Sharing their sorrow

Sharing their sorrow

Pilot Steven Eatwell flew a medevac and earthquake relief flight to the remote communities of Huya and Bosavi. He brought relief supplies and assessed the condition of the airstrips while he was there.

'Before we left we were both phoning different people and contacting people at Huya to assess the airstrip condition as a previous survey flight thought there could be possible cracks on the airstrip.

Firsthand account by Pilot Steven Eatwell. Photos by Steven Eatwell and LuAnne Cadd.

I did a few inspection runs across and down the strip and we decided it was safe to land as the cracks we noticed were on the sides, way off centerline, which confirmed reports from out MAF agent at Huya.

The people were so grateful for the plane to have come, not only for the patients and the unexpected food supplies but I felt that they also wanted to share their sorrow and their stories with anyone who could possibly help them.

The ladies sitting close by to the boxes of food could not keep back and after a short while crawled up the bank and hugged the boxes. It was great to be able to be there and not rush but listen to the people and to pray with them. I felt that the few boxes we took were received gratefully but were not much compared to the many people there.

I have also visited other strips like Suabi, Yahebe, Fuma and others who have told me about dead fish and one croc floating down stream. I saw this for myself at Yahebi and the people informed me that there was a film on the river similar to how oil sits on water as well as a smell. They are not sure if there are still fish in the river as it is two dirty, with debris and mud, to know.'

'The people were so grateful for the plane...they wanted to share their sorrow and their stories with anyone who could possibly help them.'