Good news last night: the man and child in the isolation unit tested negative so they went home today. I was very pleased, since it is my last day on the project.
At our new airstrip we had to wait about an hour before the plane arrived. Someone turned up to sell us some woven raffia material that had been tie-dyed – it’s quite funny that at this tiny airport we can buy souvenirs! The plane was very, very tiny: only five seats plus the moustachioed pilot from before. It was slightly worrying because two other organisations also wanted to get people and cargo onto the plane. The Centre for Disease Control pointed out that they had been promised 160kgs on the flight and unloaded piles of trunks and boxes from their cars. Health Canada thought they would have three people on the flight. I was a bit worried that we were going to have a diplomatic incident as we were obviously not all going to fit in.
So for the next hour and fifteen minutes the pilot, Barbara, Isabel and I loaded and unloaded the plane trying to squeeze everything into smaller and smaller spaces. It was so hot that there was sweat dripping down the pilot’s nose. Finally all in: we folded ourselves into the plane. I didn’t think that we were going to be able to take off but we did.
The pilot flew over Kampungu so that we could see what it looked like from the air. It wasn’t as big a village as I had thought and I could easily see our compound and the isolation unit.