Bush Clinic, UK visit, Kindergarten, Helivida team, Adoption and Furlough
Wamena, Papua, Indonesia
My room for the night next to the helipad.
Because of the mountainous terrain it
is very difficult or even impossible for people in some of the villages
to reach a medical clinic. Instead, we bring the clinic to them. For
this mission I shuttled government health workers to different villages
to give immunizations. At the time, there was a big drought and smoke
from land clearing burns in the south had caused a lot of disruptions to
my flight route. By the time we reached the last drop off point clouds
mixed with smoke made a return flight impossible. I ended up staying
with the medical team while they conducted the clinic and spent the
night in a honai (traditional hut) along with all the men, sleeping
around a fire. I was served a yummy meal of rice, egg, and pear squash
cooked over a fire. After the men talked late into the night, the pastor
shared a bible story and we went to sleep. This was my first experience
sleeping in a honai, I wasn’t used to giving up my soft bed for a hard
floor! The next morning I was able to use the sat phone to get a weather
report from Anisha and make it back to Wamena.
Health workers meeting with the village patients.
dinner and heating water on the fire, also our central heating at
night. At 6600ft it gets cold up here in the mountains. My "bed" for
the night was on the other side of the fire.
Enjoying lunch in the back garden.
In May/June we received news that Granddad
England (Ben’s dad, John) suffered a minor heart attack and was in the
hospital. It’s quite shocking to be far away and receive such news. With
the blessing of Helimission leadership we headed back to the UK to
support and spend time with family. While Joyce (Ben’s mum) knew we were
coming, John did not and we enjoyed surprising him in the hospital!
Lots of jokes ensued over the wisdom of surprising a heart attack
patient, but he survived! After several more weeks in the hospital, then
open heart surgery, and a couple more hospital weeks, John was sent
home to begin recovery. The surgery was a success and John is back to
walking, cycling, and even swimming again. In all we were home in the UK
for 2 months and so glad to be able to be there.
Isaiah is in Kindergarten/Year 1!
Four days a week Anisha home schools Isaiah
and he joins a sports co-op on Tuesday afternoons and a Kindergarten
co-op on Wednesday mornings. Although we originally planned to continue
home schooling through elementary school, Isaiah very much wishes to
attend the international school and we plan to enrol him next year. He
is such an extrovert and very socially motivated. A big praise is that
recently Indonesian children Isaiah’s age have moved into our
neighbourhood! They all spend most afternoons outside together running
up and down our street playing tag and riding bikes.
Our team is currently made up of 5 nationalities.
When we first joined the team here in Wamena
there were two pilots and two mechanics working with the helicopters.
Now we have 6 pilots and 5 mechanics. As you can imagine big changes
happen when a team grows and we are learning to adjust and find our
places. Tom, our original Base Manager and Chief Pilot, will retire in
December after almost 20 years in Papua. Ben will help with maintaining
flight status of the pilots, which primarily involves looking after
pilot training for our bases in Indonesia. Our colleagues, the Weber
family, will start a new base serving the more north western part of the
island. And our colleagues the Sigrists are expecting a new baby!
We're adopting from which country?
About this time last year we told you we
started the adoption process again, this time for a 0-2 year old baby
girl. With a lot of excitement we considered different countries and had
settled on Uganda. Unfortunately, the country then shut down all
international adoptions and we were left back at square one trying to
determine where in the world this little girl of ours is! We finally
settled on China and are finishing up the home study. We hope to submit
the China dossier from the UK in the Spring, be matched with a child,
and Autumn/Winter next year go pick up our girl! Please pray the
paperwork goes smoothly. We’ll need to apply for grants as well so
prayers for that process.
4 aeroplanes and 22 hours in the air and we will be back.
March next year will mark 3 years of living
in Indonesia. In some ways it has been a long time and in other ways it
seems so quick that we are approaching the end of our first term. We
haven’t booked tickets yet, but here is the general plan:
March 17 – June 17: UK (we’ve rented a house in Redbourne through Pilgrims' Friend Society)
June 18 - September 16: USA (Florida/Texas)
We’ll plan to do a bit of travelling around and let you know more once
we have firm plans as we’d love to see you before we return to Wamena in
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· Changes within our team
· Safety in town as the number of aggressive drunks is increasing
· The adoption process