Papua, New Guinea, looked serene from 12,000 feet above sea level. Even from thirty miles away, John could make out the rain forests beyond the strand of the southern shore. Light wisps of steam hung over the island, revealing the high humidity common to this area of the world. The changing waters of the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria graduated beautifully from light green at the tip of Cape York Peninsula, Australia, to a beautiful azure and back to light green in the billowing waves on the shores of New Guinea.
So this is home. John pressed his forehead against the cool cabin window. The island in view was roughly the size of Greenland with the tall Puncak Jaya, rising 5,030 meters above the ground. Neighboring peaks perched above the haze like pyramids.
Instinctively, he reached for his flight bag as he had done five times throughout the flight. He unzipped it and sighed with relief at the two familiar slim books. Approvingly, he nodded as he flipped through page after page of his first flight log, recalling his hundreds of hours of experience behind the controls of planes and helicopters. He tucked it back into his bag then pulled out the second book. The pages he flipped through were blank reminders of experiences yet to come. Just a thousand more hours, that should do it.