My first flight, after my family and I moved to Sulawesi, took me into the middle of the Wana tribe area in central Sulawesi. I was supposed to take two ladies from our base in Palu to the new bush village, Uewaju. In addition, I was to bring lots of food, building material… and two more teachers from Toronggo, a little town 10 minutes flight from Uewaju.
The people used to live in little family groups scattered around the hills surrounding this plateau. They wanted to live closer to each other and decided to build a village for everyone to live in, Uewaju. An Indonesian non-profit organization helped them to get started. We supported them with transport flights.
On the first day, the weather was very bad, and it took me 1 hour 28 minutes to reach Uewaju; usually it takes around 1 hour. Our mechanic was with me to get the loads in Toronggo ready. Thick clouds in the mountains and valleys forced me to wait in Uewaju before I could fly out to Watusongo to refuel and head back to Palu. Because of the bad weather, we had to postpone any further supply flights. The following Monday the weather was beautiful, and I was able to fly into Toronggo. There was a lot more stuff than we were originally told. I ended up flying 3 passengers, water pipes, roofing material, water hose, food supplies such as noodles, rice, corn and eggs, even ducks and goats and so much more in five shuttles to Uewaju. Unfortunately, there was still quite a bit left over. On Wednesday I had another flight in the same area, so I combined it to finish off the job. All told, I flew over 2.5 tons of material. The people in Uewaju were very happy.