Sunday, August 29, 2010

Loki in pictures

can be seen on Breanna's facebook page...

Scattered glimpses of the week.


9am: Flying over the jade sea in the early morning, I listened to a podcast on forgiveness. The immense lake below set the mood for a message on canceling the debt of others who may have wronged us. The concept seems so easy alone in a cockpit.

11am: I am a passenger, shooting out over an abrupt cliff. As the Earth disappears out my window, Jeff explains the safe way to depart. This airstrip checkout at Gatab was more exhilarating than I imagined! An hour earlier we were digging up thorn bushes at the lower airstrip, but now we weave a perfect line around the mountain ready to land.

6pm: I rush around the hangar in Nairobi trying to catch people I need to see and prepare a different airplane for the flight tomorrow. It is my first overnight in Nairobi. Kind of strange, since landing in Nairobi used to mean returning home. Now I am again 500 miles away from the family. Everyone at the hangar is extremely helpful, understanding this is my rare chance to be able to take care of issues in Nairobi... Passports, work projects, flight paperwork, labelling items to ship up to Loki...

4:50 am: I rush around different aisles at Nakumatt (open 24 hours- definitely Nairobi) checking off things for me, things for the family, and things for missionaries in Sudan.

7:30 am: The Cessna 206 groans down the runway. The cargo pod and cabin are completely full with boxes of medicine - almost half a ton. The seats are out to make more space. My seat, unfortunately places me too far forward in the cabin. That's gonna make for a long day...

9 am: The Tachometer shows 0 RPM. The engine sounds fine, so I know it is a display issue. I call Base on the HF radio and ask for their opinion. They give the OK to continue to Loki. I am hoping the problem is just the flexible shaft came off the tach drive of the engine. But I know it was tight this morning when I checked it, and the inspection putty showed it wasn't slipping. I run my numbers for the day and realize I can only afford 15 minutes in Loki to stay on schedule.

10:30 am: I arrive back home in Loki, but just for a quick turn. As Starline begins fueling, I take off the cowl, and unfortunately the cable is securely fastened on the tach drive. I check the cable attachment to the tachometer and it is also firmly attached. Must be a bigger issue. Well, not going any further today. Jon and I call Nairobi and arrange for parts, then I secure the plane and go home to surprise the family.

7pm: I read an e-mail saying a church in Arizona is very interested in helping us put new solar equipment on this house. This is a huge blessing, since the equipment on the house now is old and barely functional, especially during a period of cloudy days.

9 am: I retrieve vegetables and fruit that were kept cool overnight at Jon and Ginny's, and meet Starline to go back to the plane. The new parts arrive, and after a little head scratching, find the problem with the old flexible shaft.

12:30 pm: I run the engine to test, then depart to Sudan on a two and a half hour leg.

3 pm: Land in Akot, Sudan. The meds fill up a Land Cruiser, and part of a pickup. I smile thinking that all of those boxes fit inside the small airplane. The apples and oranges I bought at Nakumatt made it fine. After refuelling and talking with the missionary couple there, I blast off. I need to be home before sunset.

4:30 pm: Climbing up past 11,000 feet with rain clouds all around, I finally stretch out my legs. Behind me are two bicycles, imprisoned by my cargo net, and a lot of space around them. And a lot of space behind me so my seat can slide back...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

No idea what to call this

Went to embassy to start renewal of kids passports, bought pet food for trip, looked at options for framing AIM AIR group photo, bought 12v fans for Loki, came home to a major leak in upstairs bathroom, took furniture to hangar to go on next available ride, figured weight available for Bre's Monday flight, went to finance, unloaded trailer, adjusted valve clearance on car's engine, took Bre to a movie, bought replacement flex line for toilet, installed line, still leaks, wrapped a ton of thread tape on connection... leaked stopped, wiped up water on floor, came into bedroom, dog on bed, must get him zzzzz

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Days Ahead

Will today mark the end of a calm? Or instead quieten months of
debate and politics. Tomorrow Kenyans take a simple vote ... yes or no
on whether they agree to the proposed new constitution. A diverse
country where members of parliament, I am told, make more than US
senators, yet the minimum wage starts around $60 / month; that diverse
country will decide on the direction it needs to go and the document
to guide it.

Most of the debate exceeds my depth, but the bigger issues are the
trajectory of word changes regarding abortion, exemptions to civil
rights to allow Islamic courts to function, and ownership of land. To opponents the words have become too ambiguous and open ended.

Most people I talk to don't feel there will be significant fallout
as a result of the election. Regardless, orders from management direct us to
stock up for the long haul and have everything ready for departure.

That's good and bad for us. We leave Nairobi for good this weekend, so
we're ready for departure. What's tougher is keeping our go bags ready
as we scatter stuff throughout the house in the course of hauling and

There is uncertainty. Will the vote go peacefully? If not, the road I
drive to Loki follows a string of refugee camps for displaced people
from the election two years ago. Potential hot spots.
Breanna, the kiddos, and our stuff will follow on an airplane flight
Monday, however our flight schedule is in constant flux as we wait for
the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to decide whether our US registered
aircraft can fly in Kenya.

The days ahead? I wish I could tell you how they will go, but I have
no idea. But I know who holds tomorrow ...

When you have a spare minute- pray for Kenya, pray for our move to
Loki, and pray the work ahead telling everyone of a second chance,
grace from failure, and freedom forever... that the work will still go