Well after completing a full week of flying around here by myself, I feel I can be free to reflect on what flying here can be like.
Day one: Smoke from burning off so thick it felt like I was flying in IMC (without reference to any visual cues from outside the plane).
Day two: Weather very reminiscent of wet season weather (I think). I had to radio back to base to ask what the storm between me and my destination was doing. Should have taken a detour around it to the right instead of to the left – as I found out the storm was also moving left.
Day three: Windy as all get up. Weather back to dry season weather. Wish it would hurry up and make up it’s mind. The wind shifts from a prevailing south easterly during the dry to a north westerly when the wet comes. So right now, the wind sock is all over the place and so making up my mind as to which way I’ll land is often swayed by the slope of the air strip or away from the setting sun, etc.
Day something: picked up three teachers, who ask if some Yolgnu kids can come along too. Okay, we can fit them in. Only to find out that they had their own flight booked for later on in the day… they don’t care, they’ll jump in the first plane they see if it’s going where they need to go. It was too late to tell the other guy that his passengers were already on their way. Oops.
Another day: earlier I read a scenario in a safety programme about cutting yourself on a knife that was in a passengers bag and was a bit dubious about that happening. Well I did find out that part of local teenage girls luggage can sometimes consist of a large machete when I was stuffing hair conditioner back into a hole it fell out of. Gave me a clue as to how the hole came to be.
Day eight: Picking up two girls from Milingimbi turned in to six passengers. Another great storm we had to avoid on the way to Elcho Island. They look spectacular from the air. What an awesome (in the truest sense of the word) God we have, not to mention the artistic beauty in His creation.
I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to talk to the indigenous people I transport yet. I think it will take time for them to get to know my face and me to get to know their culture and language. Even though all the training is over, now the real learning begins. But I do feel like I have a little more brain space in the evenings to put into other things now. Hmm… where to start, what to start?! Please pray that God will show me what he wants me to do here apart from flying.