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Getting Down to Business

April 17, 2012

So, I apologize for the silence on my part… but the good news is that I have been pretty busy – both with our new house and also with work at the hangar.  It is really fulfilling after the long wait to finally be able to get to work – almost 15 months in the waiting. Thanks again to all of you for getting us here with your prayers and financial support!

The first week was set aside for acclimating to the time difference and everything else.  I started to get the house into shape as well – figuring out how to get the mosquito nets best set up, how to deal with the bugs, troubleshooting the fickle wireless router, etc…  I also started rebuilding the kitchen counters – getting most of the demolition done.  I found that the little ants we had all over the counters had actually made nests under the tile!  A first for me after years of pest control experience!  Thanks to the IT team, we were set up on arrival with three batteries and a solar panel – these are hooked up to run the wireless antennae and router and will also provide power to several LED lights as well as a few fans (when I get to it).  I was able to add a fourth battery, a solar voltage regulator, and also have a A/C converter charger to connect.

When I was finally allowed to start working (outside the house), I got the full tour of our facilities at the airport.  I was quickly elbow deep in a non-functioning air conditioner (thanks to David Francis for the hands-on training) and starting some maintenance and repairs on our vehicles.  I was also able to fit in a flight out to Vanga, and will try to write a dedicated post about that soon!

Under the Black Tape of DOOOOOOOM!

Blown fuse...wrap it with wire? Yumm, melty!

The dream sheet for Base Maintenance projects out here is as long as my arm, and that doesn’t even start addressing the staff’s at-home needs.  I was able to get 12v lights going in the hangar bathroom as well as the pilot office, so now no one will get stuck on the john in the dark when the power goes out!  My next set of projects out there will be getting the 12v squared away on an enclosed equipment rack (the dust here is prolific) and to get a hard-piped compressed air system installed in the shop and hangar.  Currently we are dragging air hoses all over the place and the darn compressor is obnoxiously loud.

New 12v light in Pilot Office

Epic and prolific dust!

The biggest project we have on the table is fabricating a new tower at the MAF house for bouncing our wireless out to the airport.  Thanks to Brion Toss and Company I have some sweet rigging concepts we are going to try to put to use: We have visions of a 10 meter tower, that will fully pivot down for maintenance.  This behemoth will mount on the roof and should clear up signal issues at the hangar.

I'll see you your 5m and raise you 5!

Right now it is all about priorities and budget!  Please pray for continued safety on the job, also, as a type A personality I need to appreciate the very creative world (especially in “repairs”) in which I now live.

Very "artsy", people... nice creativity... I love you for who you are... Yes friends, that is a pipe clamp on a battery terminal.

Thanks again, more to follow!

-Matthew

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Tasha Spann permalink
    April 17, 2012 0829

    Love your picture comments!!! Now, I will leave you to your “honey-do” list! 🙂

  2. Bill Pankow permalink
    April 17, 2012 0829

    It sounds like in your work, you will find many foreign ways of fixing things. (pun intended since you are in Africa). Fixing things in ways that here in the states – just wouldn’t pass inspection, but yet are needed there to make things work and doing so with very limited supplies and resources. May God bless your efforts and enable you to work safely. It will definitely be a different ballgame there. Where I worked, we would always try to ask ourselves “What is the worst thing that could happen if I do it this way?” Many times, by asking that question, we would re-think the job and do it in a safer way. Think safe, work safe. May God bless you………..Uncle Bill
    P.S. I have been enjoying reading all the postings that you and Lisa have blogged. Thanks for keeping everyone in the loop with these blogs. It is nice to know what you all are experiencing over there. Was great to skype with you on Sunday. Take care, give the family hugs and kisses.

  3. May 24, 2012 0829

    Thanks for writing your post Matthew! I love hearing your perspective on this new life of yours! Blessings ~ Sis

  4. May 24, 2012 0829

    I love that all your experiences have added together to prepare you for all this work ahead of you ~ rigging on ships, and playing with wiring boards when we were growing up, pest control, police and fire at the airport, construction, sea scouts, the list goes on and on! Enjoy it all! Even the moments of the black tape of doom, and all the nasty bugs :~) [Just remember how ugly you look to them ;~) ]

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