Friday, August 26, 2011

Another Mercy Tech Mission accomplished

It's hard to believe that it's been almost 5 weeks since we left Canada for Mozambique, and here we are on our way home.

Due to unforseen internet problems, I haven't been able to post for the past week, so now that Todd and I are in a modern hotel in Maputo, I thought I'd better post a few wrap-up photos for the home crowd!

It has been another amazing time here in Mozambique and the mechanical training program went extremely well (thanks to the great teaching efforts of Todd Green and Ed Hyslip). Here is a class photo of all our students:
First, the serious Mozambican photo...
...followed by the crazy Canuck version! (Ed, wish you could have been here for this)
With the teaching duties being handled by the other guys, I was able to concentrate on getting the repair pit started for the new maintenance building.
Checking out the newly-poured floor
Peter and his crew making good progress on the repair pit walls
Texas Todd making sure things are done correctly
To keep things moving, one has to make the obligitory trip to town for supplies...
Carrying bagfuls of money to buy construction materials...
A typical auto parts store in Chimoio
Discussing carburetor issues with Domingo, whose water pump keeps quitting.
There were other great moments as well. Chris, a man in my church, had donated money for a new guitar for Fani, a young man with a passon for music. I have been teaching Fani to play the guitar, and have encouraged him to write new songs for the Mozambican church. This past Wednesday we had the joy of presenting Fani with his guitar. Thanks, Chris!
Presenting Fani with his new guitar
A round of applause was in order
One item I neglected to mention earlier was a one-day seminar that we conducted on worship music for the local bush churches.
Worship seminar

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Braking" in the new recruits

Todd has had his hands full with the mechanics training classes held each day, Monday to Friday, in the campground lapa. But it's not all book learning; every afternoon the students tackle a project on one of the many vehicles that need service at the ASAM farm.

This is Brake Week, so Todd and the guys took a look at the rear brakes of the Isuzu pickup - and almost wished they hadn't! Some serious oil and brake fluid leaks were discovered, posing the usual problem of "But where will we find parts?"

Trying to figure out how many mechanics can fit under one truck!
Lynn Lagore helping with the translation...and learning a few new things herself.
Aleque & Tomas checking the wheel bearings on the trailer
Using one of the donated Motor manuals to work on the Isuzu brakes
For my part, I've been concentrating on moving the Maintenance Shop Project forward as best I can. One of the main components will be the vehicle repair pit that will hold centre stage in the new building. Below are a few photos of the progress to date.
Shaping out the footings for the wall foundations
Our head mason Peter (on left) and his helper putting together the steel for the footings and walls
On a final note, Todd and I have been eating very well at the campsite, but you can't just live on red meat and pasta was time for a trip to the garden down by the river.
A sudden craving for vegetables...
Houston, our problem is solved!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photo Update

We've been fairly busy here over the past few days, and if you throw in an iffy Internet connection, the result is that I'm behind in my posting!

So without further delay, here are a few photos to show you what Mercy Tech Mission has been up to here on the ASAM farm in Mozambique. I'll try to throw in a few captions to guide you along...
Rick Cogbill digging out the repair pit for the future maintenance shop. Not bad for only my second day ever on a backhoe! (Todd Green photo)
Fani and his crew fine-tuning the shape of the pit.
Fani (who I am also giving guitar lessons to during lunch break...)
Ed Hyslip helping to guide the generator out of its building for an overhaul (Nice job by Rick Neufeld who's at the controls of the backhoe) Photo by Todd Green
Todd Green (L) and Ed Hyslip (R) showing the students how to tear down a diesel engine.
There's an awful lot of pieces that go into one engine...
Todd Green giving drumming lessons to Prosper Fernando, one of our mechanics students.
A small Chinese diesel that is used to run a maize mill. This one is in sad shape, having dropped a valve...
It's been a productive week for sure! (Photo by Todd Green)
Got to upload this quickly before they shut off the Internet so that Tome can do some welding...welcome to life in the African bush!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Students and Snakes

Ed Hyslip explaining air/fuel mixtures as Lynn Lagore translates.

It's been a busy week for the Mercy Tech crew, and for their students as well. After a couple of classroom sessions on the operation of diesel engines - and especially the importance of a proper fuel to air ratio - we stepped outside to take a look at the farm backhoe.

A warning light for the air filter had been coming on, and when we opened up the air cleaner assembly, we found enough dirt and soot inside to create a small mountain. A great object lesson for the students, but not such a great thing for the backhoe!
Ed Hyslip explaining how to inspect an air filter, with translating courtesy of Leila Frank.
Judging from Ed's expression, this was perhaps the dirtiest air filter he'd ever seen.
A number of other vehicle problems, like dead batteries and blown tail light fuses, have provided excellent opportunities for hands-on teaching. It makes the classroom sessions come alive for the students.
Prosper applying the skills he has learned as he inspects an air filter from the Isuzu pickup.
Another item of interest was a small (but poisonous) snake that was lurking in a mango tree one cold morning where we were having staff devotions.
Some pretty amazing camouflage!

After a great 51st birthday dinner for ASAM Field Director Dwight Lagore at the Motel Garuso, we are now ready to begin Week 2 of our training program.  We have lots to teach (with many broken vehicles to teach from!) and the time is short. But God is doing amazing things and the work is going well.
Ed Hyslip and Tendai Neufeld

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The first day of school

After months of planning and a whole lot of travel, today was the day that our training course offically began.
Todd Green teaches Mechanics 101 to our initial 6 students and 1 translator (Thanks, Joao!)
The training videos donated by CDX Automotive are making the teaching so much easier.

But first Ed had to fix the broken multimeter...

In the afternoon I made a trip with Dwight Lagore out into the bush to buy beans for the school children.

And of course, everyone wants to be in the picture!