Holiday Traffic on the Amazon – a letter from partners who depend on us.
We had planned on flying out of the village the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. And we had planned on going to a Thanksgiving party with the other ex-pats in Porto Velho. It would have only been a 1 hour and 40 min flight and we would have made it that day! But then the unexpected happened — the pilot of the amphibious plane sent us a message via Garmin Inreach saying that he was sick with malaria and couldn’t fly us out! And of course he’s the only amphibious-trained mission pilot in our corner of the universe. So instead of eating turkey, we spent all of Thanksgiving Day putt-putting along the river at 10 mph to get to an airstrip where we could fly out to PVH with the “land” plane. In case you were wondering, we were only going 10 mph not because of bad traffic, but because our transportation was a wooden canoe propelled by a lawnmower engine. In actual fact we did not see another human being all day! It was quite an adventure through sun and rain and the kids did great! Everything worked out in the end… except for the actual Thanksgiving meal, which got cancelled because people in both the pilots’ families were too sick with malaria.
**Note – Lest it sound like we’re indulging in a little whine about our unconventional holiday travels, let me just say that we are immensely thankful for the missionary pilots who have dedicated their lives to helping folks like us with travel into and out of the village. It’s at times like these, when we don’t have access to a fast and convenient flight out that we realize just how much we appreciate them!