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During a mission on the Bemaraha plateau which lasted several days, we found we were no longer welcome in the village of Befosa. So we flew straight on to the next village. However, we were very concerned about this rejection since, over the years, we had invested a lot of practical aid as well as teaching in the people of Befosa.

During a subsequent visit to the neighboring village of Bereketa, we received a message from Befosa. A man who was seriously ill needed a doctor, and they asked if we could come. Since it was already dark, we promised to come the next morning. Then I went to the helicopter to get the equipment for the openair cinema. In order not to attract mosquitoes, I went without a light. Suddenly I heard a rustling in the dark. In the light of my flashlight I saw a black snake! I don’t like these creatures at all. I thanked the villager who carried it into the tall grass for me.

When we arrived in Befosa the next morning, we were joyfully received this time. Dr. Justin immediately took care of the sick man. He was able to stabilize him with medication for the two-day transport with porters to the hospital, as we could not take him with us by helicopter. This was followed by the explanation of why we were no longer welcome on the last visit. Because we hadn’t visited their village for a long time due to Covid, they turned back to ”grigri” (magic). However, “grigri” could not help the sick man, so they asked us for help again. They also wanted to hear more about faith. As a team, we were happy that this village has decided to welcome us again in the future.

During the pre-flight control, I almost stepped on a snake again. Even though there are supposedly no poisonous snakes in Madagascar, I really don’t like these animals.

Nick, Pilot


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