The flight would have been longer if I hadn't thrown my headset out the door with the air drop we were making. Yes, you read correctly, it seams I have a habit here of destroying things right and left. First it was the pots we scraped some of the Teflon off then snapping one of the living room chairs, cutting the cord on the skill saw, and the list goes on. I feel a bit like an accident waiting to happen. Anyway, Dave and I prepared the airdrops the night before and I was able to ride along with Mark to throw the packages out for John the Mennonite. The first two dropped perfectly with the shoots opening to soften the reunion with the earth. The last one I forced from the plane with half my body hanging out the plane but somehow my arm hooked the headset cord and flung the thing off my head and out into space. Angry with myself I forgot to look to see if the package landed OK and see if my headset missile killed anyone on the ground as it plummeted to earth.
The following day Mark, Carmen, Heidi and I along with Dexter the dog, piled into a jeep to bump our way out to Rowadiche and spend the next three days hiking to rural villages to help the sick and visit friends. Carmen is a doctor at the mission hospital and has spent many of her days off hikeing to the bush villages to help where she can. For Heidi and I it was a spectacular dichotomy seeing the awesome beauty of the high sierra and immensity of the canyons with shear cliffs and unforgiving beauty and seeing the beautiful people that carve out an existence there and their rugged way of life and the palpable spiritual darkness. We feel honored to gain insight into this place and see what life is like for our neighbors here.It is a staggering reality check for Heidi and I gaining a little idea of life for these folks. Many of the friends we have made live a true subsistence lifestyle growing corn and beans to last the year and find other work occasionally to provide the other necessities. Infant mortality here in the sierra is the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Simple sanitation education would dramatically improve that statistic but new ideas are slow to take root.
One of the nights we spent out in the bush the family we stayed with offered their own house for us to sleep in. We were honored still even when we found that they had been spending the last several moons sleeping under the stars to avoid the starving flees that were infesting their house. We enjoyed an evening under the milky way that night.
Carmen put us to work on one of the children that had scabbed over wounds on his head with the dried puss mounding up in his thick black hair. With my leatherman I cut the hair away to expose the wound and we picked away at the scab to expose the bloody flesh in order to treat it with ointment. If left unattended Carmen informed us the problem would eventually cause serious kidney damage.
We are two days away from leaving our new home down here and looking forward to the next chapter. Mixed feelings follow as we must leave old friends and our new friends alike. I don't think I will miss the flees, but the parasites in the jungle are bound to treat us less kindly.
Chinese proverb say - Don't open a shop unless you like to smile