Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's Been Nice, Buta...But Part II

I'm glad to get back to the airport, something familiar at least.  It's hard to get my preflight done; all the army guys want to chat.  "What's this for?"  "What's that do?"  All good questions, but I just don't feel good, and I kinda miss my wife :)

I take off to the east, direct to Bunia as fast as this thing will take me.  15 minutes after I leave, I get a call on the radio asking me to divert to Dungu.  Seems there's a sick boy in Bangadi that needs a ride to the hospital in Dungu.  I need to stop in Dungu first to pick up a couple nurses to accompany him back to the hospital.

In Dungu, I learn that several young women had been raped and beaten by members of the LRA the night before just outside Bangadi.  The nurse team needs to spend 30 minutes or so on the ground to treat these women.  I tell them it's fine, even though I really feel terrible, and just want to get home.  I figure these women feel a whole lot worse than I do at the moment.

It's incredibly hot in Bangadi--I guess it would be at 1pm.  My medivac patient is a boy about 10 years old, with obvious head and face trauma.  Honestly, I don't have the stomach to ask what happened.  By the time I get the stretcher set up and secured, and everything loaded back up, the nurses return from treating the rape victims and we're off for Dungu again.

A flower

Sunset in the jungle
I have no passengers back to Bunia, so this turnaround goes quickly.  I climb to 11,500 feet to escape the heat and humidity, and save a little fuel.  I dodge growing thunderstorms, and am sure glad to see a familiar place.

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