It's been 4 weeks since Ben re-enrolled in the Rotorcraft Ground School. With two tests down so far (scored 100% and 94%!) he's now in the home stretch. One more test and then the final ground school exam on June 21. He has really been enjoying studying fulltime again!
The next step is to set up one-on-one ground sessions with a flight instructor so Ben can get some direction on how to create the lesson plan binder necessary for the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) course. This can be a daunting task as the binder quality needs to be quite high.
In late June and into July we'll likely have some visitors from the UK! Ben's cousin is looking to come out and later Bens mum, dad and brothers. If those visits pan out we'll take a couple weeks of holiday and Ben will start the CFI ground school on August 9. The cost for this course is about $10,000 but thankfully we were able to save a good chunk of money when Ben was working and together with saved support from our churches can cover the costs. Following meeting with Helimission at the CTC last June we had crossed the CFI off of our list, but after meeting with Brian Parker (Samaritan Air) it seems that for this next phase the CFI will likely play an important role in achieving the minimum hours Helimission requires.
Even though there is still a lot to do I finally feel like we are getting somewhere. Focusing only on building hours and not worrying about the maintenance part (for now!) has been quite a relief.
On May 21 I turned 29 and celebrated with having a Swiss chef prepare dinner for me in my own kitchen! Chef turned pilot Peter B stayed with us for a couple weeks and to celebrate my birthday and his JAA commercial license prepared Piccata Milanese. Although the video looks as if Peter is drinking the entire time let it be known he really only had one beer!
Last Sunday was a special day for me as I was baptised for the second time. I had been baptised as a child after praying the prayer at Pioneer Girls, but it was an encounter with God as a 16 year old that everything became real and life transforming for me. At 16 I had the desire to be baptised, but was told by someone I love and respect that since I had already been baptised as a child there was no need to do it again. They were right, I didn't "need" to be baptised again after all there is no "need" for a vow-renewal ceremony when couples re-commit their lives to each other. Still the significant symbolism of such an act is certainly not lost on the husband and wife who do exchange vows a second time. I have felt a bit like the wayward wife of a repaired marriage and while my re-commitment 13 year ago was very real I had missed out on the symbolism and celebration that comes with a second baptism. So on Sunday I grabbed my towel and headed to the baptismal pool. I laughed and smiled the whole way - totally thrilled to finally be saying "I do" with all my heart in front of family and friends. I only wish I had done it sooner!