Parachute Jump for Friends of Teso
10th June 2006, Mesha Banerjee lept from an aeroplane at 3500
feet and raised a substantial sum for Friends of Teso.
Read his story with his own pictures, below.
Yep it began in March of this year to coincide with my 40th Birthday as well as raising money for the stricken district of Teso in Uganda. Why has this taken soooo long??? I hear you ask. Well, I've been catching the train at Stupid O'clock in the morning, sometimes getting a lift off mum or Salisbury-city-cabs and making the pilgrimage - frequently past Stonehenge. Only to be refused on the basis of the weather: too windy, not windy enough, rain, snow....etc.
This morning was beautiful.,I arrived for my 5th refresher training course at 0855. So far no nerves. Performed Q&A's for Rich - today's instructor and survival manoeuvres in case the chute didn't open. Then got strapped onto the backpack. Then the wait. At this stage I was excited but still not nervous. My name was called at the Manifest and we met up with another instructor - Andy - who was really positive. Waiting on a big bench we assured each other it would be ok. Then the walk. Almost manic with slight pressured speech by then. Lining up outside the plane. and a slow walk to it. Heartbeat rising, slight nerves. Getting hooked into the plane. OH MY GOD WHY HAVE I DONE THIS I WANT TO GET OFF NOW! I thought, but by then another 2 army teenagers had blocked my exit. I looked at the lovely, but low, aircraft ceiling. ITS GONNA BE OK....... Oh GOD ITS MOVING. DON'T LOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW.........IT STOPPED. WE MUST BE FLYING.........NOPE HE'S DONT LOOK OUT..... OH GOD WHAT'S HE DOING. HE'S ONLY OPENED THE DOOR. OH GOD HIGH UP DON'T LIKE HIGH UP. TOO LATE. CHARITY, SPONSORSHIP. TESO. GOTTA THINK OF THE MONEY WE'RE GONNA RAISE. "ok Mesha slide toward the door"..... OH GOD MUST I??? HERE GOES "Look up" LOVELY CEILING MY NEW BEST FRIEND "Go" I jumped.
"One thousand, Two Thousand, Three thousand, Four thousand, check canopy". Are words I should have said not:- "THIS IS IT. THIS IS WHAT DEATH FEELS LIKE. LOOK AT THAT. THE CHUTES OPEN. AND IT LOOKS OK. OH HOW DO I CONTROL THIS THING? YOU'D THINK I'D REMEMBER AFTER ALL THIS TIME. COR ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL. WHAT WAS THAT???? OH NO MY RADIO HAS JUST FALLEN OUT OF MY HELMET. SOLO FLYING EH??? OOOO THIS MAKES IT GO THIS WAY. I KNOW I GOTTA AVOID THAT BIG THING. AND THAT PLANE. TIME FOR A SNEAKY PIC IF I CAN JUST GET MY MOBY OUT OF MY POCKET. BETTER NOT DROP IT! GROUND COMMING UP. KNEES TOGETHER. I SHOULD BE DOING SOMETHING HERE. IT'S GONNA BE OK. I'LL LAND STANDING UP. OH NO TOO FAST. GOTTA FLOP LIKE A FISH. OW! THAT WAS MY FACE. KADOINK IM ALIVE. MY LEGS WORK. MY ARMS. IM ALIVE AND HAV'E BROKEN ANYTHING. GOTTA CALL NIKKY AND MUM. All nerves subsided.
Then the debrief: "Mesha, a good all round effort. No radio. Poor control yet still you survived. Fantastic. I'll get you a certificate." I was asked if I wanted to go up again. Politely I declined as I had a 3 hour journey ahead. My view was that my radio packed in. I lost control of my chute and felt that I may be testing my chances with destiny too much for one day. It was worth it though!
Enjoy the sun and each other.
If you have
not reached this page via the Friends of Teso (Uganda) website
then you can reach our Home Page by clicking HERE.