Mud, mud, glorious mud!
Mark and Kelly Hewes make films and take photos, so you can see the work of MAF for yourself. They often fly to these locations, but last year they decided to walk the nearly 100-mile route from the village of Mananara, Madagascar to the Good News Hospital in Mandritsara to show the difficulties of road travel.
They set off on day one, driving until the road stopped and became a walking path. ‘Everyone told us the roads in Madagascar are bad. That didn’t fully sink in until we started down this one!’ explain MAF Field Resource Co-ordinators Mark and Kelly Hewes.
Two guides, Gaston and Akim, showed them the way. After walking for more than six miles, the team rested in the home of Akim’s relative, and had a meal of , rice and shrimp.
At 5.30 the next morning, Mark and Kelly began their trek along a well-worn path through the rainforest. ‘One thing that makes transportation difficult is the hills and dense rainforest. From the MAF plane, this landscape looks beautiful. But when you’re on the ground, there is nothing pretty about the endless ups and downs.’
Day three, and the Hewes’ set off again. The path was very muddy and wet after rainfall during the night, making it hard to walk. ‘For someone who was sick or , this slippery, mucky trail would be even harder!’
The last day saw the couple reach a town with a road again. They got on a ‘bush taxi’ truck along with many others – which was a bit of a squash! After five hours, the truck finally reached the hospital.
This would be an even tougher and more perilous journey if you were unwell. Fortunately, MAF planes reduce the journey to hours rather than days and ensure a much safer and more comfortable ride.