These are a few shots from "my office" over the past week. It was practically like a family reunion in Binuang (below) when I landed there for the first time in six months. After greeting everyone, sharing a meal of rice, wild veggies, and some whole, crunchy-fried fish with my buddies Kalfin and Bapak Daud, I took off for the next village.
I took two medical patients out of Long Bawan (below) at the end of one day. One young girl was sick with something unknown, and then just before I took off we got word of an older guy that fell from a high tree while trying to pick buah mata kucing (which literally means "cat eye fruit.") He was hurtin'--with a compound arm fracture, and what appeared to be some broken ribs, and who knows what else internally.
After a few terrible weather days early in the week, which resulted in many cancelled flights, the later part of the week proved to be just gorgeous.
I'm in the process of trying to get comfortable flying from the right seat in preparation for the IPS (Instructor Pilot Seminar) that I'll be attending the next few weeks at MAF headquarters. (Pilots typically fly from the left seat, co-pilots in larger planes will sit in the right seat. Instructors will sit in the right seat, so the pilot getting instruction can sit in the left, normal, seat.) I have to tell you it feels VERY awkward and strange! I mean, I obviously had to fly from the right seat years ago when I got certified as a flight instructor, but since then, I've never really done it again.
In addition to the medical patients I mentioned above, I also took two pregnant women to town to give birth. Then today, Sunday, I got called in to do a medivac to Long Nawang which is our furthest village from Tarakan that we serve on a regular basis. These were a few shots along the one and a half hour flight each way.
I was glad the weather cooperated. In fact, it was unusually beautiful weather, as typically the village would have been clouded in that early in the morning. The poor guy that I picked up had a tree fall on him yesterday afternoon, but it was to late in the day for us to get there before dark. So he had to wait all night until we could come in this morning. Even so, there was no complaining. Everyone there clearly understands the alternatives. There aren't any!