This is an attempt to communicate better with friends around the world. For my whole flying life I have written a short summary of the day in the little remarks section of my Pilot’s Logbook. I really mean little. The space allotted is about 1/4 inch by 2 1/2 inches so I write very small. In fact, the writing reminds me of when my dad came back from a trip to Korea with a piece of rice with John 3:16 from the Bible written on it! I need to get out some serious glasses to read most of my logs now but the idea was to jump start my memory to a thing that would otherwise be lost forever in the ongoing flood of life events. I have heard it said that if you forget what has happened to you it is as if it never happened. That is a bit sobering to me. So…I will start by telling you a bit about myself.
For the last 40+ years I have been a bush pilot in the Pacific, the United States and all over Africa, most of that flying for Mission Aviation Fellowship. I have some 14,000+ hours of flight time in little planes that get into short and rough airstrips of grass or dirt, cut out of jungle or bush, or the left over world war II strips of coral on narrow islands in the middle of miles of Pacific blue water. All of this with the companionship of my lovely wife Cher who has graced me with her presence and spread her beauty and easy laughter lavishly as we have traveled the world. I love God but I am no saint. I am at my happiest when I am in hot pursuit of him. Well, even better on the occasions when I actually catch up and spend time with him. Lots of time.
I would guess that those three aspects of my life are what really define me. Family, flying and God. There is much more of course but you will have to stay tuned to see what those might be over time. Cher says that it is really a guy thing to be defined by what you do. She thinks life is about who you love. I guess that is a girl way of looking at things. I most probably think it is more somewhere in the middle. Who and how you love while you are doing what you do. Life without love is pretty meaningless.
Africa is Awesome and I love it. Everyone says that it gets in your blood like so many of the killer diseases that are here. It is thoroughly in my blood. It has a way of taking hold of you whether you like it or not, whether it is good or not. It is not politically correct. It makes little attempt at correctness and does not apologize for it. Women are not equal. People are not equal. The harshest person leads. Animals are for food. Of course, these are generalizations. We from the west, especially those from the United States, assume people generally think like us when, in fact, almost nobody thinks like us. That is important to remember when living in Africa. You will just have to change the way you think about some things if you are to function here with minimal frustration. Not to say that one can live above frustration. That is a difficult one because, as we are not right about the way we think about everything, so Africa is not right about the way she thinks about everything. You see, I am already showing MY political incorrectness. Everybody is NOT right. There is no logic in that. To say, as seems to be popular and politically correct these days, that each of us can have our own reality in spite of the reality that is going on around all of us is, in my opinion and I am right on this, delusional.
So, I live my days interacting with people who are quite different to me. I fly to unusual and interesting places and try to see how we all relate. I try to help people with my little airplane to get over some of the obstacles in their lives and spread a bit of joy around while I do it. I try to be as much like Christ as I can and give hope to people. These log book entries are a window into that life. Hopefully you will find them interesting.
I love hearing from you and will try to answer those who write. If you have questions or differences of opinion please say what you think. I like interaction. I hope you enjoy reading. Jon