Monday, June 4, 2007

thinking of flying?

I am relieved and excited that the "zinc" sheeting has arrived on the site and we have enough boards to complete the roof. The smell of creosote permeates any action on the site as we yell over the constant noise of the chainsaw.
Yesterday afternoon I bombed out to the old Kabala airstrip some 7 miles out of town. The small dirt road suddenly turns to ashphalt and about 200 metres later... there it is, a 1.25 km (measured at excitingly high speeds on my Honda XL) strip of pavement. Maybe 25metres wide. It is a very surreal thing to see, right there in the middle of the bush. In 1980 you could fly from Kabala to Freetown; Makeni; Bo; Kenema. There was electricity in Kabala and running water. It is incredible to see the direction the country has gone!
In related news, we have been shocked and many are mourning the loss of 24 lives on sunday evening in Freetown. The Paramount Airlines helicopter service running between Mammy Yoko Airport (in Freetown) and Lungi International Airport which I took on my arrival to Sierra Leone, had a serious accident. The helicopter exploded just before landing at Lungi airport killing all but one of the pilots. The passengers were primarily Togolese sports officials who had been in Freetown for the African Nations Cup qualifying match between Togo and Sierra Leone. Pray for the lives of the families as well as for Sierra Leone as the repurcusions from this event will be felt for a long time I fear.


Swallowfield said...

Dearest Asher,
News of the helicopter explosion makes me weep as well as relive my own experience stepping into the aircraft. I can so understand your fears for the impact this may have. Praying for comfort and calm through the losses and pain.
Thankful for all the journey mercies you, Norm, Hans, Gino, Jo and so many others experience day after day after day.
God upholds.
The red is lovely!!! MOM

Nancy said...

Asher- will definitely be praying for these families- can't imagine the impact it could have. Just a note on the goat's milk they want to drink aftewards. Mozambicans here also believe that milk will cleanse their systems when they come in contact with anything "toxic." When our educators load the garbage trucks a few times a week, they get milk afterwards! Not sure how that works either, but they are pretty confident in their milk!