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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Medicine on the Move... Coming to the U.S.

Medicine On the Move
is changing lives one flight at a time!

Jonathan Porter and Patricia Mawuli-Nyekodzi will spread their wings and touch the lives of people across America July 18th - August 18th. My friends from Ghana, who are making a difference, are coming to the U.S. I hope you will have the opportunity to meet these motivating and inspirational people. In the mean time, I'm trying to get to Ghana.

Medicine on the Move is changing lives.... one flight at a time.

Join Patricia and Jonathan on their Journey:

Jonathan sharing the gift of reading

Driven by a calling, Jonathan Porter built an airport, started a school to teach girls how to build aircraft, and he's teaching them how to fly. He gave life to Medicine on the Move "MoM" to help West Africans survive, learn, and grow, by flying doctors, nurses, and medical supplies into rural areas. He is giving the gift of education to West Africans and has dedicated his life to helping others. He is a man who is following his calling.

Patricia... Inspiring and educating others

Patricia heard that call drift with the wind. She wandered from the bush looking toward the sky as she followed a plane to her destiny. Before Jonathan had realized that the young women of Ghana were intelligent, dedicated, and hard working, he had her cutting down brush and moving stones. It wasn't long until his eyes were opened wide and Patricia was be teaching other young ladies how to build aircraft. Patricia learned to fly, literally and figuratively, and she is paying it forward.

Their Journey:

July 18th: Accra to Atlanta

Ben and Michaela open their home in Atlanta.

Ben and Michaela

Michaela tells me she spent the majority of her life in Ghana, and about 6 months ago Jonathan asked her if she'd return and head up MoM in its Health Education and Community Health efforts. With her Ghana connection, and a Masters in Public Health, she was an excellent choice. She recently took her fiance, Ben, to Ghana to introduce him to the culture and explore how he felt about moving there.

In Atlanta, Michaela will be assisting Patricia and Jonathan in knocking on doors and meeting organizations in Atlanta who might be interested in what they're doing in Ghana. Their plans are to visit the Carter Center, and drop in on folks Michaela knows within CARE, Emory University, and Global Health Action, to discuss their efforts to reduce poverty by investing in women and girls, which parallels their activities with WAASPS and MoM.

July 21st: Atlanta to Cedar Rapids

Their destination is Wilton Iowa, but Cedar Rapids, or Quad Cities international in Moline Illinois will work. Who will they meet? Clay. The man with a great sense of humor.

Clay Hollenback

Clay Hollenback tells me he's excited to meet Jonathan and Patricia since he's worked with them for over a year and has yet to meet them in person. This visit will also give them a few days to rest after their long journey before they head to Oshkosh.

CH 750

Patricia and Jonathan have also offered to help Clay work on his CH 750. Apparently Patricia is anxious to get her hands on the new CH 750 kit. I think Clay is working on getting them a ride in a home-built high-performance aerobat, and he's scheduling a meeting with the local 99 chapter. I hope the 99's find it in their hearts to provide a scholarship for one of the Av Tech girls... I wouldn't put it past them. Clay is also working on a visit to the Control Tower.

Patricia was the first woman and the first black African to obtain the “coveted” Rotax Aircraft Engines certification, after her training and assessment in Austria with Rotax Aircraft Engines at the Regional Innovation Centre, near Linz.

They, too, will be at Oshkosh and have invited Patricia to be a Guest/Motivational Speaker in the RFSC booth.

Last but not least... Zenith Aircraft Company is high on the list of the Oshkosh Adventure. What would they do without Sebastien's hospitality? Patricia and Jonathan will be based at the Zenith stand at Oshkosh, and Sebastien Heintz, the man behind Zenith Aircraft, is also providing their housing.

Sebastien Heintz, owner of Zenith Aircraft Company, has been supplying the design and materials, and semi-finished parts, for the aircraft the girls build in Ghana. He's a key factor in their continued success, and I am looking forward to meeting him, too.

Thanks to a GREAT company. Click HERE if you want to purchase an airplane kit from Zenith. I'm thinking about it.

July 25-July 31: Oshkosh 2011 AirVenture

July 25th is also my grandson's due date. The fact that my daughter lives in Chicago, may leave an opportunity to sneak up there and meet these wonderful people.

Oshkosh will be an awareness raising event as well as research. They're looking at amphibian solutions and working on supply chain issues. They also hope to get some sponsors. I'm hoping they have an incredible time. They need a little fun!

August 7th: Cedar Rapid to San Francisco

In San Francisco Patricia and Jonathan will be meeting with the incredible couple: Rex and Melissa Pemberton. Rex and Melissa spent five weeks in Ghana speaking and encouraging students, and Melissa flew about 28 children in their "Fly Me Day."

This woman is truly the "sports gal." She climbs mountains, flies planes, and skydives. Melissa is also donating revenues from her airshow. If you missed it... click on her name and check out this awesome woman.

Rex Pemberton created the trailer to Medicine on the Move's documentary. This is a must see!

Please click The Calling

This will touch your life as it did mine. Then go back and click on Rex and check out this inspiring man. I do believe that Melissa and Rex are a match made in heaven.

Rex Pemberton motivating others

Jonathan and Patricia's California visit will enable them to discuss future flight training for their girls with the flying school associated with Rex and Melissa. Patricia is also scheduled to speak at the Ebusua Summer Ball. I think for those in the San Francisco area you must attend.

August 14th: San Francisco to Atlanta

August 18th: Atlanta to Ghana

A few days with Ben and Michaela to follow up on their previous contacts and they'll return to Ghana.

Their trip begins in less than two months... and they need help. While they're working on Patricia's passport, they are gathering financial support. Travel is their biggest expense.

Patricia and Jonathan need help with travel. They give their lives unconditionally to the people in Ghana ... if anyone can help them with travel on this important journey... YOU would be doing a very good thing!

Please visit: Medicine on the Move

And take a moment to see the impact Jonathan has made on these young ladies:

Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi
Lydia Westi
Nyekodzi Emmanuelle Mawunyo
Ciara Thompson
Juliet Kuruwaa

To have a calling, has to be the greatest feeling on earth. Imagine... knowing why you're here.

Those interested in supporting their exciting projects, financially, through volunteer work, providing air-travel, or in other ways should contact:

Patricia Mawuli on +233 28 501 8028 or
by e-mail to

If you would like to contact Jonathan Porter you can e-mail him at

Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene


  1. What an amazing story. It would be fantastic of Delta to connect with Medicine On The Move. I hope they do! It sounds like exactly the kind of thing that an outstanding airline like them would partake in. My fingers are crossed!

  2. Incredible people doing the most amazing things. I love reading this blog, Karlene, and finding out about all the good things people do with and for each other. Inspiring! And, so inspiring that airlines, big and small, can make such a difference in people's lives. What a great world this would be if those in a position to empower positive change grabbed the opportunity to do just that! This is an opportunity for sure.

  3. Please use +233 28 5018028 - and thank you all for working so hard to help! See y'all at OSH 2011!!!

  4. So very cool! See, now this is why I need money. I'd love to help out with this kind of thing. Someday. Mahalo for sharing.

  5. Thank you Heather! I hope so too. A win for everyone.

  6. Thanks for you comment Linda. It is amazing to see what airplanes can do, and how they connect the world. I know that flying has shrunk my world that everyone is my neighbor. But it's the people like Jonathan, and now Patricia, who are making the difference.

  7. Thank you Supovadea... I was thinking the same thing! We will have money one day so we too can help. And if we don't, we have two hands, a heart and a brain... with that, anything is possible!

  8. My introduction to Jonathan a MOM was more about Zenith aircraft than humanitarian work. I stumbled across a blog entry on the Zenith builder’s site about some guy in African building a CH 701. He commented that one of his staff members found a python in the workshop. I remember thinking the mice living in my shop wall didn’t sound all that bad. His member page listed his address as Okwenya, Ghana and had a website link. It was a slow day at work so I decided to check it out. After a few days, I HAD to contact Jonathan to find out more. I sent him a letter, rather my wife did after I told her about the site, seeking information on volunteering.

    Jonathan seemed very excited that my wife, a Chiropractor was possibly interested in traveling to Ghana. A few messages later about sponsoring possibilities, projects, funding etc, I made a decision that will forever change MY destiny.

    On March 15th 2010 I wrote an email asking Jonathan if I could help him rework his website. When I first visited it, I didn’t think he was for real. I’m not a professional web designer but I’ve put a few basic sites together, but I needed access. After our first chat by phone he allowed me that full access. I worked for a few days and started submitting designs. I’m pretty sure he was shocked to see that I was actually working on the site, and not hacking it. The site went live on May 13th, 2010. I’ve been working since to improve it and in the process I’ve been learning more about the MoM operation and their approach to “aid”.

    Jonathan understands the environment and the people of Ghana very well. The MoM approach is by no means a hand out. The communities seeking assistance must contribute to their own improvement. In return they are educated on how to further help themselves and their children. Their new understanding of the problems that plague them and there involvement in the solution help them to gain a since of ownership of their own destiny and that of their families. MoM pledges continued support if the community is willing to keep their end of the bargain.

    Jonathan works very hard to wisely use every penny from every dollar donated, sometimes he seemingly manages to use every penny twice. Not a single cent is paid to a member of the Mom team for their efforts. His slowly growing army of Volunteers works hard to make a difference.

    Oshkosh will mark a new chapter for MoM. Patricia and Jonathan will be the first official visitors from Ghana in the shows history. The EAA will highlight Patricia’s accomplishments as the first women to get her GCAA pilots certificate and by doing so put MoM on center stage Friday June 29th when she will be a guest of honor during the international parade of nations. We will have our 501 C 3 status in place shortly after the show if not sooner. The world will be introduced to this amazing organization and the possibilities of humanitarian aviation in West Africa.

    When I have a bad day I go back and reread messages from Jonathan. He rarely complains but often just says “it’s the way it is here”. There are ongoing issues with cars not running and no money to fix them, no power because the generators are down, scorpions in shoes, dust storms, flat tires on the tractor (have you ever mowed 2 runways and ramps by hand?), hired workers not showing up, the list is enormous… My daily life’s not so bad after all.…. Jonathan and the MoM team do more with almost nothing than most people can with all the resources available here in the US.

    There is always a need for help. Cash, hands, parts, or knowledge, everyone has something to offer. You can’t make a difference if you never make the effort.

    I still have the original MoM website… I know I’ve made a difference even if it’s just a small one….

    With your help the people of West Africa have “a chance to not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation”.

    Clay Hollenback

  9. Great job Karlene!! I can't wait to see what this trip does for Medicine On the Move :)

  10. I'm very late commenting on this post, but I just had to say, I'm so excited for their visit! I would absolutely love to see Delta support Medicine on the Move as we have been avid Delta flyers for years now and have enjoyed seeing their commitment to the global community. Keeping my fingers crossed! Karlene, if you happen to be in Atlanta (y'know Delta hub and all =) look us up! We'd love to host you or just get together to chat MoM stuff!


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