Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sunrises and things

It’s been business as usual in Maun for the last week or so. The aircraft finally got out of the maintenance and paperwork muddle that it had been mired in down south, and last Thursday I airlined down to Johannesburg to pick it up and bring it back to Maun. Since then, we’ve been quite busy and I think I’ve had more than my share of early morning flights. The other day I had to leave before sunrise to pick up some passengers at a small airstrip near Maun (the directors of Flying Mission and some of their family, incidentally) and found myself grumpily flying along, after rebelling against my alarm clock a bit too long and then rushing through breakfast to leave in time for the flight. It was a beautiful morning, though, (as is every winter morning here, without fail) and as I watched the sun peak up over the green waterways of the delta from 500 ft I couldn’t stop a wide grin from spreading across my face and sticking there. And I was once again reminded how lucky I am to be in this place. But I know that it’s not just this place – you can find moments of beauty like that one wherever you are, provided you look for them. I often find myself forgetting that and becoming so used to a place that I don’t remember to look for beauty or newness anymore, and that’s a trap that I want to keep myself from falling into. Life is so much richer if you take time to appreciate it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Windhoek in Review

The last week has been fantastic. As I said in my last post, I got to do a charter trip for my dad’s company. So I flew his passengers on our Flying Mission King Air into and out of a camp in Namibia and one in Botswana, with him riding along as copilot on those trips. Some highlights from the week:

  • Scrambling to get everything ready for dad’s arrival because of a last-minute change of their arrival airport in Windhoek
  • Flying over the immense stretch of sand dunes in the Sossousvlei area of Namibia, near the camp to which I flew the passengers
  • Extremely hurried day road trip from Windhoek to the sand dunes
  • Being able to tell my dad what to do because he was the copilot
  • Riding jumpseat in the Gulfstream V my dad flies on a 10-min repositioning flight
  • Two-day trip to Moremi National Park with dad and another pilot from his company
  • Seeing hundreds of vultures and a massive male lion feasting on a kudu kill

The worst part of the week was undoubtedly watching the last few minutes of the European Cup Soccer final with increasing despair as my team (Germany) lost.

Now that the week is over, however, it’s soon back to business as usual in Maun. For the moment, I’m in Gaborone waiting for our Maun airplane to finish an inspection in South Africa. I don’t really have any idea how long I will be here…probably anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I’m not complaining, though, because being here gives me a chance to spend some more time with my friends here (some of whom are leaving very soon) and also may give me a chance to do some more King Air flying. I’ll enjoy it while I’m here, anyway.