It was a great day for flying. Dan and the Welshes got a fair bit of time out in the village since the pilot had to make a couple of shuttles for some human rights group guys that were flying out. Everyone was very excited to see the three of them, but upset when they found out that they would be leaving later in the day. They were not upset with Dan, Scott, or Nichole. Just disappointed about the situation. A few were downright ticked because they felt that it was an issue of discrimination against their tribe (the bigger non-native airstrips are open). Several of them have vowed to do what they can to put pressure on the government by writing letters and so forth. The human rights group also expressed a desire to go to bat for us in their spheres. Hopefully, between all of that and a meeting between SAMair and the guys we need signatures from, all of this will blow over soon.
A few pieces of good news were that two healthy boys were born in our absence. I was a little concerned because it was one girl’s (Anita’s) first baby, and he hadn’t turned head-down by the time we left. The other mom was Sylvia, whom you might remember is the young girl who lost her first baby last spring (little Jenny who was blind). Dan says that her little guy is fat, healthy, and by all appearances, normal.
The other good news is that although our houses were indeed broken into, it seems as though everything was returned after the thief was caught. He sliced through our bedroom screen, broke the latch on our locked storage room, and made off with mainly clothing and knives. He also went through two of our teammates’ windows, but did not seem to have taken anything from their house. We are not exactly sure how he was caught or what happened afterward, but the Caquinte was very intent on assuring us that he was “punished well” whatever that means. Dan said that he has the feeling that we should be feeling sorry for him if anything.
Dan and Scott are all the more interested in hiking in some time soon if we aren’t allowed back in the next couple of weeks. The airstrip needs some TLC, and the jungle is taking over our yard quickly. Obviously our screens need to be replaced, and whatever critters that used them to access our house need to be… um, evacuated. But we’ll give it a couple more weeks to see if the pressure from SAM, the Caquinte, and the human rights group does any good.
Thanks for praying. They all had a great time visiting many of the people in the village and felt very loved by the reactions they got. It was hard to come home in some ways. Anyway, we all feel much more at peace knowing that our friends in the jungle know that our desire is to be there and that we are doing what we can to make that happen.
Much love to you all!
Dalaina for the Mays