Friday, August 22, 2008

Friends of all kinds

In the last few weeks, I’ve enjoyed a significant infusion of new friends in my life. So, without further ado:

Koko (or the phonetically-equivalent “Cocoa” for the English-inclined) joined me on my flight from Gaborone back to Maun after my week of doing maintenance on the airplane in South Africa, and is a now a permanent resident of my Maun house. Debbie found her abandoned along the roadside near the female short-termers house in Gaborone, and since Nicola and Debbie are both leaving in a few weeks they needed to find a home for her. She now enjoys a reign of terror in my house, where she eats ravenously and indiscriminately, fearlessly climbs any and all panted legs, and will stalk and attack any moving object with abandon. She also does her best to chew off any proffered fingers.

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Christoph is a much more transient visitor. Hailing from Germany, he spent a year working with Flying Mission as a short-termer about 3 years ago, and is just coming back to spend a few months here helping out where he can. He has been working with Baptist missionaries here in Maun, and I have greatly enjoyed spending time with Christoph and getting to know him. One of the highlights: Christoph found a neighbor of his that has a boat and convinced him to let us rent it for the day. The catch…it didn’t come with a motor. So we spent the day learning how to pole up and down the river, with varying degrees of success. It was hard work and lots of fun, but I unfortunately forgot to take my camera along.
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The new Flying Mission couple has also arrived in Maun, as mentioned before. Here Julie enjoys a nap with Koko in one of her quieter moments. The Browns are staying with me in my house until about the second week of September, when they plan on moving into a house of their own. They’ve already signed the lease and it looks like things are falling into place for that arrangement. They are a very warm-hearted couple and it has been a lot of fun living with them and getting to know them in the last week or two.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Maun flight department in its entirety. Unfortunately, right now Colin isn’t able to do any flying on his own because our only aircraft at the moment is registered in South Africa and Colin only has his Botswana license. Flying Mission is working on getting a Bots-registered airplane down from our department in Zambia for him to fly, so hopefully that will all come together in the next weeks. It will be a great help to have Colin flying as well and giving me a bit of a break from time to time. I’m looking forward to working here more as a team rather than all on my own, so it’s exciting to finally have the Browns with me.

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Finally (lest this post get too long for you to suffer through), our gardener brought his family along one evening last week and we invited them in for dinner. Lesh, his wife Gaone, and their child Warona, came in and enjoyed some food and conversation before heading back home for the night. During the day, Lesh is a maintenance worker at Love Botswana, a large church/school complex just down the road from us.

Alright, that’s it for the new friends of the moment. More to come later.
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Monday, August 11, 2008

First of all, I must apologize for my abysmal blogging record of late. It’s been partly due to being very busy, partly due to laziness, and largely influenced by the lack of new and different things that have been happening of late.

At the moment I’m coming to the end of a long weekend spent in South Africa at Mercy Air once again, having an inspection done on the airplane. The goal was to have the inspection finished within two days, but unfortunately we fell just a few hours short of that goal on Saturday evening meaning that we had to wait until today (Monday) to finish up the last bits of work. It was okay for me though, because I was very happy to have Sunday off after a long week of flying and then working on the airplane. The last month’s schedule has been for the most part a continuous loop of 7 days of flying with one day off in between, which gets pretty tiring after a while. In that month, I’ve flown about 95 hours, which is just short of the maximum of 100 hours per month allowable by law in Botswana. So needless to say I’ve been pretty busy.

The other big news is that a new Flying Mission couple has moved up to Maun to join me. Colin and Julie Brown have lived in Alaska (where Colin had his own flying business and Julie was an elementary teacher) for the past 30 years and are making a major transition I their lives by coming to Botswana. They were staying with me in my house for a few days before I left to come down here, and they will be living with me until they find a place of their own to settle in to. More about them later, but now I need to run along and help finish up the work on the airplane. And then back to the grind.