The Caravan is a nice 12 seat plane able to take a lot of cargo. Being a private pilot myself I cherished the opportunity. I got to experience some nice avionics that I have not been around before. I pretended to push buttons and turn knobs to get a laugh out of our pilot Solomon but I don’t think he thought I as funny as I thought I was.
It was little over an hour flight to the area of the farm and things looked a little desolate. Solomon had never flown to this remote are before so we had to scour the now dry brown area looking for a dirt runway.
As we came in for a touch and go to test the strip you could see people running from all directions towards the strip. There was clearly a large group gathering to watch. We came around a second time for a final landing and Solomon made it look easy.
The crowd was amazing as we taxied back with hundreds and hundreds of people waving and chanting most of which had never seen a plane before. How could there be so many people out to greet us in the middle of nowhere?
There was a nice reunion between Wes and Alyssa, and Mark and Heidi who have been apart for some time.
We could see the progress of the ground being cleared and houses going up. The ground clearing has gone so much faster with the local people than the two dozers ever could have. All they have are simple axes and machetes with no chainsaws, and they have chopped down nearly two thousand acres of brush in less than a month. Many came from distant villages to work. They had constructed a small tented area for a few but most had no shelter and lived outside 24/7. That is common among the people here I guess. It is so hard to imagine after living under shelter my whole life.
The brick houses were coming along well with the one with trusses going to be Shelley’s and mine.
The foundation seen here is going to be Wes and Alyssa’s with Mark and Heidi’s next door. The “guesthouse” is behind ours. We toured the houses trying to imagine living in them.
They will be fixed up nice with ceramic tile, kitchen facilities, indoor plumbing, etc.
The crowd of people was overwhelming as they would encircle me as I attempted to communicate with them. They would crowd in so tight I could hardly move as they stared at me saying any word they could think of in English; “ what is your name”, “how old are you”, “were do you live” to name a few.
We explored the area looking at stumps to be removed and piles of brush to be burned. The soil profile looks excellent and I feel confident that the land can raise good crops.
This day was very memorable moment for me but I expect that it will more common place as time goes on. I would have greatly regretted missing opportunities like this had I passed up working for this organization. I look forward to working with and helping these people.