A couple of potential future pilots visited our hanger this week. They were eager to learn about airplanes and pilots. The students were from an international school called TASOK (The American School of Kinshasa), located here in DR Congo. MAF was happy to host the group, and I had the privilege of guiding them through the hanger and airplanes.
They have all been in large aircraft before as most of their parents work for organizations here on a two- to three-year basis with trips back “home” every summer and Christmas. This trip to the airport was different for them because they got to actually sit in the cockpit of a small airplane and see all the instruments.
It was neat to see their excitement. I had expected them to be disinterested with tiny Cessna airplanes because of their frequent flyer miles racked up in heavy 300-seat jets, but they were eating up any and all tidbits I was able to pass on.
They really seemed to resonate with MAF and our vision for isolated people. It is so clear that with the size of Congo and lack of infrastructure that people “stuck” in villages have very little access to the outside world or even a large city where products can be bought. Our Cessna airplanes are suited perfectly to their task of landing in remote places to serve the communities in need.
Just before they got on the bus to head back to school one of the boy’s mustered up some courage and shook my hand, saying, “Thanks a lot for everything today. I really want to be a pilot now.”