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Part 2 of Adventures in Flying to Walagu

August 29, 2019

Dickson was scheduled to fly out to Walagu on Tuesday of this week. He had a 6:30 am pickup by the aviation bus. I went out to the airstrip at about 7 am in a borrowed car. The weather reports from both Walagu and Bosavi (another very close air strip) were not good. Finally about 9:30 to 9:45, after talking once again to Bosavi, the pilot made the decision that the legs to Bosavi and Walagu could not happen that day. The cargo for those two stops was offloaded, and the flight went on to drop people off at the other stops, as well as pick up other people coming into Ukarumpa.

To be honest, for the first few moments, it was so difficult and disappointing! But once the initial disappointment was over, I was so glad that the decision was made for safety!! But I was also in the back of my mind thinking, “Oh no, what will I do with Dickson!” So, I called the training center. He could go back into his dorm room. Hurray, they had not cleaned it yet ~ good for them to not need to clean it again. They had to check on the potential for meals. I did beg just a little bit. Yes, of course, he could have lunch, dinner, then breakfast before trying again Wednesday morning.
You have to understand that this time of the year is cloudy/rainy season in the greater Bosavi district of Papua New Guinea. It begins with morning fag which may burn away by late morning. Or you just might spend the day in the clouds with drizzly rain all day. No sun, no dry airstrip, just cold dampness that makes you feel like you are getting moldy just sitting there.

Wednesday morning, it was a later scheduled start, with just the two stops at Bosavi and Walagu, no pressure to finish in time for the rest of the program (that happened on Tuesday). The teaching team was able to get out to Bosavi. Dickson was able to get back to Walagu.

Of all of the photos that I took of Dickson, this one in the plane headed home was the biggest smile. He worked so hard, but as you can see, he was so happy to be heading home.

Here is Wednesday’s pilot doing the safety check pre-departure. Safety first. Missionary Pilots Are My Heroes!

For me, it is always a bit poignant when the plane takes off, leaving me behind. And Tuesday’s flight was so full with people and cargo. I did briefly think, hey there is not a full plane today. I could just fly to Walagu, say hello to my friends, then fly back! Not a financially wise choice, so common sense won out, but I did thing about it!

Thanks always for your prayers for not only the difficult work of Bible translation, learning computer skills, etc., but for safety in traveling our wild & wonderful Papua New Guinea.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz Chen permalink
    August 31, 2019 6:42 am

    Good to hear it all worked out in the end! Is Dickson from Walagu or from one of the other villages that have relocated to Walagu since the earthquake?

    • August 31, 2019 9:02 am

      Liz, Dickson is from Walagu. However, I’m thinking that when you were working in Walagu he was away at school much of that time. That would be why you cannot remember him. Hugs to you from PNG!

      • Liz Chen permalink
        September 1, 2019 11:38 pm

        Yes, I think he must have been away at school when I was there. It’s great that he’s joining the team!

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