I was informed by Ain quite late evening about the departure plans. I was wondering how were we expected to fly to Nepal when the Kathmandu airport was currently closed. All flights in and out was cancelled. I was then informed that the Mercy Malaysia team will depart with the SMART, RED CROSS & army from TUDM Subang airport. This will be my second time boarding Charlie C130 after Kelantan early this year. But for a 6 hours flight ? oohh..
We were told to assemble in TUDM Subang at 4am. I had Azad to help me which luckily he was free to do so. I packed that night to the minimum that i could thought off, all for outdoor and survival type of travel. I was told to expect the worse and Insha Allah, I am quite alright with that. I had shivers in my spine.. seriously my first time on a ground zero mission.
When i arrived at the TUDm Subang, as usual there were issues with the guard. It was not too long before i met with the other team members. It was good to see some famiiar faces, but none was going! Kak Nita, Angie, Pak Hapis, Guna, Yati and of course our team leader, Dr Heng.
At the same time, I managed to get in touch with my friend, Aliff who was in KAthmandu. Coincidentally, he was with the KE7B team which had to cancel their expedition plans. Apparently, he was a miassive help during Mercy's mission in Kelantan that Pak Hapis requested if it was possible for Aliff to join our team. Aliff of course did not hesitate and we were to meet at the airport when tomorrow comes.
Before leaving Malaysia, we had to take our jabs.. 3 in one shot as per required by the army since we are going to a third world country haha I took it in my stride but it was funny to witness how the docs themselves tried to avoid the vaccinations that were supposed to protect us during the mission.
Getting on the C130 was exciting - as this time around i was in THE Malaysia rescue team to Nepal. The SMART fellas were looking smart and determined. I had goosebumps when the flight took off. May Allah protect all of us in this journey. The flight was not too bad, I managed to get some sleep despite the discomfort. But since macam dah mengantuk..ok je tido haha
After 6 hours we were scheduled to land in Kalkota. Unfortunately, we did not get the clearance to land in Kathmandu that day. The pilots were negotiating but to avail. Later i got to know, our Airasia contact in India sought the help of the Malaysian Embassy in India to help negotiate with the Nepali government. We were stranded for 5 hours on the tarmac in Kalkota airport! Beat that! haha
Later, we were told that we had to spend the night in Kalkota because we were only cleared to land i nKAthmandu the next morning. What can we do can't we? I have learnt, along my past missions.. one the requirement is to have patience.. lots of it! I remembered how Dr Essam with his smiling face telling us.. "Patience.. brother.. patience.. this is all god's will"
Well, we were then escorted to a hotel in Kolkata and I will always remember the 2 LOUD n CLEAR incidents with Dr Heng.. haha tak bule cerita la.. ni cerita utk team sahaja.. but something i thought it would be of a good trait to apply in my future missions:)