Tuesday, April 5, 2011

These Are The People In My Neighbourhood!

Hi there and welcome to www.barefootpilot.blogspot.com . A shout out to the returning visitors and new ones alike.

For those of you who have stopped by in the past you are probably noticing a number of design changes. A new background photo and a Fickr sideshow to name a couple. I am curious to know what everyone thinks of the changes so please feel free to comment!

Man where does the time go. I am half way through my latest visit here ! I have taken so many photos that I have trouble selecting which ones to post! I captured a lot of the "usual" images this week.The weather here has been simply fantastic again all week so I have got some awesome aerial shots along with ,wildlife and some truly stunning sunset/sunrise shots! If I do say so myself!

That being said I have taken inspiration provided to me by a photographer who's work I follow, Mr. Chris Orwig . I link to his website on the side navigation bar so please have a look at his work , of course I would prefer you do it after you check out mine! ; ). A while back he posted pictures of random people he took pictures of while touring around a few cities in the US. Very cool project. So I decided to something similar here in the Maldives.

I have mixed it up a little though because these are pictures, for the most part of people I know but feel need to be celebrated. Not all but mostly people who work behind the scenes here at Maldivian Air taxi along with some of the people around the area where I reside here in Male'. There also some of the front line people who guide our passengers to the aircraft and of course a pilot or two!

Shall we .......

These two guys Arrish and Muez caught me snapping away at the end of the Jetty and asked me if they could strike a few poses for the camera! Happy they did! They both work in the "traffic" section. They are responsible for rounding up and guiding the passengers on their way to and from the aircraft.

These two smiling pilots are Arif and Shafee. Arif is one our newest Captains. Shafee has been with the company for around 4 years, first as a dispatcher and now as First Officer. They caught me taking picture of the next fellows while I was up on the wing of one of our Twin Otters. They are flashing the sign that most of us have adopted from the surfer crowd. Seems appropriate to me as on some days we surf these planes onto some pretty big seas!

So as I said i was up on the wing of one plane taking pictures of the fellows washing the plane I was flying on this day. I love the "frozen water."

These guys work hard to keep the planes looking good! It is an important thing for this job to be done not only for keeping the aircraft shiny but also it is very important to keep rinsing the saltwater off.

These are the behind the scenes guys to be sure. Most passengers pay little attention to them but they have an important role to play within the airline. They go about their business at a steady and unrelenting pace. Rain or shine and more often than not with a smile!

I notice them and I hope these images will do them justice! Now I could have misundertood when I asked their names, but I did try to clarify. It is my understanding that they are both named Radha Krishna. They come to us from India.

As we move along I managed to convince one our maintenance engineers to take a moment so I could take his picture. He was a little reluctant but I was persistent! So Eddie relented and gave me a big smile!

Now if you have been to my blog in the past you may remember this fellow, Stephen one of our baggage handlers. Always working so hard and in all types of weather. He is from India though he spends much of his time in the Maldives earning money to send home to his family.

Maldivian Air Taxi has hired some new baggage handlers of late. Stephen was training Selvaraj on this day. Another guy from India. Seems to me like his training was going well and he is keen to learn. I know that Stephen takes great pride in his job and I sure he is a great guy to learn from.

This smiling guy is Sasi, another fellow from India. There is a bit of trend here! Maldivian Air Taxi has done well to find guys like him. Everyday he works so hard running bags to and from the airplanes! Always a big smile and handshake when I am greeted by him!

Saji hails from India as well and like the others has worked at MAT for longer than I have. I don't know how they do it rarely do I see them sweating or even a hair out of place! To think he has been at work for probably 6 hours at the moment I took this picture of him!

Ah yes we are on to Vijay. I don't think there has been a day when I have been at work that I haven't shook his hand! These guys also go unnoticed, for the most part, by the passengers. That being said they are a crucial link in the chain. Thankful a very strong link!

Vigil is in the foreground while Sasi peers over his shoulder! Again you can't help to notice how impeccable the grooming is! I can tell you by the end of the day I don't look this good! perhaps my Canadian/Celtic blood is simply to thick because I am sweating before I even get to work!

Ismath! I am sure at this point you see a theme! Smiling hard working guys who have come from India to find a better life in the Maldives. Or at least a job that that allows them to send money home to the family! If you are traveling with us one day and you recognize one these fellows I encourage you to take the time to say hi along with a "job well done!"

This fellow is named Mauroof and I believe he is actually from Sri Lanaka . I meant to get these photos printed for all of them on these last days off I have had. Unfortunately I got to preoccupied with other things. A terrible excuse on my part but I have made it a priority now. I think that these fellows deserve recognition for their hard work and in some little way I think they will be happy to have some nice pictures of themselves.

Big Raeef! Certainly one of my favorite cabin attendants! He has been with the company since the beginning and knows his job well! That knowledge combined with brute strength makes him a huge asset. Most especially when the winds are howling and the plane needs more than my control to bring into the dock safely!

Azmeel! Love working with this guy too. We have such good time flying together. His hands and feet at the controls are great, he knows when to work hard and knows when its time to lighten the mood with a good laugh!

As I move along I thought I would share a few more pictures of some of the people I meet around here in the Maldives. This guy is the man who cuts my hair. He does and excellent job to be sure and I always get a shave while I am there as well! I will also get a copy to Balamanikandan another young man who has left his home country of India. I know he looks a little stiff here. He speaks good English and I did ask to take his picture, I am pretty sure not many people ask him for a photograph and he didn't quite know what to think of it! I just walked by the 'Saloon" the other day and the whole crew got up and gave me a big wave as I went by!Love it!

Just across from the apartment I stay in there is another building being built. Now have to say it is one of the things that gets on my nerves. In my days off the sound of construction starts at 07:00 and goes to 19:00. Which is actually a slight improvement because on my last stay they went to all hours of the night. For whatever reason that has now been reduced.In any case I wanted to show how close these buildings are here. As I laid down on the ground the guys doing the building were looking over at me, probably wondering what I was doing.
I struck up a conversation and of course asked if I could take pictures of them as well!

They were patient with me! I love the perspective in this shot! Sarab looking down at me!

Here I have Ali giving me the big smile!

And finally Gadem, he is looking pretty serious here! Maybe wondering what the hell!

Of course what would a post of mine be with out and airplane! Launching off of the North Right waterway with the tower controllers looking on!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you liked this little tour around my world here in the Maldives!

Stay safe folks, as I close this post I would like to send my condolences to the family friends of those on board UNO834, a CRJ200 that crashed in Kinshasa killing 33 of 34 people. A terrible tragedy and as I wait to here If I knew anyone on board I am filled shock. No more words can I offer other than those I have given.

One of the barefootpilots!

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