"Lost in the Jungle"
An overnight in Hong Kong, and we would be on the last leg of our journey to Bontoa, our new assignment.
We called the Hong Kong House and they had a telegram for us.
I reread that telegram again, and again. It still said, “Len on to Bontoa, Phyllis to Bubun to help with the Consult. Phyllis, go to Medan to the Government office and they will give you directions.”
We stood in the Hong Kong airport waiting for my plane. Fear gripped me like a chilling wind. “How could I do this alone?” Who would understand me?” How could this be happening to me? How could Len leave me with good bye and good luck with the tears streaming down my cheek? Why didn’t he say, “Forget it! Come with me!”
No answers to those questions, but one thing I knew. I’d be lost in the jungles of Sumatra forever.
When the plane landed in Medan, there was only one thought on my mind. “Find someone speaking English.
Don’t ask me how, but I found the Government office in Medan. They put me in a taxi. We drove around the city for a couple of hours and finally came to a river. I got out and crawled into an old wooden boat, about 15 ft long. I had the company of 4 men and a crate of chickens. The hours went by and we were still sailing down the river. The jungle life of colorful birds and swinging monkeys would have delighted me greatly, had I any confidence in where I was headed.
Then it happened. The boat pulled up to the shore. And there stood Carol Fleischman, my old friend from Milwaukee. I scrambled out of the boat and into her arms, with tears of joy streaming down my cheek. Another miracle to write home about!
- 06 Jun 2006