Extracting the mission team from the bush involved a trip to the Bamenda Airport, since it was easier to fly in and out of. Terry and I shuttled people and supplies around town and helped refuel the airplane.
The Bamenda Airport has a staff of maybe five who show up to work every day even though the airport only gets used ten or fifteen days out of the year. They were there to receive our paperwork and chat during idle times. I chatted with the manager for some time and found out he had been the manager clear back to the time the airport was built in the late 1980s but since there have not been any commercial flights to Bamenda in over ten years, the terminal is now an army barracks and the tower is not in use.
As I carried on this conversation, it occurred to me that if my wife, or her dad, or dad’s dad were having this conversion, any one of them would immediately ask for a tour of the tower. Furthermore, I knew that I could not look any one of them in the eye when I got home and tell him that I had not asked. So I asked.
The manager showed me how to get up to the tower where we looked around for a few minutes and then went back down. Presently I figured the other fellows would like to take a look inside the tower, so we took a couple of trips up there and I wanted a picture of Godlove and Emmanuel in the control chairs. I told them so and they sat right down and started acting like they were the controllers. They picked up the handsets and started giving orders and thought it was just a jolly time. I thought so too.