On Wednesday we flew from Menya to Goroka to attend our annual regional conference, but for a few hours we weren’t sure we would be able to. We awoke to a cloudy sky, as you can see above, which is unusual in Menya and disheartening on a flight day. Despite the clouds, we began our final preparations for flying out. I took a load of cargo to our airstrip on the four-wheeler along with one of our neighbors (Hoka) to stand guard. I left Hoka and our bags returning to the house where I turned off our water pump, screwed the last windows shut and burned the last bag of trash. Then we waited for our pilot to call for a weather report hoping we would have good news by the time he called. We didn’t.
The first call came at 7:42am. As much as I wanted the plane to come and get us, I reported the solid cloud cover. Then again at 8:10 and 8:36 I explained I still couldn’t see blue sky. At 9:07 I was finally able to report that the clouds were breaking up and I could see slivers of blue. By the time the plane arrived in Menya, however, the weather had reversed and we couldn’t see anything but cloud. Thankfully our pilot had found a hole in the clouds miles away where he had descended and then flown below the clouds to our airstrip.
We were happy to hear and then to see the plane–especially after our hour walk from house to airstrip.
Once we were airborne and back through a hole, we saw a lot of this form above:
As you can see, when there is a blanket of cloud like this, it’s impossible to tell where there is valley and where there might be mountains lurking just beneath. So our pilots have to find holes to fly through. And we are so very thankful for skilled and dedicated pilots who make our lives in Menya possible and our transportation safe.