Thursday, June 29, 2006

Our trip to the tribe was a refreshing, wonderful time, though it had its share of "adventure" as well!

This is the airstrip sight before work began...Garry was able to survey it and clearly lay out what needed cleared away in order to make it usable-- quite a few trees, some brush, coconut trees (an expensive commodity here), and a house. For you pilot friends, the airstrip is 1030 feet long with a 3.5% overall slope, just within our minimums for the Cessna 185! The folks there went right to work clearing away the brush, buying gas and working with a chainsaw, and cutting vines away from a rock wall on one side of the airstrip. Garry and Kevin, with a bit of help, put up airstrip markers at both ends and at different points along the strip. They also set up a vasi board (used in the approach) and told the folks where to hang the windsock.

By the time we left a lot of work had been done-- in fact, it was beginning to look like an airstrip! No worries... the windsock won't stay where it is in this photo! Today our friend called and said that yesterday 53 people had been working on the strip and all the clearing work was done. They had also cut down the coconut trees, and the house was going to be moved today! (He said their bamboo houses are rather easily moved with some large poles slid underneath and 40-50 men!) Thus, when they've had a couple of days of sunshine and the airplane is available Garry will be able to go in and make the final check on the airstrip!

I've been having trouble with my internet connection, so I'm going to say goodbye and publish this now. (I was nearly done yesterday when I lost everything!) Hopefully tomorrow I can get back on and tell you about our arrival there and the housing and food situation!

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