Saturday, September 28, 2013

Reuben Report

Reuben's adventures over the past couple of weeks:

Working out in the gym

Getting clean after all that exercise

Being introduced to Mummy's favourite shop
Getting to know the family

It's all so exhausting!

Building Bridges

Back in March we took building materials and tools into a remote location, to assist the building of a new bridge.

Off-loading cement...

...and tools

The landing site, to the right of the thin bridge across the river
One of the items we took in was a generator, which we were then asked to lift back out again when the new bridge was complete. That gave us a chance to see the finished article.

The old bridge

which I didn't much fancy crossing

The new bridge
a much safer way to cross 

 The old and the new

The generator rigged and ready to go

Taking the sling gear off the generator

 From the air

We were then asked to take the local MP and Governor to the official opening ceremony. As well as the government, the charity responsible for building the bridge and the Australian development agency (who funded it) were represented. This was a big occasion as an agreement was signed to build more, similar, bridges. The nearby village put on a great singsing (show) for the event.

The dignitaries were greeted by a procession of chanting warriors

 wearing traditional dress
A ceremony was then held to mark the official opening, and agreement to build more bridges 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

No second chances

Enough of babies - back to the important stuff!

A few weeks back I took a flight in one of the SIL Kodiaks to better get to know an area the helicopter rarely (but occasionally) goes to. Our destination for the trip was Masa. Masa is one of those decently-sloped one-way runways that PNG specialises in. The sort that is on a ridge with a drop-off at one end and hill at the other.

Amongst others, we took in one of my colleagues whose family lives in the area. It took us 40 minutes to get there by aeroplane; it took him 3 days to make the return journey by foot, truck, boat and public transport!

Here's a short video of the landing and take-off...

I also recently went to Nahu in the Kodiak. It's another of those sloped runways which suddenly ends in mid-air!

These are the places that make me happy not to be a fixed-wing pilot! [Though I'd like to say they're all terribly well trained and good at the job.] If they make a mistake at the wrong point - there are no second chances...

Beach Babe

Last time Duncan and I walked down our favourite local beach, we were about to leave for Papua New Guinea. We had no idea I was pregnant! Yesterday we returned to the beach as a family. Ukarumpa is completely landlocked and we do miss the sea, so it was a joy-filled walk for a number of reasons.

Monday, September 2, 2013