Monday, November 24, 2008
The Spatula Saga
It all started by trying to make pancakes! We were living in the jungle and I wanted to make pancakes. The problem was that the only spatula I had was broken and was no longer usable. It is hard to flip pancakes with a fork, not too mention fried eggs.
I needed to get word to town so that one of the pilots who flew out our way would bring me a spatula on our next scheduled flight. At that time we only had a monthly supply flight and it had just been a few days earlier. Each time the plane arrived with our order, we would give the pilot the order for our next month supplies. That meant that I would be able to order a spatula, but it would take another month to get it to the village.
My husband gave the order for the spatula on his next radio transmission. Unfortunately, at the time we did not have the correct antenna to transmit directly to the hangar. So we had to relay our messages through other villages with radios which could transmit to the Missionary Aviation hangar in Puerto Ayacucho.
"Please add a spatula to or next order." Done, now we just had to wait.
A month later the scheduled supply flight arrived. These flights were a big deal and our only connection outside of the jungle. We unloaded our big order of food stuffs, fuels, medicines, and kept looking for the spatula. I had promised the kids we would eat pancakes for breakfast the next day! But, after all was put away, we still had not found a spatula.
Actually, we did find a type of spatula, one that is used for working with cement and masonry! It seemed we had a miscommunication with our radio order. So my husband once again puts out the call and asks for a spatula to be added to our next month's order. He specified that we needed a kitchen spatula and NOT a masonry spatula. We were now on month two waiting for the spatula.
Another month passes and another supply flight arrives. We unload the many bags and boxes of supplies keeping our eye out for the elusive spatula, but once again, no spatula!
OK, there was a spatula and even a kitchen spatula! It was a plastic bowl scraping kind of spatula. Not good for flipping pancakes! Once again, my husband calls and asks for a spatula to be added to our next month's order. A spatula used in the kitchen while cooking for flipping pancakes, hamburgers and fired eggs. We are now on our third month of waiting for the spatula.
Finally, the next month passed by, the plane lands and a pilot with a big grin on his face handed me a bag. Inside the bag were every possible type of apparatus that could possibly be referred to as a 'spatula'.
I was thrilled! We were all thrilled! We had fried eggs and pancakes for dinner.
It took us three months to get it, but we were happy to finally have it.
This is what happens when a gringo gives the message to a Ye'kwana who then relays it to a Sanema, who radios it in to the hangar, where a Colombian writes it down on our order, which will be filled by a Venezuelan!
Remind me to tell you about the plane load of cookies we got by mistake once! OH! And the 10 'table cloths' for our Coleman lanterns! Then there was the 30 pair of soccer cleats fiasco...never did figure that one out....