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Rainy Day Landings

September 11, 2010

On Friday, 10 September, the four of us landed at Walagu airstrip. Although, it should be towards the end of rainy season, and dry during the day with just the occasional late afternoon or night showers, it was raining as we approached Walagu to land.

We were flying in the Quest Kodiak to land on a grass strip in Papua New Guinea. As we flew close to the air strip, we could see that there was one cloud and rain shower just sitting over the air strip area. It is an amazing sight, but daunting to see the rain falling just where the plane needed to land.

After several circuits of the area, we were finally able to land. The cargo was off-loaded directly to the hands of people who carried it to put it safely under a house out of the rain.

The pilots waited at the end of the strip for a while until the weather cleared enough for them to be able to take off. We all waited a bit longer for the rain to further clear. Finally, everyone grabbed a box or bucket, and we begin our trek through a swampy area, then up the hill to the village. In the swampy area and stream, the water level was higher than I have ever seen it. It took a couple of people to hold my hand as I walked across the logs for the bridge. So, how many people does it take to get Beverly through the swamp and up the hill? Several, enough to be embarrassing to me. I guess at least that helps keep me humble.

We did arrive at the house in the village at the top of the hill. Joining me for the nine week stay is Joy Candee. And for this first weekend, Anne and David Smith are also here doing small fix-it jobs. As I type, David is repairing a hand crank sewing machine.

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