Story by Verna Stutzman

 Bumpy flights & planes falling out of the sky

 Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea
Jan 12, 2001

 “This is the worst flight I’ve ever had in all my years of flying in Papua New Guinea.”

“Thank you!” was the pilot’s reply.

“How far did the plane fall when we all bumped our heads on the ceiling?” I asked.

“At least a foot”, Mark answered.

“My head hit the round air vent and now I have a swollen bruise on my head”.

“We only have another 30 minutes till we reach Ukarumpa and I think the worst is over. I’m sorry this happened with you on board.”

“I can’t wait for this flight to be over. I’m feeling a little queasy too.”

Mark handed me one of those little blue bags and said, “Here. Just in case.”

After waiting in the airport on Wednesday from 12:30pm until 4:15pm we were finally on our flight to Ukarumpa from Port Moresby in a 402 Cessna twin engine airplane. The plane we were supposed to take had developed a fuel leak just before take-off – after everything was loaded. So JAARS had sent another plane to Port Moresby with a new fuel pump and a mechanic. They quickly transferred all the baggage to the new plane and we were off. That’s why we didn’t get away until 4:15pm and that’s too late in the day for a smooth flight because the clouds and rains have moved in to cover all the mountains that we were flying over.

Finally, after the very worst flight I’ve ever had, we landed safely at Ukarumpa. As we touched down I saw several of my friends waving their welcomes to me. It was great to be here and to be on the ground.

PS I’ve been busy helping people get their language data into LinguaLinks in preparation for the workshop, which starts Monday. Please remember me in prayer, especially Monday, as I start the workshop off with a devotional and then a lecture on The Art and Science of Making Dictionaries.