From the President – Fall 2015

Summer has been busy as we have ramped up our MAT operations with our second Seneca III. We have seen about a 15% growth in our operations; while also reducing our fuel expenses since it replaced a less fuel efficient Chieftain.

Our MAT program has benefited immensely from the generosity of the Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association. Their annual golf outing held in June and matching donations provide significant financial support to our MAT program – and the golf is always a good time. Thanks GSLBAA!

No sooner was I off the links than I was traveling to visit field bases in Eastern Africa. My first stop was Arusha in Northern Tanzania. I visited with Pat Patton and his team at Flying Medical Services. Pat, along with our pilot, Elsa Klarich, provides emergency medical evacuation as well as proactive medical clinics. They visit each outlying Maasai tribal village every couple of weeks. I joined Jack Rejman and flew one of their C-206 to four villages surrounding Lake Natron. We flew with a medical team that conducted well-baby exams and vaccinations. I helped by weighing nearly 100 babies.

Back in Arusha, we toured their vocational training center. The center provides 18-month training programs in one of four vocations (farming, carpentry, masonry or tailoring) for impoverished, disabled children.

On to Zambia, where I met with Doctors John Jellis and Goran Jovic. They use light airplanes, C-182 and C-206, to fly to remote impoverished towns and villages to provide reconstructive orthopedic and plastic surgery. I was able to accompany Dr. Jovic on rounds and see firsthand the vital service they provide. Absent their service, these patients would suffer lifelong impairment and disability.

Next on the itinerary was Kenya, where I traveled to Bomet, a small town about six hours West of Nairobi. We work with two teachers, Daniel and Jackline, who have set up a micro-finance service, Transfedha, to help women start small businesses. I met dozens of their clients. They are inspiring, equipping and coaching these women who are responding by creating amazing, successful small retail and farming businesses. The program is lifting families out of poverty and providing hope for a better future through the dignity of work. It was amazing to see such a dynamic impact on their lives.

I came away from this trip inspired by the wonderful people I met serving those in need. We are changing lives by improving their health and wellness and equipping people to escape the bonds of poverty.

Where There are Wings—There is Hope!

Don Hamblen,

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