today.