Captain’s Log 7 May 2010 – Changes

Every once in a while I think I would like to write some of my experiences and thoughts down as if they were special or important.  Then I think better of it.  Then I think I might again.  We will see how this goes.  I guess I will just start by telling about yesterday.

It looked to be a wonderful weather day.  I have flown in Congo for 5 years now and it is the first time I have seen the Rwenzori Mountains from the ground in Bunia.  That is amazing.  They are at least 75 miles away and reach to almost 17,000 feet.  Snow capped and rugged as a crosscut saw, they were called the “Mountains of the Moon” by early explorers to Africa.  I like that.  I like exploring Africa in my little bush plane.  I get to see things very few have ever had the privilege of casting an eye on.

My day was light.  Just to Isiro and back.  Then I was told there were flights needed to Beni and Auzi so they were added.  I called our fueling staff for some more fuel.  By the looks on their faces it seemed they thought I should plan better.  Then before I even got off the ground the route was changed, again, to Isiro-Dungo-Bunia.

As I got airborne the call came in that I did need to go to Beni after all, but only after going to Dungu.  By the time I got to Isiro it was Dungu-Beni-Aru-Auzi-Bunia.  I was getting pretty gun shy by then and after waiting 20 minutes for some NGO workers to come from the MONUC airstrip to Dungu mission strip I calling in at takeoff to see if I really knew where I was going.  I had already had even more changes than I usually have in my days.  I went off the HF frequency for 15 minute and when I came back on to give my regular position report Cher, my lovely wife, had been trying to contact me for all of the last 15 minutes.  I was supposed to change course and go to Bunia instead of Beni as the route had been changed yet again.  This was getting ridiculous now and I began putting little hash marks on my now totally messed up flight log to indicate how many major changes had occurred.

As the day changed from brilliant crystal clear to building thunderstorms, the changes to the flight schedule slowed to only one more.  It was a lovely day at the office and we were able to see a lot of the country and help quite a few people.  I really love my work.

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