A few weeks ago I had a very special co-pilot fly along with me all day long. We flew the Kodiak all around Northeast Kalimantan to several different villages.
Wherever we landed Hannah was an instant celebrity. Of course, as her dad, I think she's just the most cutest girl ever...but I'm a bit biased! However, with her blond hair and blue eyes she's an absolutely intriguing and mesmerizing sight for the kids (and adults) interior.
Everyone wanted to get their picture taken with Hannah...not just the kids, but the ladies too.
The ladies just couldn't stop feeling Hannah's hair and rubbing her cheeks and nose, almost like they had to confirm that she was real, and not just some fairy-tale, human-sized doll, come to life! Of course, many of these ladies and kids in Long Sule remembered Hannah from our ministry trip there back in February, and were just so excited to see her again! (See Long Sule Part I and Long Sule Part II)
In Mahak Baru we picked up a group of passengers heading to Malinau for a big cultural festival. They had a few traditional wooden musical instruments ready to take along. One was gigantic, and one was tiny. So they wanted to pose for pictures with Hannah and the instruments. Mahak Baru is the only village in the area that has a cell phone tower, and it cracked me up to see how many of the passengers were gathered around taking cell-phone pictures.
We've had the chance to spend some time as a family in Mahak Baru, (see Trip to Mahak Baru 1 and Trip to Mahak Baru 2) and Hannah was so excited to see our dear friend Ibu Tinan Kule again. Check out this post over on Joy's blog, that she did about Tinan Kule. I think you'll find it inspiring. She's a very sweet lady who loves the Lord and always shows that love in and through her life. She also happens to be one of the village agents that helps us pilots with the loading manifests and passengers. As usual, she had fried rice and drinks waiting for us, so we ate lunch there.
Also in Mahak, Hannah got to hang out with her sweet friend, Marlince, who gave her a little water turtle to take home as a gift (in the plastic jar). Marlince was featured in a photo with her brother and our other kids, in front of an MAF airplane in last year's MAF calendar. That photo can be seen in the Trip to Mahak Baru 1 post. It's the third picture down from the top. It's so fun for the kids to have friends interior, especially when they can re-connect with them.
All in all, despite some very challenging weather on the way home, it was a great day and I was so glad to have Hannah come along as my co-pilot!