Friday, 9 November 2012

Into the Jungle

This has been one long day!

So many amazing things happened, that made today very memorable.
After finishing my blog at 2am, I think managed to sleep for a couple hours. 
Up at 5am. Breakfast. Pack. Call driver. Drive to Airport.
Off to the Ndolo Airport. Even though it was a MAF vision trip, we still had to weigh our gear, ourselves, go through the check in, pay the "Go-pass", sit in the waiting room, THEN we were able to see the MAF hanger
Meeting most of the guys that work there, we hung around for a little bit until the plane was ready.
Haha. For 5 adults and 3 children, we rode in a Cessna 206.
Felt quite weird being in a Cassna with seats that wasn't skydive related. BLARG!

Finally at 745am we were up and over the Congo River on our way to Vanga 
Over the next hour and a half, there was nothing but gorgeous landscape!
Not much for crazy terrain, but very green. Small winding rivers, villages every 10 minutes or so, crops scattered here and there.
Levi got to sit in the front with his dad (Matthew) and check out Africa!
I took a gazillion pictures lol
Ruth did amazingly well! As did Amelia. 
The only thing that really went kinda crappy today was when Levi came back to sit in my lap on landing... He got upset and motion sick... And well, we had to bust out those Sic Sacs. Poor kid.
Never been puked on before. And surprisingly I didn't get nauseous. . . lol 
But landed we did! Thanks Nick!!
On a grass field with potential goats lol 
And as we pulled up to the hanger, there was a huge crowd of children waiting and a group of singers hehe
But first, we had to clean up some puke 
Even tho I was in white and thin pants, I was a sweaty mess! Oh my!
I felt like I wanted to melt into a human fleshy pool of nastiness. . . 
Jumped into a truck and made our way through Vanga...
Which was the bumpiest vehicle ride I have ever been in! Wowzas!
There is just so much erosion that the roads are worse than canada!!! and well, pretty bad for vehicles. 
Lego GIRL!

Kinshasa near Ndolo airport
The Linds!
Lisa, Amelia, Matthew, and Levi
mmmmmm where am I!?! :P
Dragon Flights!
Flying French Freys!


Checking out just how cool the ground below is!

About an hour in, she did NOT enjoy this flight 
Nick showing Levi the landing area and information on the chart 

The stellar hanger area at Vanga
Our Vanga greeters
The middle couple is the Swiss couple that took us to their house and toured us around Vanga
Local kids here to say hullo!

The one Swiss missionary couple who live and work in Vanga, took us to their house for lunch and a tour through the village. Jo stayed back with the babies (they had a busy morning and no naps)...
The Swiss backyard
Swiss couples house... I WISH!

The Swiss couples house...not too shabby eh!
Me, doing my peace sign appearance!
After visiting their house, we ventured off to the Hospital.
And let me tell you. Seeing what a third world country has to offer, you won't ever bitch about your health care again.
You have no idea...
For those who need the care, you can travel 12 hours and pay 25000 franc (about 25US) to take a taxi from Kinshasa to Vanga so you can get to the hospital. Did I mention the roads are horrible??
1950 roads were better and MAF wasn't needed. But now they have gotten so bad that they need the planes to bring things in.
Rubber gloves are cleaned and reused. 
Wheel chairs are made from plastic lawn chairs and wheels
The laboratory was... Well it blew my mind. 
Hand driven centrifuge, old school magnifying glasses, blood bank in a small fridge... Old stuff
If you ever want to help out humanity, help out a hospital in Africa. 
I think that is what I am going to do for my Christmas donation to World Vision and Plan Canada. 
Families are given locations to cook for whoever may be inside being treated... Because sometimes if you cannot pay for your treatments, you cannot leave. 
A good system considering that the facility is guaranteed that it will get paid, but if you don't have the money and your family can't raise the cash to get you out... You have to stay. Which also costs money every day. 
But the facility had a lot to offer for everyone on the Congo. The doctors that live at the facility are German Monks (Jo has written about them before) and have been here for a long time.
Here are some pictures to help me explain. . .
Where the people can hang out while they are waited on to be treated

A momma and her child at the hospital 

Obama stuff EVERYWHER!! lol
A fridge full of whole blood donations 
Families cooking for their kin that are at the hospital

Lisa checking a "worm" like specimen 

Reusing a lot of their equipment,
They just don't have enough to get by, but have enough if they can sterilize their material. . .

Hospital sheet drying... :(

The hard working lady carrying her load
Ummm Creepy?
Reusing gloves. . .

Going through a local market, selling "very good caterpillars"
no thanks...

 And yes! The brothers here have a Monkey! He was very friendly and climbed ontop of all our shoulders.
Lol Passing through the mechanic shops and their wear house, we were pretty impressed with their organization of their tools and equipment.  

Making our way through the village, we were followed by some children.  I would glance behind and they would scatter! While slowly gaining courage, more and more children massed behind us lol. . . and I finally busted out my camera and they all made ninja poses for the shots haha.  

Levi was doing really well but we were all incredibly hot! I was leaking from every pore and needed some food.  Had a great dinner at the Swiss couples house. It was a gorgeous farm house! Huge and had a stellar view of the river

Local kids running beside our van on our way through the village

Rando, Ruth awesomeness
At 2, we got back to the air strip and made our way to Kikongo. . . Got me a front row seat all the way there. 
The landing field was a little sketchier than Vanga, but nevertheless we landed safely lol.  We even were able to fly right over to where we are staying lol  Parked the plane and took our bags right into the house.

Kikongo Landing Field
And what a house! 
3 bedrooms and waterbeds! lol 

Had the village children help us bring the bags to the house  

Met Glen and Rita who are the only missionaries left in Kikongo. They took us down to the Wamba River to cool down.  Not much for a bank, but once you get past the the first couple yards, it is a nice sandy river bed.  

Went with Rita to grab dinner and had a great visit with her whole the boys went with Glen to check out their ultralight (powered) parachute !  

The village kids were surrounding the machine and it was super neat to watch nick and glen take off.  

They did a few passes as we got to savagely wave up at them Lol while they were up there, Matthew and I got to chat, but then the kids like... SURROUNDED us lol 

Took a couple pictures and when I showed them they went crazy! And then I even got a chance to go up top! Whoop! SO FREAKING COOL! It felt like the first time I was skydiving. Just an unreal perspective on the world below!  It would be a great to have a back yard like this and a ultralight lol 


Had dinner then Nick, Matthew and I went with Rita to the soccer field to join in on the Friday night movie 

Sadly, it was all in French, so I promptly fell asleep haha. We had a long ass day! So we bailed an hour or so in, but on the way back we got to enjoy a thunder storm to the south east and the STARS! Wowzas hello shooting stars! In bed by ten. BOOYA


  1. Thanks for posting great photos and story. Don't you love the Swiss style organized repair shop?

    1. That repair shop was amazing! So so so impressed!