Sunday, January 29, 2012

Stuck in the Moose River

Jeep in the ice.

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 2012

January  2012
We are already a month into 2012 and I have not updated!  I guess it is time.  We had a very busy time over Christmas with family meals, church meals, community Christmas meals which seems like a lot of meals.  I must have gained a few pounds and I guess my new year’s resolution should be is weight loss.  I love to eat. 
Katie came home for a few days over Christmas and it was nice to have a kid open presents Christmas morning.  It does not matter how old they are only that they are your kids.  As I posted before, our new grand-son arrived December 14th (no name yet ), and it would have been great to see him and Ivy but we were unable to make the long trip to Red Lake.  Josh and Lynne (Ivy and Baby2) celebrated with Lynne’s family in Kenora.  Aly and Matt celebrated with the Clarks in Moosonee.  Although we really missed being together it was nice to be with Mary’s mom and family for the festivities.
Mary is doing quite well and enjoying sewing and quilting again.  We travelled to Sudbury for treatment at the Cancer Center January 3rd and stayed over to celebrate our 37th anniversary on January 4th.  I took Mary out for supper and she took me to a movie.
January has been quite mild and snowfall has been minimal.  It would be a good chance to go to the cottage but we have been busy here at home.  Mary’s brother Tim has been renovating his basement so we have spent some time there.  Mary’s brother Harold has needed some help at the farm as well.  Along with doctor appointments and Mary’s mom needing help we have stayed close to Thessalon.
I have an interesting story from Moosonee.  Aly and Matt live and work in that community but their home is in Moosonee and Aly works on Moose Factory Island about 2 or 3 kilometers across the Moose River.  During the summer Aly takes the water taxi (independent boat or canoe operators) to work.  During freeze up and break up she takes a helicopter ride back and forth from the Hospital.  Once the Moose River is frozen, they plow an ice road from Moosonee to Moose Factory and they can drive their vehicle back and forth.  To get on with the story, early in January Matt decided to take Aly to work in the old green jeep (which in Matt’s words was running like a dream).  They proceeded to the landing and were given the okay to travel across on the ice road.  As they proceeded across, about a kilometer from shore they went thru the ice.  If I understand correctly, the reason they broke through the ice was, due to a high tide the day previous and the water filled a pressure dip in the existing ice. The water that filled the dip froze on top but didn't freeze all the way through hence they  took the plunge. The temperature was about minus 25 Celsius and cold.  They found themselves in tummy deep water as they opened the jeep doors to get out.  They had to scramble thru the icy cold water about 30 meters until they could crawl up on firmer ice.  They had to run back to the Moosonee landing and as they were running everything was freezing up, boots, mitts, and icicles forming from hats and noses.  Fortunately they got back to the landing to find another nurse waiting (in her car) for a snow-machine taxi.  They jumped in the car and she drove them to Sue and Wendel’s  where they got warmed up in a hot shower immediately. 
Once warmed up and dry, Matt went back to the vehicle to find it already frozen in about 4 inches of ice. He had to chop with a pick axe to free around the jeep in hopes that a tow truck could reach it with a cable to winch it out of the ice.  As he was chopping a snow-machine taxi came along and went thru the ice as well.  Matt was able to pull the driver out as he went right under water. He was coming from the Moose Factory side and they were able to get him back to the hospital in a van taxi.  Finally Matt was able to get the jeep free of the ice and able to connect the winch of a tow truck.  They pulled the jeep out and got it back to Moosonee.  The icy ordeal was over with Matt and Aly safe, but we have no word yet whether the jeep will survive.  I remember praying that morning as we were in Sudbury for our anniversary that the Lord would keep Aly and Matt safe in the frozen north and He did!  Needless to say Aly was late for her shift at the hospital.
I often check the weather in Kitchener, Red Lake and Moosonee to see conditions.  Usually Moosonee wins for the cold scale.  Last week it was  -2, -22 and -35 respectively.  With the wind chill that day it was -45 in Moosonee.  That same day in Lusaka it was  29 degrees Celsius .
This past weekend was spent at Galilean Bible Camp, helping in the kitchen.  Mary was baking and preparing meals and I was washing dishes.  It was a small retreat but the kids had a great time.  Mark (Mary’s brother) was at the camp as well keeping wood going to the furnaces and preparing the tube hill for the kids to slide. We got home Sunday afternoon a bit tired but doing okay.  On Tuesday we travelled to Sudbury for another cancer treatment and shopping.  We are trying to collect a few things for me to take to Africa in the middle of February.  I am planning a trip to Chitokoloki and Sakeji with Teamworkers.  Mary will stay in Thessalon but I will get a chance to check up on things at the hospital malnutrition program.  My plan is to help drill wells in the Chitokoloki area for 4 weeks, then go north to Sakeji  to work on a dormitory roof project.  The plan is to return home the end of March.  My biggest concern is leaving Mary home, but I know she will have family close and our Lord even closer.  Well that is all for now, maybe the next update will be from  Africa.  Thanks for your prayers and concern.(Below is a picture of the ice road between Moosonee and Moose Factory)