Humanitarian Hams Part 2.

Posted: July 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Tony-EA5RM at the Casa Del Cooperante Solidaridad Clinic.

This is part two of my Blog post Good hams…bad hams…

In this installment, I want to tell you about my friend, Antonio “Tony” Gonzalez-EA5RM. You may recognize Tony as the Leader of the Tifaritti Gang (www.dxfriends.com) and the organizer of DXpeditions to South Sudan, Western Sahara, Palestine, Rwanda and other places.

Tony is quite the ham humanitarian and is a very good ham. Tony is about to embark on what will be his fourth trip to the Bolivian Amazon since 2007. In August 2007, Tony was in the Amazon for 26 days on a humanitarian mission. His role was to” repair whatever could be repaired”. In addition, Tony installed three solar powered HF stations in the native river villages outside of the normal reach of doctors. These HF stations enabled the remote villages to call for medical advice and assistance from the remote hospital.  On Tony’s first visit, he lost over 20 pounds and gained over 800 mosquito bites, requiring a cortisone shot when he returned to civilization.

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Tony and his assistant prepare to raise the dipole antenna.

Tony returned to the Bolivian Amazon in August 2009 for a 24 day mission to continue repairing electrical equipment within the hospital. Tony also relocated the HF antenna due to local interference. VHF radios were installed in the ambulance and the hospital. Tony then went up the Maniki river where he installed an additional three village HF stations that were each solar powered. While in the remote Amazon villages Tony also repaired other electrical equipment including a solar powered refrigerator used to store vaccines. He also installed low voltage lighting in each of the medical outposts.

 

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Tony tests the newly installed village HF radio.

Tony’s reward for his efforts was his personal satisfaction and another cortisone shot!

This past year, Tony made his third visit to the Amazon staying three weeks. His mission was to improve the Hospital HF antenna system and implement another three HF radios and solar power systems in the villages along the Minike and Cavitu rivers and the village of Palmar de Agaus Negras.

Soon, Tony will be travelling to the Bolivian Amazon for his fourth mission. His plan is to find the source of interference in the HF radio at the village of San Ignacio de Moxos. He is also going to install two HF solar powered stations and do a full maintenance to all of the other HF and solar systems that he has installed along the Maniki River. Lastly a new HF radio will be installed in a remote village on the Ichoa River.

All of these HF radios are installed in remote native villages where the nearest doctor is located one, two or more days travel time by river. With the implementation of these HF radios, the remote Doctors can provide guidance and directions to the villages via the HF radios. All of Tony’s Bolivian projects were done by the Radioaficionados Sin Fronteras, Solidaridad Medica Canaria and Solidaridad Medica Bolivia NGOs

In 2005, Tony travelled to Tanzania where he installed an HF radio in the Arusha hospital as well as medical clinics in Emboreth and Komolo. The Tanzania project was supported by Radioaficionados Sin Fronteteras which translates to Radioamateurs without Frontiers which is an NGO.

As you can see, Tony-EA5RM is quite the humanitarian. It is efforts by hams like Tony that are making this world a better place. My hat is off to Tony and other hams like him that are putting their fellow man ahead of their own needs at times.

Watch for Part 3 of my installments on Good hams…Bad hams…

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