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Salisbury Plain CHAT cont - Dennis



Dennis wrote...
What kind of work do you do in Bosnia (especially having to drive through
In South Africa I did my In Service Training working for the South African
Broadcasting Corportation (SABC - Sentech). We used to cruise in
Landcruisers to the top of mountains to fix FM and TV transmitters.
Particular exciting weekends involved driving 8 huge drums of diesel to fill
up the generators. These Landcruisers are super strong!
Dennis, professionally I just help people who have had a hard time. I
started in Czecho in the 80's and went on to Hungary, Belarus, Russia, and
then came into Bosnia in 1999 as specialist advisor to the EU Delegation
(embassy). Rather than move-on we stayed here as we find it the most
rewarding community in which to work, and Tania, coming from a Chernobyl
radiation area, suffers poor health and the semi continental/Mediterranean
climate suits her too.
So I work with communities who are re-building their lives and families.
The aid phase is over, the reconstruction phase just about finished, but
the 'development' phase will go on it seems forever. We also have the UN's
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for the rural poor to sustain development
for some years to come too.
Although not particularly lofty at about 2300m maximum, the Balkans offer
as much rough country driving as anyone needs. The warmer climate also
means a comparatively short winter but unusually the mountains are clad
with trees to a higher level than say the Alps. From central Bosnia to the
west the trees are mostly hardwoods predominately Beech too. The highest
community I work with is 1365m according to GPS. But the drive there takes
about 45 minutes from a hard valley bottom road at Gornji Vakuf. It is the
width of a horse cart, so my old 80 gets scratched every time I go there !
Rock roads with bare strata as their base are very common in the west, and
in the east they are based on McAdam's principle ! (remember him ? At 10
years old in junior school we all learned how he made the first roads but
I never saw one till I came out here). We get muddy areas in valleys on the
mountainsides especially as every valley has at least one stream running
though it and it is edged with peat bogs. We also have to ford rivers, yes
some cos the nearby bridges were blown-up 10 years ago, but the
peacekeepers have mostly rebuilt them or at least put in bailey bridges.
But also cos fords are very common anyway, the country never had the funds
to bridge every river that separated a village from the major roads. The
problem with working in mountains is that they are separated by valleys,
each having a river flowing at the bottom having varying water levels
according to fickle - and sudden - rainfall. Good door seals are essential !
Even in snow I get to most places in the mountains in 4WD. The law demands
we carry chains for one axle, and I have used chains to get to my house
which is on a mountain on the south side of Sarajevo. This after a day out
in the mountains with no chains ! We had snow on the mountaintops about 3
weeks ago so put the chains and shovels in the cars, but its been warm
again since then - 18degs at 8.30 Saturday morning.
Funny you should mention carrying diesel (LC CONTENT JULIAN). My troopie 80
was imported in 1992 for convoy escort protection. They were mostly
armoured but mine not. Each window and door mirror is etched - 'UN
property' with a window sticker on the (original) screen 'property of the
united nations protection force'. But it appeared to have spent most of its
life carrying diesel for the trucks it was escorting. When I first got it I
removed the rear - plastic - matting and the underfelt was soaked in the
stuff. I also then removed the rear bench seat as it had soaked underneath
it. Despite many washings with detergent and leaving in the sun to dry,
there is still a whiff of it in the back. The next move is to re-carpet the
whole car. Its all basic military plastic mat anyway and I have hankered
after something better for well over 3 years. There is a good trimmer near
the city and I am building up courage to go and ask him what he will
charge. I get paid a mileage rate for use at work, so I have been waiting
for my 'Charlie' fund' to accumulate in preparation. Work on my front axle
last week depleted it a bit though - story on that coming-up.
That's it.
'92 HZJ80 ex UN surplus in Bosnia - where I at least have Sky to watch
rugby today but am told I now need a 2.5m dish to get the BBC & ITV output
from the Sky satellite. But we manage - Sarah Beeny on H&L makes-up for
that loss !


Wanted - fly wheel

Hi, if somebody has fly wheel (manual trans) to hdj100, or hdj80 (24v), or
know where to buy used
in reasonable price, let me know