28 January 2013

Another hot day in the saddle

As mission trips go, this was an easy one. A little lie in, a late start, good flying weather, one overnight and then just flying missionaries back to SA for their onward travel to the UK and the USA for furlough. No physical labour in the heat of the bush, no sweating continuously for 20 hours a day, no endless nights sleeping outside in a moaquito net tent, no rice and beans for days on end. Not that we mind all that to be honest, it's what we do and we really enjoy it. True, the hours can be a little unsocial, but it beats most other things we are capeable of and a whole bunch of people can benefit from it other than us.

The perfect start to any day - fried English breakfast and a cup of tea,.on the stoep, in the sun.
Feels like my birthday!
Then a bit of flying..
A total of about four hours in the air from South Africa to Vilanculos in Mozambique via the Limpopo river...
Then on up to Marromeu on the Zabbezi River.

We fly past the aptly named Paradise Island surrounded by an emerald sea, where Bob Dylan once wrote a song whilst sitting at the grand piano in the foyer of of the now defunct hotel apparently. It's on the 1976 album 'Desire' along with Isis, Hurricane, Black Diamond Bay .... and others I can't remember.
A gold star to anyone who can tell me the name of the song.
It really is quite a jewel in an ocean of tranquility...
Then on up past Beira, Mozambique's second city where we would usully land except that they had no fuel - again.
They won't be getting our landing fees today.
The YWAM guys we are picking up live modestly in Marromeu. Part of their garden furniture is this tank, left over from the civil war quite a few years ago now.
 
We spent the night at Mercy Air's heli base sleeping in a shipping container.where the temperature at 10 at night was still over 30 deg.
The next day dawned bright and sunny and even though we were airbourne by 07:00 it was already hot.

We flew back past some interesting expansive scenary.
 
One of the big green bits looked like a huge heart.
The passengers seemed quite happy - which is usually a good sign.
 
We also take it as a compliment if they're comfortable enough to sleep.
It was a wonderfully boring and uneventful flight back to South Africa - just the kind we like.

After we landed and did the customs and immigration formalities the passengers had to wait in the shade of the wing whils we paid the landing fees.
Then we flew the eight miles back to the Mercy Air Farm where we were able to put them up fopr a night before their onward travel to the UK the next day.

Mercy Air Team