"Karibu.... Africa welcomes you. " High fives and hugs all around. We have set foot on African soil
Other then the general annoyances of airline travel these days, we have made it uneventfully as far as Nairobi where we'll spend the night (getting about 5 hrs rest) before heading back to the airport for our early morning flight into Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. We are ready for the adventure ahead of us..... we have recently learned that our 9-passenger missionary plane will not be available to take us to Kapanga (Congolese red tape), our cook has taken ill (let's hope not from issues related to food handling), and our advance supply truck has not yet reached Kapanga ahead of us (despite leaving Lubumbashi several weeks ago). So we shift into Plan B (with UMVIM teams there's always a Plan B).
This group was selected not soley for their medical skills, but as importantly, for their ability to be FLEXIBLE!! Ah yes, that key to the success of any UMVIM team. We'll work with our UMC and MAF pilots on flying us in on 6-passenger planes (no aviation fuel available in Congo but they'll work out that teensy little detail somehow. The 9-passenger plane they had planned for us uses jet fuel, widely available).
The advance supply truck may have our medical supplies, our ready-made fortified peanut supplement to start the nutritional program, and our food and water supply, but we have our granola bars!! (So, why are we taking our own food up in advance??? Because the local food resources are so severly limited it would literally take food out of their mouths to feed us. )
So for now, we rest. Let the adventure begin!
~jan kaiser for 'the team'