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September 2013 - Ambulance to Nagorno Karabakh

Several years ago we delivered this ambulance to a village hospital in Armenia.  We kept in touch with them afterwards and found out that they were using it to transport a medical team out into the countryside to run clinics in the villages rather than using it as an ambulance.  They were squeezing a large team in and really needed a minibus.  That was how this year’s complicated trip was born.

We flew into Armenia and met up with our friends there.  We had raised funds which we took with us to help them purchase a minibus locally.  In exchange, they gave us back the ambulance and we drove it on, over their border to a hospital in a region called Nagorno Karabakh.  The Foreign office had advised against the trip due to a recent flare up between some warring factions there.  Luckily, our Rumanian friends knew a safe route to get us into the province and out again and we saw no trouble.

The handover:

John, shaking hands with the Health Minster with co-driver on the right and the head surgeon from the hospital on the left.

Mission Report from John:

.On the 12th September,2013 at 5am Donovan Hall and myself set off to deliver an ambulance to the Republic of Negorno Karabakh, which is situated just north of Iran on the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.   We had been informed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office the the cease fire with Azerbaijan had broken down, and that there were skirmishers, so all the borders had closed down and that we should abandon our trip.  Well it had taken me four months to get all the paper sorted out.   I was not prepared to waste all that time.   I have some very good contacts in Armenia who assured me that they could get us into N.K. via the back door in the dark., and that is exactly what happened.   I had to trust some people thousands of miles away, and I am not used to that,  well every thing went exactly to plan thank God.   The surgeon who arranged our entry into N.K. was from Syria, and before we said our final good byes, he persuaded me to take my next ambulance to Syria.   People ask me how I pick the countries to donate my ambulances.   Well as you see,  they pick me.