Yesterday I had the most amazing day so far in Norseman.
It started out as a simple day. I had woken up early at lunchtime post night shift. While I was sitting at the table, Andrew was busy in the kitchen, and I was blurry-eyed, barely functional checking my Facebook. And then I spotted it. A status update from a wokmate. A simple statement saying “Just a little excited .. Got the RFDS doing a fly in today.. This is what I have been waiting for.. Bring it on!!!!”
My sleep-crusted grimed-up eyes saw the words ‘RFDS’ (aka the Royal Flying Doctor Service) and ‘fly in today‘ and were instantly wide open with adrenaline and excitement. “Oh my gawd Andrew!! We have to get down to the airstrip!!”
The RFDS is the god-send for remote Autralians. Living so far out in the bush and away from civilization, away from the best of modern big-city hospitals, the RFDS is often the only reason a lot of these bush-loving Aussies survive into old age. Anything serious and critically unwell needs the best care possible. And the Flying Doctors will come in their flying ambulance and transport those patients asap to the closest tertiary hospital.
So of course Andrew (who is a bit awe-inspired by planes in general) and I thought this is our chance! To finally see the RFDS in action. With all the rain lately, the landing strip had been closed for over a month. Closed essentially since I’d arrived in Norseman. Luckily we hadn’t had any really critically unwell patients during this time. But today, just this morning in fact, the salt lake had finally dried out just enough and the landing strip (aka the Norseman airport, also aka the longest flattest bit of dirt in the salt lake) was declared open.
So then we raced down to the lake with our fellow workmate Bron. Sitting in her car with the air con on high waiting for a plane.
And when it arrived, oh boy it was spectacular and amazing. The 2-man crew saw us all geeked up with our cameras clicking away and invited us over for a closer look.
The ambulance arrived, the patients were strapped securely into their stretchers, and loaded onto the plane through the cargo hold door.
And then the plane magnificently flew away leaving us with jaws dropped at the beauty and majesty of it all.
Then, just to top off the ending to an already unbelievably amazing day, the sunset did this.