With your help the people of West Africa have "a chance, not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation".

Monday, January 30, 2012

Captains Blog 2012 day 30

Finally the roofing timbers are making their way (now painted and joined) to make the beams, and then the purlins will join them and we will be closer still our goal of a mini-clinic-accommodation-training centre - another step on the path of changing lives, one flight at a time! WE fully expect to see the roofing completed this week - that includes cutting up 5 foam mattresses to create 'bat prevention' solutions for the roof space!

Friday, January 27, 2012

On the shores of the worlds largest man made lake .. water is still an issue

Water continues to be a challenge - and we need it sorted out before the opening of the clinic.... in the meantime we send the truck 3 or 4 times per week to collect water... the girls are great and never complain...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The International Parade of Nations

It's a daily request but as the webmaster for MoM I'm asked where our webpage visitors are from. How many visitors stop by our website? And how many return?

I can say with pride we have an international following that encompasses every corner of the globe. Since we began tracking the hits on our website we have had visitors from 126 nations. Nearly 50% of them return time and time again to see what we're up to.

We want thank each and every one of you for your continued support and hope that you stop back to check on us often. If you get the chance drop us a note, we'd love to hear from you.

Contact MoM


Sept 12, 2010 – Jan 23, 2012

9,936 Visits

5,753 Unique Visitors

30,410 Pageviews

125 Nations (listed in Alphabetical order)

AfghanistanCroatiaIraqMoroccoSolomon Islands
AlbaniaCyprusIrelandMyanmar[Burma]South Africa
AlgeriaCzech RepublicIsraelNamibiaSouth Korea
AustraliaEgyptJapanNew ZealandSweden
AustriaEl SalvadorJerseyNigeriaSwitzerland
BeninGermanyLatviaPolandTrinidad and Tobago
BrazilGreeceLiberiaPuerto RicoTurks and Caicos Islands
Burkina FasoGuatemalaLithuaniaRomaniaUkraine
CambodiaGuyanaLuxembourgRussiaUnited Arab Emirates
CameroonHaitiMacedonia [FYROM]RwandaUnited Kingdom
CanadaHong KongMalaysiaSaudi ArabiaUnited States
Costa RicaIndonesiaMauritiusSlovakiaZambia
Côte d’IvoireIranMexicoSloveniaZimbabwe

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Mini clinic/training facility layout

As people have visited the physical site of B3/4 - the first DEDICATED MoM building structure ever, as well as those who are regular visitors from around the world, I get asked 'what will the rooms be used for?

Well, let us look at the rooms. Each room is 4m x 4m (13' x 13') and each bathroom is 2m x 3m (6'6'' x 10'). The porches are 2m x 2m (6'6'' x 6'6'').

The end room is the mini-Clinic - it will contain the nurses desk (yes we hope to get a nurse in the near future on a full time basis - would you like to volunteer for a year as a nurse?), medicine cabinets (from antiseptic cream upwards), dressings trolley (for aseptic dressings procedures), sink, sharps/medical waste bin, examination light and the examination/treatment bed. Remember this is for Trauma cases and dressing changes. Our biggest challenge is cuts and accidents - the minor ones (without lots of blood loss) will be able to be handled here very soon. It will also be used for training - we need to teach HOW to clean a wound - even just a scratch or a bite - THAT IS THE SOURCE OF SO MANY ISSUES - it is so simple that most organisations are not even touching on this area - and it is the basis of so much. This room has an optional sloped entrance for stretcher or wheelchair access or access if the training room is in use.

Next up is the 'Clinic WC' - it has a shower and toilet with a wash hand basin.

Training room - we hope to have seating for about 10 people (although a lot training will be done in the open air facilities elsewhere on the airfield) and to have some CBT (Computer Based Training) facilities. We hope to have a large screen on the wall so that we can show documentaries and other aids to training - perhaps as much for training the trainers as the people who come in from the villages for training! The training room will double up as a 'common room' in the evenings for volunteers, visitors and/or residential trainees. In a squeeze we can also sleep 2 people in the training room.

This room is normally accessed from the Porch - which is a 'mosquito and Mud control zone'!

Next up is another WC!

Visitor/Trainee Accommodation will be for volunteers as well as for groups we bring in on a residential training. It holds 6 beds (3 sets of bunk beds). Accessed from the Training room.

MoM Admin Office - again with its own wheelchair friendly access (in fact we are trying to put wheelchair friendly paths everywhere on the site over 2012) - starting with the accommodation and MoM offices... if you are in a wheelchair do not think that stops you volunteering in Africa - we are getting ready for you! (of course we may also have wheelchair bound students in the future or have a patient in the mini-clinic who needs to be moved by wheelchair too.)

Finally, MoM Staff Accommodation: The hard-working MoMmers need somewhere to lay their heads, and to get some privacy! It is the same size as the AvTech Accommodation units, and that sense of 'team and equality' is everywhere at our place...

So, wherever you are - start planning on getting out here - we are ready to receive you! Pending the completion of the above, we have created a 'visitor pad' by blocking off one end of the girls hostel - it will be ready next week! (Masons Permitting!)

Did you know we get people reading about us and contacting us from all over the world : Iceland, Australia, Beverly Hills, Philipines, Iowa (yes even Iowa), Missouri, London, Paris, Canada, and a lot a lot of other places - THANK YOU ALL FOR READING - please send us a little a little 'Hi' to capt.yaw@gmail.com and a few words about what you like about reading about MoM - and we will send you one of our soon to be announced 'MoM Health Bracelets' - a bracelet that tells a sad story with a potentially happy ending!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Captains Blog Year 2012, day 24

... barely three weeks since we started the construction of B3/4 we are nearly at the roofing stage. This is possibly a miracle, but Scotty would say that we are no where near warp-speed... but we are at warp-running-around-brain-ache. With the weather closing in again, any hope of flying over the lake remains way off, so we are pushing the construction as much as is possible - to be free of it when we can fly! In the past 24 hours we received the roofing sheets and the wood for the roof beams and purlins and we finally cast the last part of the lintel. This means that all block works should complete by Friday... and roofing is attainable (provided we are not struck by construction fever again) by the end of next week. That will leave the finishing.... We know that we cannot afford to finish the whole building at this stage - especially with the currency sliding 15%, and costs rising at up to 50% since the beginning of the year, but we are set to complete the 'less costly parts'. The biggest costs will be the training room and the mini-clinic - furniture, white boards, cabinets, tiled floors and walls (the rest are simple concrete floors with a few tiles in needed places ... eventually), we also hope to air-condition both of those rooms.

Ben and Michaela will arrive in less than 2 weeks - at least when they arrive they can 'apply pressure' whilst we fly... and we are so looking forward to them being Ghana based team members. The good news is that we are presenting our Bag-Drop initiative on Friday (meeting permitting) and with that we hope to see a lot more air-borne action in 2012. We extend our heart felt thanks to Paul H who has made a generous donation 'to be the first volunteer to fly a bag drop' - thank you Paul - your donation purchased the roofing timbers and other essentials this week!

We hope that once we get the 'Bag-Drops' running you will be able to sponsor a 'Bag' - current estimate of one drop (based on 100 bags per run) is between $10 and $20 (depending on the location of the communities) - that is a fraction of the cost sending a motorcycle with materials to a community... in fact, I cant even run to the market and back with my car for that amount - let alone send much needed health education materials and encouragement to health reps in remote communities - so, please, start thinking about how many drops YOU would like to support in 2012? We are working on the costings of training sessions in the new facility 'v' in the community areas - and it looks like 'Kpong Based Residential Courses' could be one way that we can maximise our outreach.... another reason to complete B3/4 asap!

Meanwhile, the work on the 801 continues - but we cannot work on fuel systems during the harmattan - the dust into the tanks and lines would be a safety risk... nonetheless, progress is being made.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The most colorful visitors to Kpong arrive by air

The dry, black and brown terrain that is dulled by the dust hanging in the air (the worst Harmattan I have ever seen), is broken by the amazing colours of birds.  This time of year the migratory birds come by to brighten our day.  This Brown Hooded Kingfisher sits on the fence almost waiting for the morning movements and its swift display of blue, white and red to brighten the moment -seemingly just for us.  Getting these pictures was a challenge - since he is camera shy!  But not as shy as the elusive Gonolek, bright red chest and golden head flashing in and out of the trees and shrubs - making a LOT of noise!  There is one bird that is always ready to watch follow you, and that is the Senegalese Coucal... seen here (with some white Cattle Egrets) inspecting some of the building work towards the end of last year... Perhaps we should give him a job!

The hidden colours and delights of these birds is no different to the hidden wonders of the rural communities we are trying to reach - they have so much that is just waiting to be discovered, if only we can find the way and get approvals to reach out and help them spread their wings in a safe and healthy manner - a step closer towards greater socio-economic developments and sustainability.  

I am sure that the colours of our Zenith CHxxx birds of aluminium are as inspiring to the folks of the villages as much as these birds are to us... 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Captains Blog 2012 day 20

Construction Fever strikes the crew. Two of the construction crew have contracted Construction Fever. This is the contagious disorder that is brough about by working solidly for more than a few days. We hope that no other crew members succumb to the tentacles of this disease, and trust that those afflicted will soon get back to the site. We are not doing as well as planned this week. At all. WE have completed the lintel to B4 and hope to get lintel to B3 done today. Block above the lintel on B3 are about 50% done. Roofing sheets will be collected on Monday.

We will have consumed around 3,000 blocks at the end of the B3/4 project and its associated work, that does not take into account the existing work done on the sceptic tanks and other areas necessary to the building.

All blocks are made locally. Sound good - but meet Christian (and his wife who cooks for him at the block factory). Factory.... hmmm a big word for some open land, where he owns TWO steel moulds. One for 5'' blocks and one for 6'' blocks - each mould makes ONE block at a time. He mixes sands (sharp and soft) and cement together and then moistens the mix to a 'brownie' consistency. Then he packs the mould and compacts it by hand. Each block is then tipped out to dry for five days before being loaded onto 'Bob's Trailer' and driven to the airfield. This is back breaking work. Christian works hard and we respect his entrepreneurship. Furthermore, he appreciates that we need a receipt and has a receipt book - but he cannot write. Remember, just because you did not get a chance at an education does not make you stupid - in fact some of the smartest people around here cannot read or write. So, after paying for the blocks, we are asked to 'write our own receipts', and then he will sign.

Supporting Christian's block 'factory' is as important as building B3/4 - and we all wish Christian success in his venture... By the way, we are all invited to share that yummy food too.... as whenever we visit a Ghanaian family and there is food, no matter how little, we are 'invited to share'.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Year 2012 day 19

Yesterday the lintel for the lower half of B3/4 was cast. The upper half should be completed today. Add to that, the commencement of laying the final three courses of blocks on the lower half and we are only a few days behind the schedule. The chaps are really trying hard... none of them have ever worked this hard before and they are all commenting on how happier they are 'achieving'. It is an amazing social experiment to change a working ethic, but very rewarding. We may not be taking healthcare out to the community when we are supervising the build, but we are still changing the community - in more ways than we can understand. The local saw mill is really low on work and are so so happy that we are building (even giving us a line of credit)... and when I turned up at 7am to collect some wood, to find the workers had not arrived, the owner and I chatted a bit, and he seemed to begin to realise that 7am means 7am - not some when around 8am.... A similar story with the 'block man', he is working everyday on blocks for us, and is complaining that his workers don't always come to work.... Change is attitude in a more amazing achievement than we can realise... all we hope, is that is a lasting change...

We still need (considerable) financial support to complete this building: If you can help, please let us know!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

INSCI meeting

The Harmattan is so so thick - and even thicker at Akosombo. AS we get closer to the first national conference on Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis), there was a planning meeting of the the INSCI group yesterday at the venue for the conference.... We could not see across the water to the other side the dust was so thick! Prof gave the outline for the forthcoming BIG event on 15th March.... we hope that this will mark a change in attitude to Schistosomiasis and the people around the lake... The MoM-Bag-Drop will be a key communication and co-ordination component of any major activity...

Monday, January 16, 2012

It will take more than Tundra tire to get over these.......

The HOLE dry season thing is really getting us down. Poor visibility and now the ground is so dry that the cracks are joining up underground and collapsing into holes. A new challenge, check all the manoeuvring and safety areas for 'HOLES' and then to fix them. To tell you the 'HOLE' truth, I would never have believed it either... but then, one could say it is a blessing to have a HOLY airfield... but we still want them gone, for safety sake, and there is not a HOLE lot time to get it done before we start the bag-drop missions! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Seeing is ... flying.....

Visibility.... beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but you still need to see what you are taking off towards! Today the harmattan was so thick we could not even make out the outline of the mountain at the end of the runway.... to compare, take a look at what we SHOULD see (here with the Krachi girls doing a FOD walk in 2011... 

Needless to say, we are not flying... but we are busy training and planning how to make this year a year of positives, despite the lack of ability to see what is dead ahead!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Captains Blog: 2012 day 14

Yesterday, despite falling behind schedule, we did get most of the window and door frames made up, painted, steel bar inserted and some fitted.  We managed to teach one Mason (Amos, sometimes called 'Amos-quito') how to give the Vulcan (remember Spok?) spilt hand salute. In the TV series Star Trek, this salute was often accompanied by the phrase 'Live Long and Prosper' or Dif-tor heh smusma in Vulcan. How appropriate in our social challenge, with life expectancy still below 64 years and prosperity a rare thing, we clearly need to find a way to ensure that the people we work with here really do 'live long and prosper'.

It is a real struggle to get this building up - and we taken some short term loans to move it forward.  Much as though it is a lot of effort and a strain on our resources, as well as needing a lot of inspection, encouragement and generally chasing to get done, we believe it is essential in our outreach.   B3/4 -Accommodation-Training-Mini-Clinic will be instrumental in that effort.  Having realised that we are simply not sufficiently funded to do all the things we would like to do, nor to reach all the people we can physically see but not get to as we fly over the challenge areas, we needed to develop a more pragmatic approach - and B3/4 is key to that.

We hope to gain approval in the coming weeks to begin a bag-drop campaign.  In that campaign we will be creating greater awareness of the 'basic health rules', namely 'Wash your hands, don't drink unfiltered water, don't bathe in infected water, use a latrine (or at least do not defecate or urinate in a way that will get back into your drinking and bathing water).  B3/4 will soon be coming into its own as the operational HQ and action centre for MoM!

If you would like to support B3/4 please let us know - we still need support to pay back loans and to complete the building...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Captains Log (or is it B-log) Year 2012, day 12

The masons missed their targets - so we are now behind schedule. Nonetheless, today we hope to cast the corner and intermediate pillars - and to get the window and door frames made up. The tree was cut, the wood made to 2'' x 6'' ready, and Mr Solo has it cut to lengths of the frames - but we still need to cut the iron for the bars on the windows (a security device since we use louvre frames) and do the undercoat paining prior to installation. The masons should cast all the pillars today, and most of the windows and doors get constructed.... that means tomorrow we can fit the window and door frames, lift the already made lintel iron work into position and fix up the form-work for the lintel iteself. Next weeks target is to complete all block work (three courses of blocks, pitch formed for the single pitch roof) on B3/4 - the accommodation/training/mini-clinic building and we will then be ready to 'raise the roof'!

Phasers are set to stun, and we still need some help from the Federation of MoM supporters to get that roofing covered and the building completed! Help us to change lives, one flight and one Mason at a time...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


CAD - the abbreviation for 'Cet a Dire' in french, or ' meaning to say' has a totally different meaning in English - Computer Aided Design... Today the girls are starting to learn CAD. Most people struggle at times with the drawings - and what better way to understand the concept of engineering drawing than to do it yourself. Of course, we have had to start with René Descarte, explore why Arabic numbers were basically banned in the Christian world before 999AD (the zero was considered demonic), pace around the apron in relative and absolute co-ordinates and then discover the excitement of a drawing coming to life on the computer screen.... How can this change lives one flight at a time? These young ladies will be in the 1% or less of the population who can read, draw, interpret and produce engineering parts (and write G code by the time we have finished) - and understand exactly what it is all about - that will provide part of the strong foundation necessary to make it sustainable... yes, it takes longer, and in the short term is probably more expensive, but this is the path of sustainability... X20 Y12 will never be the same again!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Captains Log, year 2012, day 5. Masons Progress.

'Masons Progress' should be the title of a book by John Bunyan - it would make interesting reading....

Last years struggle against the 'friendly-enemy' of the Masons, comparable in cunning to the Klingons, has led to a change in working relationships - for the better. It seems that the Masons, considered us more like the Borg, and our desire to assimilate them into a 'working culture' lead to some aggravated engagements - such as we would like never to go though again, for the sake of the Federation, as well as for MoM.

The Masons, a breed known across the world for their ability to consume silcon, granite and clinker based products with insatiable appetite, without consideration for the time schedule or budget laid down by the paymasters... I am happy to report that, after nearly 18 years of negotiations in this part of the world, for the first time, a project appears to be running to schedule.

Yesterday I was not on site, having to take papers to GCAA in Accra and source electrical and hydraulic components (not for the Warp drive). Arriving after dark, it was not until this morning that I saw the B3 end of B3/4 was all but at lintel height - and barring any anomalies in the space-time continuum the target for the week should be met.

We have been told that we can get the roofing sheets for B3/4 for GHS3000 (just under $2000) and have blocked the price for one week - it will go up 20% after that. So, as we are getting the workers on schedule, we need to get ahead of the game on the next round of materials, so that this momentum can be maintained - we are seeking warp-speed, but not warped-wood as we move to the window and door frames next week... and the 'encounters with the carpenters'.... NOT the singing kind!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fulani education center update.

This week saw another visit to the Fulani camp. Mainly to check up on the status of Eliasu, the young man who remains the only one to keep on going to school from the whole camp. Audrey and her sista Anita came up to 'encourage and investigate' accompanied by Matthew and I. I only went to measure some things and try to work out how to get 'certain aspects' back on track.

The Fulani can be a very frustrating people. They LOVE their cows, so much so that they bring their children up in a similar manner... herding them, getting them all up at the same time, and sending them all to bed at the same time. They also feel that the living condtions and diet for both are 'adquate'. Or at least that is how it seems!

With it their priorities are not always aligned with ours. Allai, our 'son of the village chief' and main intermediary was asked 'what is the most important thing in your life?' and he replied 'my children.'. We explained that 'if they are important then their health and education should be important to you too.'. With a bewildered look on his face he 'agreed' not realising that the concepts of health and education for our two different approaches are very different.

Eliasu has missed 3 weeks of school because of asthma in the fall term. We asked if he had been to the doctors, but the answer was 'our health insurance has run out'. Currently there are problems with the National Health System. It appears that 'if you go on the NHIS, you get the cheap (often less effective) treatments', and 'if you pay under the table you get seen quicker' and 'if you pay fully you get what is called 'correct' treatment'. This is not true for all hospitals, it is not true for all staff - but it is rapidly becoming a perception. With this being an election year, we will see how that perception is managed, corrected or painted over.... but in the mean time, there are many people in need of health care, simple health care, who are not getting it. Eliasu stayed at home until 'he got better'. We will try to get a change in that attitude as the year progresses.

Eliasu's school report was good - he is really doing well and is very serious about it. He really enjoys drawing - and does very well at it too.... some of the best pencil control I have seen in his environment. His younger brother has come to live in the camp, and he wants to take his younger brother to school too - we will be encouraging that one - Audrey has a plan... which we will share with you if it works!

After a lengthy chit chat and some New Year treats from Audrey and Anita for the children, it was time to say goodbye, informing the camp that next month will see some focus groups in order to try to 'rearrange' the priorities in favour of health and education - as 'non-nomadic-cattle-herdsmen' see it!

Next month will see a big increase in MoM's activities, with Ben and Michaela being full time available to make it happen - and we wish them well as they prepare for this adventure!

Special note:

For $250 you can sponsor a child for a full year of school. If you wish to donate towards a Childs education please contact Jonathan Porter directly.

Our educational program is run a little differently than others. In accordance with our philosophy that you must take an active part in helping yourself, we will not ‘give’ money to families to send their children to school. This approach has a proven history of failure in Ghana. We will only offer a scholarship to a child who is willing to ‘earn’ it though hard work and satisfactory school attendance. The scholarship will be used directly to support the expenses related to education (certain fees, clothes, if necessary some feeding support, etc as well as towards the monitoring and evaluation with associated encouragements - the things that make it actually work... Basic education in Ghana is technically free, but technically and practically are different.

While MoM administers the funds and monitors the progress of the children in the program MoM does not keep any portion of your contribution. We believe that an education is the most powerful tool in helping rural villagers understand basic healthcare. As such is a valuable investment and well worth our time to administer. An education in Ghana is a privilege that can reap rewards throughout the community for generations to come.

With your help the people of West Africa have "a chance, not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation". Please donate today and change a childs life forever.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Captains Log, year 2012, day 2. Masons return.

There I was sitting on the porch, already 10 minutes past the start of the working day - alone, totally alone, no masons, no workers. Not a good start. Then they arrived and 30 minutes behind the planned departure for the job, the work began. I was expecting some sort of Klingon attack from Star Trek - that was how I was prepared for the day. But I got the chaps together and explained the 'target' system. They were not really even starting to get the idea at the end of last year. My sore throat is testament to that....

Target for this week is 1,200 blocks. These are heavy sandcrete blocks. If they hit it, we can cast the lintel on B3 next week. We have extras, and we have changed the 'method of engagement' and we trust that the system will work.

By midday they looked good. By mid afternoon we only had 2 mistakes in the laying - both relatively easily corrected (my fault - I went to service a genset...)

As I type it is past closing time and they are on target... just... to make lintel height on B3 and windsill height on B4 this week.... of course, we are ready for some other attacks from the Romulans or perhaps the Borg.... Much as I would like to flip open my communication device and call 'Beam me up Scotty', I realise that the transporter beams are down, and we have to make it.... for this is life, as we know it!

Live long and prosper!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How to Fly a Genset

As you may have heard, we got a new Genset - a nice new 20kva 3ph genset courtesy of a grant. Great Lister Petter Engine, fantastic generator coil (from the UK) - but where it was put together as a 'set' is unknown... But we have some guesses.... We were buying to a tight budget and already had to go over the grant for the total installation by over 50%, so we were tight, so some problems are to be expected... So, today, we came to do the 100hour servicing . and with it, we are happy to summarise the 'Engineering Report' for the first 100 hours. Please do note, we are remote, we cannot call on the supplier for problems, we are 'on our own' after purchase out here. So, some of these things may surprise you for a 'BRAND NEW PURCHASE' - fortunately, we take an 'aviation approach' to solving problems. Let us summarise first....

1. Battery provided was 50ah - the unit needs 100ah for a smooth start. Cost: $150
2. Coolant in Unit was 'tap water' ONLY. Replaced with 'hot climate' coolant. Cost $20
3. On first fuelling realised that the filler hose was leaking. Replaced : Cost $10
4. On first fuelling also realised fuel gauge was not working. Cost TBA
5. On first fuelling realised that the fuel gauge was mounted without a gasket, using self tapping screws and the top of the fuel guage boss had holes in it (on the sides)- hence if fueled fully, fuel leaked liberally. Cleaned up mess and made note NOT to fill tank right up until sealed (not easy without a working gauge). Fitted VDO gasket from CH801 fuel sensor and BOLTED Cost: $15 and some bad words
6. Filler cap and neck snapped - UV degradation on the plastic. Cost TBA. (using a clean rag to 'block' temporarily - remember it is the holiday season...
7. Fuel filter clogged at 25hours - on trying to replace filter found that it was 'badly installed' and way over tightened - broke filter wrench and had to hammer a screwdriver through it to remove - after a long battle... anyhow....changed with courtesy filter provided with unit. Cost: broken filter wrench (replacement $25 thanks to a 'filter wrench donkey' on holiday - cheer Paul!) and some bad words
8. Bolts on fan-to-radiator mounting not tightened on arrival. Easily fixed.
9. loose wires and hoses in several places. The ubiquitous Tie-Wrap applied in aviation fashion
10. Discovered that although only burning about 3l/hr of fuel, ran out of fuel after 30l on a 60l tank. Confused. At first service investigated - discovered that the fuel pick up neck only reaches half way down tank - and is very tacky.... VERY tacky. Cost: TBA
11. Exhaust manifold needed tightened to reduce exhaust spatter in housing.
12. Radiator overflow is direct to the interior of the unit. Added 'expansion tank like system' as per Rotax 912 install!!! Cost: ingenuity and a empty bottle of coolant!

So, yes, we are thrilled with this unit - it gives us site wide power and enables us to run the mini-clinic building. Yes, by working to a tight budget it makes more work to 'sort out the problems'. When we are working on fixing the genset, we are not working on our mission. It is counter-productive - but we are cash-limited. All the same, we could have problems with a more expensive unit too. What is good is that Patricia is more than comfortable doing the service, and ran it like an aircraft operation. Engine clean, general inspection, even used an aero-shell funnel for the oil replenishment and always filters fuel in using a Mr Funnel - the same as we use on the aircraft (if you don't filter your fuel you will have problems here - guaranteed!).

So, our little genset is going to undergo some fuel system mods. We are not happy with the supplied system. No finger screen, no in line filter before the fuel filter and only half of the fuel is usable - AND we cannot do a tank drain for water... We will now source a 200litre drum, make a fuel adapter for it, including an intermediary tank with a return line port and will be carrying out servicing at approximately half the recommended service intervals, just like the planes. We love our engines, and we rely on them.

So, we are now 'flying a genset'. It will have its own checklist and, of course, we will always check for oil pressure in the first 3 seconds or immediate shut down.

Welcome to Africa. Welcome to the need to be more maintenance and preventative maintenance aware, for without it, you will surely have more problems than you are already in line for!