Have you ever heard of a place called Gawa?

Perhaps, if you have any connections to LMC or Oxley College, you may remember hearing about this small indigenous community on the northern tip of Elcho Island when a cyclone went through. I’m not sure what the connection was to this place, but i remember hearing the name and praying for their safety and recovery after the cyclone hit.

Or maybe you have heard of Gawa in relation to the airstrip that was opened there in 2013? MAF planes frequently fly the residents of this community around Arnhem Land.

On Friday, as we made our way to Gove for a weekend of MAF meetings and fun, we had a passenger to take to Gawa and some more to transport on to Gove. Sam and i got to see first hand again what Jason does each day, and we got to see more of this island on which we now call home.

Our passenger to the island was a teenage guy whose parents work at the Christian school in Gawa. He was eager to see some more of the island so Jason flew the 12 minute journey at just over 500 feet so we could all enjoy the view. I am always amazed by the colours of Arnhem Land and how many shades of blue and green God created. On this trip we were able to see big rays in the sea and big schools of fish feeding together. Both new sights for me from the air.

The hazard of this low level flight is the increased heat and bumpiness. Sadly Sam didn’t travel too well and lost his lunch just as Jason as about to land the plane, which explains the random photo of the back of the seat in the collection that follows. Gawa was my first experience of landing on a dirt runway too.