Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What's your hobby?

Hobby: A pursuit or interest engaged in for relaxation. (Definition according to Webster’s Dictionary)

This is one of those questions I have never really liked and I guess that is because I never really had something that I would call my hobby. Sure I have always had things I enjoyed doing, but nothing I would call a hobby. I like working on cars, but I also get paid to work on cars. I like hiking and being in the outdoors, but is hiking really a hobby? Since we have been in PNG a hobby is something both Susan and I have tried to find for ourselves. Something that can take your mind off the things around you and just let you relax or maybe, if I dare say, even be someone different.

Flying model airplanes has had an attraction for me for several years. A few times when I was a young kid I got the chance to fly a couple of radio controlled (R/C) planes at air shows and such. I always enjoyed it, but I always thought it was an expensive hobby. When I lived in North Carolina there was an active R/C airplane club near my house. When I would go on walks in the evening I could always hear and see the planes flying around and would think that looks like fun. I even told Susan that it looked like fun. However, we never had the money in the budget for me to dive into the hobby. So I would walk by and wish that I could join them.

After we had been in PNG a year and we got settled into our lives here in Ukarumpa I met a guy who was really into R/C airplanes and gliders and was trying to start a club among the expats here. Now it isn’t the kind of thing where we have meetings, basically it is just a bunch of guys (mostly from the aviation department) who like flying model planes getting together on a Saturday. I went a couple times to watch them fly and even got a chance to fly a few times using a buddy box controller. After this I was hooked again, but again I still didn’t have the money. Then my opportunity came. A guy was leaving Ukarumpa and had a controller, plane and all the parts and was selling it for a good price. It had been wrecked the last time it had flown, but wasn’t in too bad of condition. With a few repairs I got it flying again.

Now I am not the best pilot out there, but it sure is fun! I have crashed the plane a few times since I got it flying, but that just helps teach me my limits and what not to do next time. The guys in the group are really helpful and encouraging. It is a great way to spend an hour on a Saturday morning and gives me a chance to do something different from what I do everyday.


Checking the balance before flying.


Keeping a careful eye on the plane.


Coming in for a landing.

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