No Stunts Needed
I flew on my first MAF flight about six year ago when I first started working at headquarters in Nampa. I’d heard that the pilot might do some cool aerobatic moves if you expressed a desire for cheap thrills. I was just about to ask for a wild ride when a lady who was also riding told the pilot she was scared of flying and asked if there was anything he could do to make the flight smooth. My dreams for loop-de-loops and barrel rolls faded away, but it was still exciting when our little plane revved up it’s engine and sailed up off the pavement. We could feel every little pocket of air, and in all honesty, I might have peed my pants if the pilot did any aerobatics!
Ever since then, I hoped one day I could take a ride with MAF on the field. I finally got my chance, and we sure didn’t need any stunts to make this jungle flight interesting! It was pretty strange to be the one taking the photos after being on the receiving end of so many pictures that came through the Marketing and Communications Department at headquarters over the years.
Looking out of the tiny windows, the jungle went on and on and the only breaks were rivers snaking through the trees. It is so amazing to think that some people cut paths under the canopy of vegetation and actually walk in between villages.
Despite the beautiful view, our first stop was a somber one. It was to take the body of a young man back to his home in a small Shuar village. I’m not sure of all the details but I heard he passed away due to alcohol poisoning in one of the larger towns.
His brother was also on the flight, and when we landed in the village, many people came out to meet the plane. The boy’s family huddled together in a large group and there was loud weeping and mourning all around. It was a sad scene to witness and I didn’t take any photos of the family out of respect.
We stopped next on a very muddy airstrip in Pacayacu to pick up a mother and her sick baby. Everyone wanted a peek of them in the plane before we took off.
This little girl came along on the flight with her mom and dad. Her dad pointed out different spots to her as we flew, and I wondered if she was as thrilled as I was to be on my first jungle flight in a little plane.