Friday, March 20, 2009

Vlog Day 17 - JAARS

Today I visited JAARS (Jungle Aviation And Radio Service), which is the technical arm of Wycliffe, serving translators with air, maintenance, IT and other kinds of necessary support. My family has come through here several times when we were on furlough from Ghana, but I had never taken the tour before, so I figured I should probably do that. It was a really interesting tour. In the first video, you can hear a bit about how Wycliffe (and thus JAARS) was founded by Uncle Cam Townsend.

We then moved on to the Cabinet and Maintenance department, where we received an animated lecture on the subject of cabinetry and maintenance. Then on to the hangar where I felt almost like I had returned to the National Air and Space Museum - except that this is an active training facility, where pilots are trained to handle planes and helicopters as if they were in a remote area where even the military don't venture. Here we got to see the first new Kodiak airplane that JAARS/Wycliffe has purchased for missions use from the manufacturer, Quest. It's bigger and more efficient than the Helio Courier it will be replacing (JAARS has its own machine shop where parts for the HC have been made since the 70's when it went out of production), but does need a slightly longer runway. You can read more about it HERE. The next stop, after lunch, was the Alphabet Museum which I do remember visiting as a kid. It has since been expanded and is a fascinating look at the history of alphabet making and written language.
In the evening I played music for the JAARS youth group, which is made up mostly of MKs, TCKs, and the kids on the JAARS center. It was cool to be able to play for a group that I didn't have to explain the cross-cultural stuff to. Most of them had grown up just like me, and could relate to a lot of the things I had to say. I captured a bunch of their faces, and of course Uncle Bruno.

No comments: