We live somewhat close to the runway where the SIL plane flies from. It’s quite comforting for me to hear aircraft taking off, flying overhead and landing since I grew up close to an Air Force Base.
The neighborhood children chant AV-I-ON when an airplane or helicopter flies overhead. Avion is the French word for airplane. I’ve enjoyed hearing the children chant this and it sparked an idea. I asked the Aviation Department if they would give a hangar tour to our neighborhood children. They were eager to do so and the plans started coming together. We borrowed a van from a partner organization to drive the neighborhood children to the hangar. They were so excited to ride in a van. The children in our neighborhood rarely ride in taxi’s, they usually walk to where they are going, so to ride in a van was quite exciting.
We arrived at the hangar and everyone was so excited. They were looking all around, taking in every sight, sound and smell. One of our colleagues who is a pilot, came out and started the tour. He did a great job explaining everything in an exciting way. The kids were so thrilled they got to touch a plane. The last plane to look at during the day allowed for the kids to climb up and sit in the cockpit, even turn the yoke. They were on cloud 9. Their smiles and joyful giggles were a wonderful sight and sound. As the pilot was explaining how the wings worked, Junior was studying it closely and even put his arms out to his sides trying to imitate the motions. Another pilot gave the kids a gift of coloring sheets, colors, a juice box of sorts (here they are sold in bags) and an individual serving can of chips that are like Pringles. The kids were so excited and chatted all the way home about their time.
Pictured above: right is Junior, left is Geovanni. Future pilots?