Ten years ago I was working in Samedan, near St Moritz in Switzerland, for a helicopter company, preparing myself to work with Helimission in the future. There, I assisted with the 12-year inspection of the helicopter HB-ZHM (“Hotel Mike”), which Helimission had made available for disaster operations.
Helicopters have a built-in nut which has a crucial function. It holds the main rotor to the mast of the helicopter. The slang term commonly used is the “Jesus Nut”; the technical name is the “main rotor retaining nut”. If this were to fail in flight, it would have catastrophic consequences!
There are many Christians in Papua, and they enjoy celebrating Christmas. Indonesian and English Christmas Carols can be heard everywhere, in the houses and on the streets. Lots of people dress up traditionally to celebrate.
Our representatives in Brazil were asked if we as Helimission could help out with a mission. Due to the heavy rainfall, the regular supply flights could not be carried out with small airplanes, because the ground of the grass landing strip was too soft. The airplane’s wheels would have sunk into the ground on landing and have been torn off.
When we are asked to do a medical evacuation, the report often says the person is “sick on the inside” which could be anything. We never know what state the patient will be in. Usually the person is very sick.
Ernie and Hedi Tanner celebrated their 90th birthdays last year! Looking back, Ernie, as a pioneer and founder of Helimission, recalled with gratitude how he was safely and wonderfully guided through countless dangerous situations. He often found himself in life threatening situations. He has a treasure chest full of experiences and can tell lots of amazing stories.
The people from the Pokot tribe in Kenya often suffer from eye diseases. Even young children go blind. Their eyes are painfully infected, and their eyelids are encrusted with dried up pus. These eye infections are transmitted by flies and by unwashed hands.