A flight to say 'Thank You'

A flight to say 'Thank You'

Field Resources Co-ordinator Kelly Hewes tells how MAF pilot Steve Persenaire took the opportunity to say 'Thank You' to the ladies of Long Sule, Kalimantan

Whenever a plane comes in to Long Sule, Kalimantan, ladies are there waiting to help unload sacks of rice, boxes of noodles, barrels of fuel for powering boats and motorbikes, and building materials including metal roofing and bags of cement.

They carry all this cargo over rough paths to the village below the airstrip. It is hard work!

Today as we arrive, the Ladies stand in groups waiting patiently as the plane rolls to a stop. They wear In their rubber jungle shoes, and colourful wide-brimmed hats to keep the sun off. These ladies are ready to work!

 As they helped to unload large barrels of fuel, MAF pilot Steve Persenaire had an idea. Why not treat these ladies to a short flight as a thank-you for their hard work? Many of them had never left Long Sule before and certainly had never flown on a plane!

The ladies excitedly climbed on board and soon the plane was barreling down the tiny grass airstrip and lifting gracefully up and over their village.

Little screams of fear and joy escaped them at every little turn and bump. The ladies pointed in amazement as we flew by a large waterfall streaming down into a jungle canyon, a sight only three miles away from their village that many had never seen.

Amid shrieks and laughter and lots of white knuckles, we soon touched back down at their jungle airstrip.

I realized after this fun little flight that I couldn’t begin to understand what it would be like to live my entire life in such a remote place. I’m glad that MAF is serving people in places like Long Sule - providing access to so many important things, and at the same time giving some the ride of their life!

Kelly Hewes