Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Tale of Two Cities

I realize with a title like that I should have a Dickensonian beginning, but alas the only thing similar between this blog and that piece of classic literature is the fact that we both claim to use the english language as our means communication.
The last few weeks have seen me winging around the country, but unable to take any pictures to complement those stories for this particular post. So unfortunately you will have to use your imaginations to add life to the experiences I am going to attempt to describe for you. The first experience takes place in Luanda, the capital of Angola, where I must go every six months to complete my aviation physical. Actually at this point we are probably all grateful that there are no pictures! I thought I would give you an idea of the length of time involved to complete this. There is only one clinic in Angola that can do aviation medicals and every pilot, mechanic and stewardess must have one of these done either once every six months or once a year. Plus they only do these medicals on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you need to be at the clinic by no later then 7:00am. This means I need to fly up to Luanda the day before so that we can leave our base in Luanda by no later than 5:30am so that we arrive at the clinic on time. It's not that the distance is long,it's just that the traffic is horrendous. Anyways, for some strange reason the traffic was light and we arrived early.
  1. 5:00am depart from compound
  2. 6:00am arrive clinic
  3. 6:30am complete paper work and pay $600.00USD for medical
  4. 7:00am lab work- 5 minutes
  5. 8:40am ECG, Blood pressure and weight- 10 minutes
  6. 9:00am Hearing test- 10 minutes
  7. 10:00am Dentist- 10 minutes...need cleaning
  8. 10:25am X-ray- 5 minutes
  9. 12:30pm Eye exam- 10 minutes
  10. 1:00pm Final chat and approval by Doctor
  11. 1:15pm Call for our administrator to pick me up
  12. 3:00pm Admin. arrives. Traffic is horrible
  13. 5:00pm Arrive back at compound

Everyone at the clinic is nice, things just take a while to get done. The next day I am up at 4:00am so that we can make the 5:00am checkin for the 7:30am flight back to Lubango. Mission accomplished for the next six months.

I have decided that this post is long enough, so I will share about the second experience in a different city at a later date. Until then, keep your stick on the ice.

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