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In March, I had a scheduled flight to transport a hydroelectric system. The day before I was told that a child had fallen from a tree in the Kora valley and cracked his skull.

So early in the morning, I flew into the Kora valley to return two patients who had been cured and flew the injured child and his family to the hospital. I then made preparations for the transport flight. As this flight had an external load, I took along our long-time employee, Viktor, to assist me. The material was brought to Mamit by plane, and we flew it from there to the Hydro Electric Plant near Konega. As I had never been there before, I took along a local pastor to show me the village. We had been informed that the village was at around 4,000 to 5,000 feet, but it ended up being close to 7,000 feet. They had a nicely prepared landing site, and we were met by quite a lot of people in traditional costume with bows and arrows. If I hadn’t had the pastor with me, I would have thought twice about landing there. However, they were all very friendly and helpful. We unloaded the helicopter, and I explained that I would bring in the next load with a rope under the helicopter and that they should not try to grab it. After all the material had been transported, I shut the helicopter down.

Viktor and his wife were also there. All of a sudden, I was lifted into the air on the shoulders of a local man and carried through the village with everyone shouting cheerfully. They did the same with Viktor. In this way they expressed their joy and gratitude. I was also asked to say something and I explained to them that we want to help then out of love.

They invited us to join them for a feast. That morning I had thought I was just flying in material for a power plant, but it turned into a time of blessing and friendship.

Matt, Pilot


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