Sunday, February 27, 2011


If this picture doesn’t make sense to you (note padlock on car door), you obviously need a bit more adventure in your life ☺ If it does make sense to you, then you probably need a bit less. And that’s where I stand, though I’m not complaining. I’d rather be nowhere else in my life right now than where I am, doing what I’m doing.

But I have to tell you about my little adventure last week. We were in Nelspruit, South Africa, getting business done (check previous blog post). There’s usually nothing riveting about business-errands because they involve a lot of city driving, parking, going into buildings, asking questions, sourcing supplies (boring stuff, like water pipes and pieces of metal for construction), paying bills, driving some more, etc.

(Dwight and Ron Wayner poring over Training Centre plans last week. Hanging out with Ron and Barb added some fun to last week's business errands.)

Anyway, at one of our stops I decided to stay in the vehicle while the guys ran inside. Within about 5 minutes, I heard a thump on my car door. A guy had pulled the handle trying to open it but since it was locked, the handle just snapped back down. I glowered at him while I tried to size up what exactly was afoot. I could see his buddies in my side mirror, hovering like vultures around the back of the vehicle. I’ve been through this before so will summarize more or less how this type of thieving routine goes (this is the least violent version):

Plan A:
Guy 1- Open passenger door and grab stuff.
Guys 2, 3, etc. – Take stuff from Guy 1, and while passenger is distracted, defending her/himself, open other doors and grab whatever else there is to be grabbed.
Plan B (if door is locked):
Guy 1 – Point below vehicle to indicate something is seriously wrong.
When unsuspecting victim opens door, grab!
Guy 2, 3, etc. – Hover and wait. Otherwise, same as Plan A.

As I stared at the nearest guy, he started pointing below my vehicle. I’ve been robbed before by falling for that one and it wasn't about to happen again too easily, so I just leaned over and honked the horn to alert the whole world. At this, the little mob shrunk considerably in size. Thankfully, Dwight came out to see what the matter was and immediately moved the vehicle to a safer spot in the loading bay. The guys still lurked in the parking lot but weren’t brave enough to come close to the building. And thus ended my little adventure for the day. Phew. (Very thankful Someone was looking out for me!)

That was my most memorable moment, but there were other noteworthy moments too.

Dwight, Andy and Paul flew the Cessna to Joburg to have a peto-tube?-something-or-other checked or calibrated. To me, it was just more boring machine/pipe/metal business, so I stayed home and studied for an upcoming exam. I guess one man's boredom is another man's adventure. Good thing because it's very important that these things get done!

The trip also gave Andy a chance to fly a bit in Joburg airspace. And from a look at these photos of Dwight’s, I'm not sure it was such a boring trip after all.

Coal-powered electricity generation

Andy and Paul

(Not sure how best to label this one...)

By Thursday we were ready to head home with the Cessna.

Packing up.

The flight went well and while Dwight and Andy manned the controls, I studied some more.

We landed in Chimoio to discover that while the Cessna was on its mini-summer-holiday at Mercy Air, the grass in the surrounding area had grown to 6 feet high making it impossible to taxi through to the hangar. There was only one option: push!

Keep pushing...

I'm thinking it was pretty tough going. I don't know for sure though...I was guarding the car. (Ok, that's an excuse. I wasn't feeling well and was tired. :))

The next 2 days were a blur as we unpacked, got caught up on things at home, and I wrote my exam. Saturday came around soon enough and we welcomed some guests by "touring" some of the mission's sites.

Left to right: Rick Cogbill, Shephen and Caitlin Mbewe, Dwight, and Bob.

We welcome Rick and Bob who are here for a month to help specifically with their skills in construction and mechanics. (You can check Rick's blog by clicking here.)

There has been good progress on the Training Centre with walls going up on another wing. We now have an "L" shaped building.

And with that, I will close.

Remember to lock your doors. Unless you want a little more adventure, that is :)

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