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Flying in Haiti rewarding, challenging

I realized last week, as I was flying back from a mission, that I love what I am doing. I feel guilty for having fun in a disaster area, but the work is so rewarding and so challenging that no flying will ever be the same again.

We brought a load of doctors and nurses to a rural village to help with the influx of wounded that are trying to get out of the city. It was an amazing landing site. The village was in the hills, but on the coast and down in a little hole, a helicopter-only landing area -- very challenging.

There are countries from all over the world set up down here at the airport and they are doing an amazing job. I walked around a huge tent hospital that they have set up on the airport. It is jam packed with hurting people -- totally heart breaking.

But on the positive side at least they are being cared for in a clean air-conditioned tent. Without this huge outpouring of help I think more people would die after the quake than in it. The most simple wounds that are not taken care of get infected and cause amputations and death. I wish things could work together a little more smoothly but at least things are getting done.

We had a cool miracle yesterday. The airport ran out of fuel for who knows how long, but as the empty fuel truck drove away a big twin engine airplane pulled up. As a joke I said, "Our gasoline just pulled up," but then thought that was a pretty good idea and we went and asked. The pilot drained enough gas out of his wings to keep us going today, and hopefully he will show up tomorrow and give us enough for tomorrow.

Keep praying that we can keep going. Everything is day to day here.

Editor’s note: Zach Keller is an NTM pilot helping with the disaster relief effort.

POSTED ON Feb 02, 2010 by Zach Keller