Prop planes, dugout canoes and waterfalls!
We are on the continent of Asia; country of Indonesia; island of Kalimantan; town of Tarakan; and now in the middle of the jungle.
On Sunday morning we boarded a prop plane with our 2 families. Our trusted pilot, Paul, and co-pilot, Isaiah, flew us 160 miles interior to a village that Paul frequents often during the week.
As a side note, Isaiah has been interested in flying for years. Now that he has gotten older, we have started to look at some possibilities for him to get some experience. He could not have asked for better experience than sitting co-pilot of a small plane with Paul!
But it only got better…we land in a small village (about 150 people) and are welcomed by everyone on the airstrip. (Think of a very small grass runway on top of a hill for a runway.). We walked down the path to the village and enjoyed sweet tea and cookies and then…
We loaded into 5 dugout canoes and headed up the jungle river. This river runs through the second largest jungle in the world (the Amazon is the largest). As we sat cross legged in the canoe and were led through the twisting river…well, you just knew you weren’t in Kansas anymore.
We arrived on the banks of the jungle and started a muddy hike up, up, up to the crest of the hill to see a huge, beautiful waterfall. Then we hiked/slipped down, down, down to swim at the base of the waterfall.
We returned to our dugout canoes and bumped our way downstream (through some white water rapids) to the village where we spent the night and enjoyed more jungle hospitality.
As we sat on the floor in front of the big open cooking fire, I looked around. I saw Paul and Don in conversation with the men of the village. There was a genuine interest in one another. I saw 7 kids getting to see how serving God is NOT boring! And I saw how exhilarating stepping out of my comfort zone can be.