Tuesday, 16 October 2012

What on earth are Plumpey Nuts?

This blog is in answer to the question, What on earth are Plumpy Nuts? So this is a re-edited blog that only 31of you read from last year so 'tuck-in'. 

However I will be back in Uganda on assignment in November 
so stand by for some fresh blogs from the Equator.

Plumpy Nuts what a wonderful name for a food...

"Ok I will take 9 boxes in pod B, 8 in Pod C and the other 45 in the cabin,"  each weighs 14kg so sweat soon trickles off, tickling my nose as I do my 32nd twist and turn, great for the waste line but doubt I'll never be able to limbo dance again! Loading Plumpy Nuts in the Juba heat, South Sudan's capitol  where we have our south Sudan base is hard graft but we soon have them on board and they are strapped down.

The refuelling truck pulls up take on board 512 litres of Juba's best Jet A-1. Once the fuel is signed for I double check the weight and balance, as whilst the aircraft looks empty with all the seats out we have a  ton of 'peanut butter' on board; not a kg more can it lift.

I am about to move about 5 tonnes of these boxes and other assorted medicines and supplies up to northern Southern Sudan for SCF over the next four days as well as pick up an AID Sudan team now Every Village http://www.everyvillage.org. The plumpy nuts (what a great name) in particular will save countless lives and make a real difference to many, particularly children in extremis.

Jim Le Huray (check out Jim's film)
supervising the unloading

I spot the airstrip 15 miles out, a khaki patch standing out as clear as a bell, against the sea of waving green, as despite the lack of rain, the grasslands look surprisingly lush from the air. The first trip takes me up to Waat over 200nm north of Juba, it is a new strip for me and as it is a freight flight, I bank hard over the black cotton soil airfield, getting a good look at the land below me. Boxes seldom complain about such manoevers. 

I can see the airstrip is a pleasant place for some of the locals today! However despite passing very low over the cattle, they barely raise an eyebrow today but they do take the hint and 'push off.' It also gives me a chance to look out for any standing water or any other obvious hazards that might be there to trip me up but it has not rained for a few days so there is only one area about 200m long that I had best avoid.  The cattle having ambled off, noses in the air, somewhat irritated by this giant fly that  zipped past their 'horn tops' at 110kts disappear into the bush. Another couple of hard banks keeping the circuit really tight and I am lined up again on the field, to the right of where I guess the runways centre line should be,  best avoid the muddy areas that would definately ruin my day if I landed on them, a rattle of wheels as I apply reverse thrust and brake hard and my shoulders push against my harness. Scotty alias 5X-SCO stops in no time at all as the tyres grip terra firma bringing me rapidly to walking speed, I then taxi to the far end to where I think the runway ends!

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