How much stuff can a helicopter move in 3 days? Life as a missionary seems to be jumping from one thing to another you’ve never done before, always out of your depth.

The answer (we’re hoping) is 450kg X 5 per day; but we are totally weather dependent, and so we don’t really know. Today the question was “how much stuff should I pack in the truck?”

Roofing, plumbing, screws, nails, etc

We’ve hired a trucking company to take our building materials up a logging road that gets within 30km of Kovol. We’ll unload when we get there and then we’ll be sat at the side of the road for the next 3 days guarding our stuff while the helicopter goes back and forth shuttling it into Kovol. After we unload the truck goes home, so how much do we want to risk moving at one time? It would have been nice if the trucking company could unhitch the trailer and leave it with is packed in a container, but that isn’t an option. We’ve got to make a tarp shelter for all our goods for 3 days.

Bad weather could potentially mean we move none of it; then how do we get it home? We ourselves will be following in a small truck the mission owns, but it’s already full with 2000L of aviation fuel 🙂

Fuel for the chopper loaded and ready

There’s no way to know for sure the road will still be passable before we go (bridges can break with no warning!), there’s no way to know the weather and there’s also no way to know how safe it will be there. Will our stuff get stolen? Will we be held up and robbed waiting at the roadside for three days?

No way to know, not much we can do to prepare, we just have to go for it and trust the Lord to help is with whatever happens. Obviously we have a backup plan – it’s not great, but we have one, it’s stressful being up against the unpredictable nature of life over here when two houses worth of building materials are on the line!

There’s also the fun of living for 3 days at the end of a logging road in the middle of nowhere. We’re bringing a gas canister and camping stove so we can prepare such feasts as rice with tinned meat and instant noodles. We have to bring all our drinking water as we have no idea if there will be potable water nearby. The first day of unloading everything is going to be tough, but after that it should be ok.

The next day we’ll see the helicopter every hour or so, help it refuel and load it up with more cargo. Rhett is there in Kovol ready to revive and stow everything so the rain doesn’t ruin it before we can get our houses up with it.

All loaded and ready to be dumped in the middle of nowhere.

Just to add to the challenge I picked up a skin infection on my knee. It must have been a big bite, or a small scratch from the hike, but now it’s eye watering pain and I feel the infection has tunneled in. It’s like every time I do a long hike here I have to go on antibiotics afterwards! I even wore trousers this time to protect my legs!

It’s the let’s guess which knee is swollen with infection game

Please be praying for us. A lot could go wrong and we have some sweaty, hard days of work ahead of us.


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