Captain’s Log-22 June 2013-Congo Kids

Playing with the kids at Nebobongo in great joy.  One of the best parts of my job.  This picture was taken by my sister LuAnne.

Playing with the boys and girls at Nebobongo airstrip in great joy. Chasing the kids, I have grabbed up a little orphan boy named Mboko. This is one of the best parts of my job and my sister LuAnne managed to capture the fun in her camera.   Thanks Lu.

One of my favorite things about my job is the excitement I can bring into a village when the plane lands.  People come out of the woodwork.  Especially kids.  And when you live remotely, the airplane is better than television.., which they have never seen.  There are often hundreds of kids around.  Whole schools will empty, surrounding the runway, for the occasion.  And if they have taken that time out of their day, I like to make it special.  I like going out of my way to introduce the kids to the plane and show them how it works.  I like playing games with them.  They are often chased off and I will often pretend to chase them and grab them and they see the game and run screaming and laughing.  It is great.  When I walk the strip they will come along and start throwing sticks and stones off with me and even get the idea that these things are a hazard so not to leave them or when they do see them then help me out by clearing things away.  I will give instruction on how the prop is like a big panga and it will cut them up easily even though they can’t see it when it is turning, giving them little glimpses of science and physics, sitting the lucky child of the day in the pilots seats, showing him how it all works.  Kids are the future, and although it is a small thing, it is great to be able to bring some joy into their lives.

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16 Responses to Captain’s Log-22 June 2013-Congo Kids

  1. Rob Fynn says:

    Love the way you love it , Capain XXX

  2. Victoria says:

    Beautiful joyful picture and story!! Children are the same wherever in the world, and the pic was enjoyed by kids in Nepal. Thanks for another inspiring update
    Vicki & Utpal

  3. Travis Harris says:

    This picture really makes me miss flying in Africa! Playing with the kids was definitely one of my favorite parts 🙂 Keep the fun going!!!

    • Jon says:

      Hi Travis, You will just have to come back! We can always use good pilots in MAF. What are you doing nowadays? Thanks for writing in.

      • vince says:

        I believe you’re an American Pilot. One question: were you required to transfer your licensing to another governing authority, or are you operating under your current FAA licensing?

        I’m planning a move back to West Africa for personal and professional reasons and i’m trying to research the topic

        • Jon says:

          Hi Vince, You have to have a license for the registration of the plane you fly. If you are flying say, Congo registered aircraft you have go get a Congo license. If you are flying US reg in Congo you can still fly with your FAA license. Lots of African countries will still allow you to use your country license to fly any registration in that country but you can’t fly it across a border without having the license for the registration of the aircraft….if you know what I mean. Thanks for writing in. Jon

          • Vince d says:

            Jon, thanks a million! What an interesting system that is. Wonder how many greasy- palmed customs agents are running around. haha! Can’t wait to get back. Hope to hear you over the radio someday. All the best.

            Blue Skies, brother.

      • Travis Harris says:

        Hopefully one day Jon! Kelsey and I are living in San Juan, Puerto Rico where I will soon be starting my second year of Medical School… The long road of Med School wasn’t exactly the path that Kelsey and I were longing to walk down, but God has been faithful in his leading and guidance in this direction. We trust and hope that it will eventually lead us back to serve in a place like Congo. I’m not sure how well Medicine and Aviation will mix, but I’m sure that God has a perfect plan 🙂 Until then, I get to feed some of my passion by reading your blog! God Bless You as you Serve!!!

  4. courtney says:

    Jon, based on this photo alone, I would move back to the DRC in a flash. Miss you and Cher and all those rascally kids. Love to you all from Lebanon.

    • Jon says:

      Hey Courtney, What a pleasure it is to hear from you. How you liking Lebanon? We also miss you here. Just not the same without you. Blessings on you, Jon

  5. Paul White says:

    Love this picture Jon. The joy on their faces. I am working on supply of radio communications equipment into DRC at the moment (funded by US government). Hoping there might be a chance to revisit Kisangani once again some time in the future but sadly, I think it is unlikely. Fingers crossed though that I may get back to this magical country soon. Keep up the good work Jon. Best regards


    • Jon says:

      Hey Paul, Hope you gt back out this way soon. It is good that you are helping Congo anyway. We were supposed to go to Kisangani this week. Thanks for writing in. Always nice to hear from you. Jon

      • Paul White says:

        I would dearly love to get a trip back out there and any possibility will not go unchallenged. I would have to drop you a line nearer the time if it happened just in case you are in the area. Exchanging stories over a Primus sounds like a great opportunity not to be overlooked. Safe flying Jon, take care. Paul

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