Today was the day that we have been working towards as a family ever since we arrived here in Ohio ... and in fact, ever since we joined MAF back in June 2009. Mark took the final part of his Airframe and Power plant exams and is now certified to fix aircraft and more specifically for us now the aircraft that MAF fly in Dodoma, Tanzania. Naomi was helpfully pointing it out on the huge world map up at the MMS hangar just after Mark qualified this afternoon, if you weren't already clued in to where it is!
As I've said before, I am SO SO proud of him and the hard work that he has had to put in to get to this point. It hasn't always been easy and there have been many times since we signed up for this that Mark has said he felt a real pressure, that he had moved his family across the world for him to get this qualification with us being dragged along but that it was all down to him. Of course, I have totally believed in him and his abilities from the start and took great pleasure in saying 'I told you so' this afternoon when he finally passed, with flying colours!
As there are many families who have gone before us, it has been helpful to hear their input about both the apprenticeship and exam period. Most have reported that the latter is 'horribly stressful' and as with the apprenticeship itself, although the guys are the ones to do all the 'work', it really is a family effort throughout the whole process.
While some people may see that our time here is all about what Mark is doing, we have certainly seen it as a team effort, in order for us to get to the next stage, an MAF project. Last night, before embarking on the final day of his exams, he thanked me for everything I had done to get him and us to this point and that without it being joint undertaking he would never have made it.
I love how we have always worked together in everything, pretty much since we first met, whoever appears to be doing the 'important' stuff! Today really is all about him though and the incredibly hard work that he has had to put in over the last three years and more importantly over the last month with the exams. He is now not only a very proficient (and in the UK, head-hunted) aircraft design engineer but he is now an FAA certified mechanic, ready to use his skills for God in Africa ... He rocks!