Friday, December 23, 2011

Spreading Christmas Cheer

This morning, Tom, the SAMAIR program manager and I, spent the morning delivering a little bit of Christmas Cheer. During this past year, there have been many people and organizations that have helped SAMAIR either with paperwork, licenses, maintenance, hanger space, and government paperwork. To show our appreciate, we set off like Santa's elves to make our rounds.

It is cultural at Christmas time to give gifts of appreciation such as a "Paneton". This is a bread which has raisins and little chewy gummy bear bits inside of it and seems to have an indefinite shelf life. At every stop we were well received and of course spent additional time "hamming it up".

"Paneton" is the gift that keeps on giving! Notice the fancy red bags with Christmas trees on them with snow. Quite a contrast to beads of sweat forming on our brows in the 95 degree weather!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

There's your problem!

Rainy season has started here in Bolivia and that means water and mud on the roads. Since I do not have a vehicle here, I have been bumming rides with my roommate, Greg. He has a 1987 Dodge Raider which is a small 2 door SUV, also known as a "JEEP". Pretty much anything that has 2 doors and is a truck they call a Jeep. Anyways, we had noticed that there was some daylight coming through the area over the rear wheel well. Upon further investigation we found a LARGE hole where the top of the wheel well used to be.

After removing the carpeting the damage was obvious.

An angle grinder with a thin cutting disk made quick work of removing the damage.

A paper template made from a manila folder was used as a pattern for the steel patch.

Aviation clecoes were used to hold everything in place while drilling the holes for pop rivets.

Some silicon under the patch and black uncoating were brush on for "corrosion protection".

With the carpet re-installed I pronounced it road worthy for the next 24 years.