When I landed in Maui on Thursday, May 23rd, at Kahului Airport, you couldn't help but see posters everywhere regarding the disappearance of a young attractive woman by the name of Amanda Eller. I didn't take the time to read the fine print of the poster as I scurried to claim my luggage, worried that the airline might have lost it...that's happened to me before and that's always a pain to deal with. However later that evening while in a queue to enter The PAIA Fish Market, I had a chance to read the poster on the front door. PAIA always has a line out the door for their culinary creations of exquisitely prepared delectable seafood dishes that are well worth the wait.
While looking at the poster, I got that dreaded pit in the stomach you get when you're sure that the outcome will be bad and you're viewing the image of a lost soul. A substantial reward was offered which reinforced a mood of desperation since Amanda had been missing since May 8th and a good 15 days had elapsed. My immediate reaction and thought bubble was, "What a shame. If she's ever found, she will undoubtedly have been the victim of foul play and maybe worse."
Two days later, I (and every stranger I spoke with) celebrated upon hearing the news that Ms. Eller was rescued alive after having fallen into a deep ravine. Her plummet to earth had caused severe sprains to her ankles and feet, making it impossible to walk; but Amanda never gave up. Fortunately she was within reach of a stream of water and could with a wince of pain reach for hydration. For sustenance Amanda ate sparingly the berries she had picked on the trail, which I'm sure didn't totally satiate the gnawing pang of hunger.
Her remarkable family never gave up on her even after the state called off the search. The family hired a helicopter crew to continue scanning the terrain. Her car and her cell phone found in the vehicle indicated an approximate location on where and what she may have been up to - hiking in the paradise and splendor of Maui forest. The helicopter crew was set to return to base when one of the rescuers decided to expand the circle of territory where experts speculated Amanda might be located. Miraculously one of the crew spotted her waving her arms from where she lay at the bottom of a forest covered ravine.
The helicopter lowered a man and a basket to pick her up and then get her to a hospital.
Amanda, in spite of her ordeal is in relatively good shape and should recover from her ankle injuries and a skin rash she contracted from her ordeal.
God bless the family for sticking to a plan that never wavered from prayer and hope that demanded from them also a commitment to expend resources to carry on a continued search. God bless the helicopter crew for their diligence in working out of the box to find Amanda and GO DO GOOD in bringing her home.
If you'd like to see some video about this, check out the link:
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