Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I am actually from Simbu, but I say I am from Mt Hagen because my Mom is from Mt. Hagen and I grew up and have lived in Mt. Hagen for most of my life.
Can you tell me about your family?
I have two older sisters, a younger brother, and my mom. One of my older sisters lives in Sydney, Australia and the other lives in Mt. Hagen. Right now I live with my mom and younger brother in our family home.
When did you join MAF? And why?
I joined MAF in January 2018.
I’ve always wanted to join MAF; I think I was in the 10th grade when I knew I wanted to join MAF and be a missionary. However, around the time I was in university studying engineering I got a little side-tracked and completely forgot about my initial call to missions. I thought I’d rather go and make money.
After university, I did a two-year trade course for aircraft maintenance engineering. After that, I had the opportunity to live and work in Australia provided I could secure a job. However, after numerous unsuccessful job applications, I realised that maybe I was meant to come back to PNG as I had two job offers from PNG. In hindsight, I realise now that God was closing all those other doors and calling me back to PNG. So, I accepted one of those offers and moved back to PNG. I joined Manolos Aviation, a helicopter company in Rabaul, which I think was a great stepping stone to coming to MAF. I worked there for a year and a half before joining MAF.
When did you first hear about MAF?
I’m not sure when exactly I first heard about MAF. From a very early age, I was aware of what MAF was, what they did in PNG, and why. I went to primary school with a lot of MAF kids and there were a few MAF missionary families at our church. Living in Mt. Hagen, it’s kind of hard not knowing about MAF.
What is your role within MAF?
I’m an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, an AME. We fix planes…that’s pretty much it!
What does the day-to-day look like in your role?
On Monday mornings, we have a stand-up meeting where we’re told what aircraft are coming in for scheduled maintenance. We plan our week based on that; whether it’s a 200 hour or minor inspection and if a job has to be done in a certain time frame. The team leaders will appoint co-ordinators to respective jobs and the co-ordinators then delegate who does what.
My work is different from day-to-day because I’ll have different things to do depending on the type of maintenance job. Sometimes there will be break downs and unscheduled maintenance and if you get assigned those jobs you have to drop whatever you’re doing and tend to that.
At the moment, we’ve been very busy because of the two incidents we’ve had. A lot of the inspections and repairs involved in that are not common tasks so I am learning a lot of new things.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There’s a sense of satisfaction when we complete scheduled maintenance on time and the engineer or pilot comes back after an engine run or test flight and says, ‘Everything was great!’ I feel a sense of satisfaction because I was a part of that.
One thing I find about this role: you never know enough. There’s always something new that I’m learning, which is interesting. I think I enjoy that aspect of my job.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
One of the most challenging things about this job for me would be always being willing to learn and be corrected. I’m learning new things all the time and I can get caught up in thinking, ‘Oh, I’ve done this a million times.’ There’s always a revision or change so I have to be willing to go back and accept that I never know enough.
Another thing, especially as a girl, is that there are certain things I am not strong enough to do on my own. I’m learning to accept help, ask for help when I need it, and think outside of the box to find alternate ways of doing things that would otherwise be beyond my physical capabilities.
Seeking and accepting assistance and being teachable are not attributes that come naturally to me because I can be a very stubborn and sometimes proud person, however, I realise that they are essential in this line of work (and I guess life in general) so I’m working on that.
What does MAF mean to you?
MAF to me is a lifeline, it’s a lifeline to a lot of people in PNG, especially to the rural communities. There aren’t a lot of other airlines which fly to the places we fly or provide the services we do, such as medevacs. The communities really need MAF and I know and have seen firsthand how grateful they are to have a flight service.
One of the things I like about MAF is they always try to put people first. In this pandemic, I know a lot of people in the aviation industry have lost their jobs. MAF has a value of putting people over profit and that is something that I am grateful for. We’ve been blessed that no one has lost a job yet due to the pandemic.
What is something people might not otherwise know about you?
I am currently trying to learn French and Swahili. Swahili is so difficult though! I’m learning these languages because I’ve always wanted to go to either the DRC, Kenya, or Uganda. I might as well start learning languages that might help me in the future.
Do you have a favourite food or actor or superhero?
My favourite food…anything sweet! Cheesecake is really good, but my favourite would probably have to be an almond croissant.
I don’t really have any favourite actors. I watch a lot of stand-up comedy, so maybe Aziz Ansari, Trevor Noah, Russell Peters and Ricky Gervais although I don’t always agree with everything he says, lately I’ve been watching a lot of Mo Gilligan.