Last Monday Hugo flew to our southern most base in the city of Merauke. We have our amphib plane based there along with two pilots. This area of Papua, essentially south of the mountain range that is sprawled across the centre of the island, is very very flat and swampy. Many of the places that we land there are on the river. There are a few land strips, like the one in the photo. That’s Senggo, the strip was half ashphalted quite a few years ago, done improperly and never worked on again. So we still land on the river there. The reason that Hugo went to Merauke is that the plane was due for its biannual weighing. It’s important to weigh a plane so that you can accurately calculate just how many passengers and loading the plane can carry. The pilot in Merauke wasn’t comfortable doing the weighing himself along with the three local guys that work with him so it fell on Hugo to fly down to assist. It’s pretty cool to see such a “big” plane hanging from the rafters of the hangar. The next day Hugo flew along with pilot J for the day and got to experience what flying in the South of Papua is like. It is in the South that the majority of the GGRI (Gereja-gereja Reformasi di Indonesia) are located. In fact, on the day that Hugo flew, they flew a couple elders and an evangelist from the GGRI.
Basketball season is upon us again. Christiaan is on the middle school team again this year. Last week they played a game against a team of Papuans that were clearly bigger and stronger than they are. The boys held their own though. Christiaan made a basket and two free throws. Yay!! A couple weeks into the season Mikah decided to join the high school girls team. Being a bit short on tall players, they were only too happy to have her. She’s never played before though so she’s busy learning the intricacies of the game.