Volcanic ash cloud also has an impact on the work of humedica – international delegations are stuck

by SRI,  2010/04/20

The ash cloud caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland is the topic number one at the moment and it also has a considerable impact on the work of humedica. Two delegations are being stuck at the humedica headquarters in Kaufbeuren and one humedica employee cannot depart for Africa.

Actually, Dr Dennis Datta and Mark Halder had planned to pay a short visit to humedica in Kaufbeuren and to continue their journey by plane to London on Saturday. These guests are delegates of the humedica project partner Koinonia from Bangladesh and they had come to the Allgaeu region in the framework of a short business trip.

Mark Halder (left) and Dr Dennis Datta are waiting in Kaufbeuren for a possibility of continuing their journey. Photo: Franziska Baur

However, the flight ban concerning the German airspace, which has been extended already for days now, made any travelling plans of the two visitors impossible. Maybe they can continue their journey on Tuesday, but the means of transport has changed in any case:

“We still have an appointment in Brussels and I think that we are sensible and realistic when planning this trip by car”, laughed Mark Halder during a talk. “But this delay gives us the opportunity of enjoying a little more of our time in this beautiful region”.

A similar attitude has been expressed by Dave Johnson, who also is forced to stay a little longer in Kaufbeuren. Dave Johnson who was born in America and is now head of the humedica project work in Kosovo together with his wife Cindy likes the Allgaeu and in particular the region’s culinary delights.

“I will take advantage of the time to eat Schweinshaxen”, he says, laughing. The third guest from Kosovo, Alban Bytyci, already had to pay a visit to the Foreign Office, since his visitor visa had expired.

Markus Trinkwalder of the Authority in Kaufbeuren regarded the situation with humour: “All morning long, I have been waiting for visitors to turn up because they cannot return home due to the volcanic ashes and therefore need an extension.”

The delay is a little more problematic regarding the case of Simone Winneg who is being expected in Niger. Among other things, humedica runs a hospital in the small town of Kollo, which was put into operation more than one year ago.

Construction work of an additional hospital wing was completed some days ago and Simone Winneg being project manager and having a talent for organizing is needed urgently in order to integrate the new building into everyday working life.

“We hope that the ash cloud will disappear and that the authorities lift the flight ban”, explains Wolfgang Groß, CEO of humedica. In the case of further delays also other areas of our work could be affected.

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