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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.

2 Responses to “Up and down and all around”

  1. Todd Stapf Says:

    Hi Jay, how the heck are you doing? Do you want me to send Dean over there to help out?

  2. Jay Says:

    We’re doing well! Glad to hear from you Todd, please tell everyone around Omaha a ‘hello!’ from us.

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