Continuing from last week . . .
The flight to the village went exceptionally well. It was a rather cloudy day, making the sky a beautiful contrast of vivid blue and fluffy white! With Arnold at her side, ready to assist if she needed anything, Kylie flew the five hour flight to their little town.
As the plane swept through the foggy clouds above the great, green rainforest, her eyes lit up with joy. The jungle sprawled out before her in all directions. There seemed to be nothing in the world but trees, green vines, and great tropical foliage. That was until the water of the Amazon River cut through the trees adding a long, brown strip of diversity. Beside it Kylie spotted the light green splotch of grass near the village.
Her plan soared lower and lower. The trees seemed to zoom up toward her reaching up as if they wanted to touch the little plane flying above them. The plane descended quickly making the jungle grow larger. Kylie circled above the great, brown waves of the Amazon River, a grin breaking onto her face as she led the plane towards the little village.
She could feel the force of the air tugging on her little aircraft. The laughing water of the Amazon River gurgled at her, the trees waved hello, and the deep blue sky called farewell as she drifted towards land. She loved watching the water as she drew nearer, her little seaplane shifting as she brought it down to the waves.
A rush of exhilaration filled her heart as the plane surged lower. At last Kylie felt it lurch as she guided her plane onto the shimmering river. They sped forward, slowing gradually. The water sprayed out around them, sparkling in the afternoon sun. At last the little plane glided to a stop and the engine slowed as if it were a dog panting after a long, hard run.
“Well, another good flight, Kylie.” Arnold pronounced, taking off his headset. “You ready to unload the supplies?”
“Always!” Kylie declared. “I’ve been missing everyone here. It was time for a visit!”
Arnold unbuckled himself and stood up. “I agree!” He opened the door between the cockpit and supply area and stepped in, finding his way to the back and leaving Kylie to shut down the plane.
“Wheee.” She stated to herself as she stared out the plane window. “I love this!”
The sound of the engine purring as it turned off, the view from the cockpit, the rustling trees, and the jubilant little kids bouncing up and down on the shore, waving at her, filled her soul with overflowing joy. Standing up, Kylie slipped out of the cockpit and followed the sound of Arnold’s footsteps in the cargo hold.
He had opened the side door and was calling greetings to the villagers. Their villagers salutations echoed back through the trees. Already two village men had climbed into a boat and were paddling out toward them.
“Hola Señor Arnold!” They called out. When they reached the boat Arnold stepped out and talked to them for a moment. Then he slipped back inside. “We’ll do what we did last time.” He told Kylie. “Let’s hand them the supplies till their boat is full and they’ll take it ashore.”
Kylie nodded and they got to work unloading the small plane. In a matter of minutes the supplies were passed out and the two canoe-like boats, burdened with the missionaries cargo, slipped over the glimmering water of the Amazon. A moment later, with the plane safely anchored behind them, Kylie and Arnold stepped into a third boat and headed for shore.
And happy cheer started up from the children when they saw Kylie. They all came running to surround her with hugs and greetings. Chortling, Kylie caught the little ones up in her arms and listened as they chattered endlessly. Their anticipation was soaring like her little plane had just minutes before.
“Hola! ¿Cómo estás?” A young, dark haired woman greeted Kylie with the Spanish greeting of, “Hi! How are you?”
“Estoy bien, gracias!” Kylie notified her friend, saying she was fine. Alicia, the young woman, handed over her smiling, chubby baby to Kylie. The baby grinned at Kylie, at eight months old his eyes were already alight with mischief! Kylie smiled back as she tickled his chin. She giggled when he chuckled in a most hilarious manner.
“Are you hungry?” Alicia wondered.
“No.” Kylie told her. “But I will be by supper time.”
“Just say if your stomach cries out before then!” Alicia announced. “We won’t have you going hungry!”
Kylie beamed. “I know you won’t!”
“Well, come on, the rest of the village is anxious to see you!” Señor Benjamin called as he led Kylie, Arnold, and the men and woman who’d come to meet them towards the center of town. They all grabbed supplies from the boats and happily hauled them into their village.
“So Kylie,” Alicia inquired as they slipped through the town’s small group of huts and houses. “This evening do you want to take a boat ride on the river? I’m assuming you haven’t been out on it yet.”
“No.” Kylie explained. “I haven’t, except landing planes of course.”
“I think you would enjoy a ride. You could see just how big it really is and maybe meet some wildlife too!” Alicia decided.
Kylie swallowed her breath and tried to smile into Alicia’s beaming eyes. She knew her friend was only being kind, trying to show her the wonders of the world they were in, but Kylie wasn’t sure she wanted to see them. While she had enjoyed her time in the Amazon, she loved the people and the flying, she wasn’t too sure about the animals. And she was especially unsure about the river animals.
There was an unending list of swampy creatures that Kylie feared. They were one of the reasons she hadn’t planned on going in the Amazon for work. And for the entire trip she had gladly avoided them. But her friends were hurrying on eagerly, mistaking her wordlessness for excitement.
“I know you’d love it.” Alicia encouraged.
“Yes, you oughta go. In fact, I’d like to go out on the river too.” Arnold stated. “It’s always peaceful in the evening, despite all the animal calls of course.” He noted, mentioning the constant sound of something singing, squawking, or occasionally, growling.
“I can take you both out on the river as soon as possible!” Benjamin proclaimed. “Let’s just get these supplies passed out first!”
“Sure!” Arnold heartily agreed as he informed Kylie, “If you thought the Amazon was amazing and adventurous so far, you will even more now! You’ve seen nothing compared to the best part, a tour of the jungle by river.”
Kylie tried to nod as she felt fear choke her throat but, she knew one thing for sure. He was right. She hadn’t seen anything yet!
Continued soon . . .