Monday, October 19, 2009

Cloud dancing

Another hot, humid, and sunny day in the jungle. Not quite rainy season yet so most of the puffy clouds are harmless to fly though. The only reason you wouldn't is because the "ride" can be a bumpy. Since there is pleny of sun and humidty in the jungle, as the day goes on puffy clouds billow up and shoot skyward, leaving white towers to fly around. Here is some video for today shot at 5'500 feet on the way back to Cashibo.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The glory of float plane flying.

You know, many times float plane flying is pretty glorious. I mean, who gets to take off and land on small rivers and worry about hitting logs, dugout canoes, or other floating objects during their day to day job?

However, come dry season, the game changes. Just this past week I brought a medical team to a Shipibo indian village called Caimeto, about 25 minutes away. Caimito is a lake and the water lever rises and fall just like it does in the rivers. So in dry season the lake is lower than it is during rainy season. All that to say, sometimes you run aground before getting to dry land. And sometimes you have to get wet! I had to get into the water and push the plane around for both docking and undocking.

My shoes did stay dry though as I took them off before jumping into the water. A few small kids tried to help push as well, expending more effort making faces than pushing I think...

So, here is a parting shot of the "glorious" float plane pilot, barefoot and wet from the waist down, flying back to base.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Peruvian are pretty good at being ingenious. They rarely throw anything away and find unique ways to recycle and reuse things that otherwise would discarded back in the States. One example of this is with vehicle. In the city of Pucallpa, there is not a single junk yard. Granted, some of the maintenance garages LOOK like junk yards, but even the oldest beater is made to run here. Looks are definitely secondary while reliability and easy to fix are held in very high esteem.
I had some shocks that were worn out on my vehicle. One of the results of driving on a dirt and potholed road. In the states I would have to buy a complete shock assembly because the bottom rubber bushing was worn out. Here they just press the old one out, reuse the metal insert bushing, and pressing a "new" rubber bushing that is made from 3 inch thick tractor tire rubber! The price was only $3.

Around the house I have used a little of my own "ingenuity". The showers here are made for Peruvian size people and six foot tall Americans get the shower head right in the chest. So a trip the the plumbing store resulted in an ingenious modification to my shower head. Now I can actually get in UNDER the shower head. What a remarkable concept.
There was also a problem with critters entering the bathroom due to gaps between the mason work and screens. A can of spray foam (from the USA) took care of the holes!