08 July 2013

The beast

A few weeks ago, Management announced that Digicel, our internet provider, was to bring a shipment of new equipment to Tabubil via a Hercules aircraft. Yesterday and today were the dates for 2 flights into the town. Yesterday was a Sunday, so we walked down the hill to the airport at the designated time and waited, searching the sky for black dots and bright lights. After an hour of straining our eyes, the logistics representative came to tell us that the plane had not yet loaded at Port Moresby! So we struggled back up the hill in the intense heat of a midday sun and eventually arrived home with sweat-wet clothes and red faces. It took a shower and several hours before our faces looked like they might not explode. At midday today, a Monday, we tried again. When the plane was 5 minutes away, the logistics representative informed us of its impending landing. Since our office is close to the airport, we dashed across the road and got into position as close to the runway as possible, my ipad's camera and video at the ready. We squealed when we saw headlights in the sky because they were clearly attached to a plane much bigger than a Dash 8. I pressed my video button and followed the monster along the runway until it engaged all of its braking mechanisms. As it pulled alongside my viewing position, I got so excited that I forgot about the video altogether. Screaming through the noise at nothing in particular, it was several moments before I became aware of the ipad hanging limply in my hands, still videoing the pebbles at my feet. We stayed another 2 hours to watch the unloading and the plane's departure before returning to the office. I replayed the video several times that afternoon and it never failed to amuse me...


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