August 12, 2013

Palangkaraya - Flying off of Rivers

One morning I had the privilege of tagging along with Pilot Sean Cannon on a medivac flight. We went up to a village north of Palangkaraya, picked up an elderly lady, and then flew her to the city of Banjar Masing on the southern coast of Borneo. But let's get to it, as there are many pictures to peruse!!
Here, quite a group of locals greeted the plane at the dock. Although a bit of a somber occasion (as someone was in need of medical attention), it didn't take much more than Sean, myself, an airplane, & a camera to give excuse for lightening the mood so-to-speak. Some of the women here were pretty funny and, shall we say, down right extroverted! Sean was nice enough to lend me his camera and I was able to shoot pictures of what was going on.
Since I was just along for the ride, and had Sean's camera, the hunters became the hunted as I turned the tables and took many pictures of the picture takers! Below are a select few...
Posing with the plane...
Posing with the Pilot...Even if he doesn't know it!
The coolest 5 year old on the dock...

Our patient was an elderly woman, and here they carry her onto the dock to load her into the airplane. I must say I was worried for a few moments as I thought there was a real chance she was going to get dropped in the water, thankfully she was not.  I can't say building codes in Canada would approve of the dock ramp. I think they would have gone for a slightly bigger board.

But hey, one thing you have to learn when living far from Canada, things that were dangerous back home aren't really dangerous here. Danger is relative, it is merely a state of mind. Hand rails and anti-slip tape on a dock ramp? No need, the board works fine. Safety shoes in a construction environment...What are those? I think "safety flip flops" would sell well here. Helmets on a motorcycle? Just for adults, kids can go helmet-less. Idaho doesn't even enforce that one. They have more 'freedom' south of the Canadian boarder to smash their heads however they want to.

Joking aside, people do pretty well here with what they have. I mean, MAF's ministry here would most likely not be needed here if this little village could afford a nice safe dock with proper height hand rails & anti-slip tape. If they had that, they probably would have access to a road worthy ambulance type vehicle that could drive they elderly woman on a half decent road to another bigger town with a small hospital. Of course, there is no ambulance, decent road, or small hospital near by. We are pretty blessed to be on the business end of blessing these people in this way. It still blows my mind to think of all the people and efforts needed for there to be a plane ready to fly in a location such as here. It really is by the provision of God that we are here at all, and we are so blessed that He would use us in this way.
People look on as she is loaded in the plane. This is a moment when you could really read the underlying seriousness of us being there. I'm sure a lot of the folks here are related to the elderly woman, and might not ever see here again alive.
Okay, I have too many pic's so I'm going to make a Part Deux free of charge. Well, not totally free, your internet & electricity costs money...Unless you're at work, in which case you better get back to working...& don't forget to sign your facebook out too.

Yes, I'm going on about nothing, but me thinks the Indonesian Karaoke I currently hear loud & clear in the back ground serenading my evening is affecting my good judgement. We have this quaint little restaurant karaoke type place up the hill from our house, and the sounds just bounce perfectly around our home to make it feel a whole lot closer than it really is...6pm to11pm.  The Karaoke was gone for the month of Ramadan (Holy month of fasting for Muslims) but now it is back with a vengeance! But hey, it's not really a big deal. Further more, Amy and I can now also recognize (by melody) some of "what's popular" in the Indonesian pop music scene:)

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