Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Overnight Mission Flight

When we woke up Sunday, December 12, we were so excited. We were going on our first overnight, helicopter mission!! We packed our hammocks with mosquito nets (compliments of our loving Gpa) and a small meal (just incase they didn't have enough food to feed us there) and headed to the project. However, it started to rain...and it rained ALOT. So much, in fact, that the road to the project turned into a 3 ft. deep river. It was insane!
So Andrey, the pilot, made the executive decision that we would not fly out that day. We would just wait until early the next morning to fly out. We were kinda bummed that we wouldn't be able to spend the night (or use our hammocks) but we figured our lives were worth more than a night under the stars. So we waited until Monday morning.
While waiting to possibly take off on Sunday, Sam and Jam tested out the helicopter seats.
The next morning we woke up at 6am and headed out. First Sam flew out with all of the medical supplies and then Andrey returned and picked up Jam and Allison. Since there are only 2 seats in the helicopter (one for the pilot, one for a passenger) Jam had to ride in the patients bed on the outside of the helicopter, though you won't hear him complain. ;)
We very much enjoy living in Palawan. The view of the mountains are incredible but the view of Palawan from the air?? Ten times more gorgeous!! It amazed us how many huts  or how many waterfalls there were throughout the mountains. It was amazing! While we flew over the mountains it was impossible for us not to get a craving for Broccoli (We haven't had any in over 4 months :'(  ) Here are some of the pictures and a video of our flight over:

Poor Jam. We told him if he made that face while flying it would become stuck like that. *sigh*

Upon arriving in the little village of Risal, we began to set up the medical supplies. Then Sam and Jam had a health lecture to present to the people. It was at this time that we noticed the clouds beginning to roll in over the mountains.

After the health lecture we started the clinic. Of course, there were ALOT of malaria cases and malnutrition to deal with, but also some special cases:
This little boy had been having a terrible cough for a couple weeks.
This seemingly, happy, baby girl had been fevering. Malaria being the main cause.
This woman was dehydrated and malnourished. However, she was also a smoker. :/
This man complained of lower abdominal pain.
These two girls were fevering and were treated for malaria.
This kid had fallen out of a tree and dislocated his wrist. Sam was able to clean his wounds but couldn't do anything about his wrist. However, there was an 80 year man who was know as the village chiropractor and he was able to fix his wrist.
After seeing this guy's shirt, we knew we were gonna have problems. Lol, jk.

As we had started the clinic it began to rain. It rained continually for the rest of the day. We were so mad at ourselves for not bringing our camping gear, but we had been SOO sure that we wouldn't need it. But we just prayed throughout the day as we did our clinic that it would clear up enough for us to get home.
We had a pretty good gig going for us. Sam diagnosed and prescribed meds to the patients, Jam also helped diagnose and was the translator, and Allison was photographer/videographer/ vitamin dispenser. We worked together very well and by the end of the day (4 pm) we were able to help 50 patients.
Around 4:30pm, the sky had cleared up enough for us to attempt to head home. We were excited to head back. We packed up the medical supplies, then Andrey and Sam took off. Imagine our mere disappointment when 5 minutes later they landed once again. Apparently the clouds on the other side of the mountain were too risky, so Andrey figured it would be safer to stay the night and head back in the morning. 
So, we were stuck. We had no food, no sleeping gear, and no chance of going home. Then Jojo (the missionary in charge of this village who had planned this medical mission) told us that he knew an old Adventist couple who had a big house that would love to take us in for the night. Praise God! We like to pride ourselves on being able to sleep anywhere...but we weren't sure that sleeping in the dirt would pass that test. So after using a locals cell phone (because, of course, none of our phones got reception) to text the people back at the project we headed towards the place we would be staying for the night. It was a 2 mile hike, through some difficult elements, to get to the old couples house. At one point, Allison got up to her ankle stuck in mud and had to be pulled out. But after about 30 minutes we made it to our destination. 

The couple was SOOO excited to take the 4 of us in for the night and they had plenty of room in their house to accommodate us. For reasons unknown, the house was actually full of beds! And the lady (who told us to call her "Lola" which means Grandma) was able to find enough blankets, pillows, and mosquito nets for everyone.

Since our shoes were muddy, Lola lent us some of her shoes to wear around the house. Then they cooked us an amazing supper. After supper we went straight to bed, it had been a long day and we were going to have to wake up early to fly out. Till then...

~Me and Her


Jessica said...

That is SO freaking cool! Helicopter flights to medical clinics in the Philippine jungle?

You guys are Mission Spotlight in real life. I'm gonna brag about knowing you. (praying for you!)

P.S. Your theme music was the best in life. You should copyright that...

jerry said...

Couldn't make it through your video without laughing so hard and tears streaming . You guys got too much time on your hands!!! DO Dit do do do dit.dada dada dada do dit.

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