Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Remarkable Interview .... Father Christmas parks up his sled for the year

Greasing a sled onto a steeply pitched roof top with 35kts of cross wind, at night, in driving snow would make even Biggles blanche but it  is all part of one evenings work for this man commonly called Father Christmas, St Nick or Santa Claus by his friends and followers. But what about the 'day job'? I had often wondered what it was that  he did during the other 364 days of the year. Some would say he spent his time  repairing and making new toys, others until they saw these remarkable photo's suggested that he spent time at his local Greenlandic Health spa, not so, whilst he looks pretty trim and sprightly for a man of his years, he assured me that it was the cut of his shirt and the sky blue that always made him look thin
Well what about the day job? Here is the answer...

It was over a year ago that I met what I consider must surely be the world's most experienced pilot ever, this bush pilot extrordinaire then it was in an undisclosed part of Africa. So it was to my amazement that I have for the 2nd time met my child hood hero, only this time in an environment even more bizarre, one of  Harmittan's, dust storms, heat, rainy seasons that even Noah would have enjoyed and scorching sun that will boil an egg before you can say 'Bob's your Uncle! Well this world is all part of FC's day time employment. 

'So you work for MAF,' I asked, 'Sure do, Mission Aviation Fellowship, greatest flying job in the world,' his voice roared back at me, eyes grinned with a sparkle from under bushy eyebrows, his weather beaten bronzed skin, all seemed at odds with his some what full snowy white beard! "Well we fly these small aircraft, there are about 135 of them, based in over 30 different countries, each able to bring help hope and healing to some of the remotest communities  in the world, we partner with lots of organsations and it is great getting to know some remarkable people and supporting them in their work. Sometimes it feels like Christmas Eve every day." he laughed loud and long as if this comment touched a memory. 

So check out what he had to say...

So there you have it from the horses mouth. Good ol' FC seemed pretty enthusiastic about his work and it was a pleasure to meet a man who felt at home doing what he obviously enjoys, who would argue that when his trade mark call is Ho! Ho ! Ho!

Posing whilst taking a break, against a somewhat battered scout car

Above and below Enjoying meeting some students at the Teda
language and library centre in Bardi
FC teaching one of the locals how to read his new written language 

            Years ago the environment in Northern Chad was very different to what it is now.
Here some really old rock carvings that show there were once ostriches,
cattle , elephants and leopards in this area.


Standing next to his mount,
the start of the Tibesti mountains in the background.
Below Bardi At a view point

Shaking hands with South Korean Peter down in Bailli
Lending a hand in Zakouma National Park
Grabbing 40 winks on a passing elephant!


  1. What an outstanding opportunity, I am so Jealous of you. I can't believe he actually took time out to give you an interview. You are so Lucky. It just goes to show what a superb organisation MAF is. Does this mean that the likes of Jim are actually elves at Christmas?

  2. Good Job Bryan (& Jim). I know there's a lot of work there!