What Happens When You Stop Being Plugged In

I’ve recently been on several flights and noticed that for the most part flying is a very quiet activity.  Most people are plugged into electronic devices of some sort.  I’m sure it must be very nice for the flight staff, especially with children on board.  I had gone almost three hours before I even spoke to the passengers on either side of me.  When I finally did, I had a most enjoyable conversion which continued through a layover and snack at the next airport. Sadly, we were not seated near each other on the next leg which was a quiet one…good for a nap.  ZZZZ…..

The next flight I took a week or so later, I decided to converse with the gentleman and lady seated next to me.  They were together and had been studying, I guessed aviation from their tools. Yes, it was aviation!  They were here studying to be helicopter pilots and were both police officers in Peru.  Both were very enthusiastic to talk and quite willing to put up with a bit of a language barrier…their English and my Spanish, though we seemed to know enough to have a fairly decent conversation…certainly not a fluent one.



The young lady’s name was Iris who I shall describe as a complete ball of bubbling energy. Luis was much quieter…almost shy. Iris informs me that when I come to Peru I must stay with her and Luis will cook for us…he’s an excellent cook.  Luis smiles shyly but agrees he can cook!


Iris and Luis have trained before. Here they are in the academy and though most have stopped to rest, Luis continues to exercise. (bottom right)

Luis excercise

A better image is this one of Luis in the center holding the flag. And on the bottom left is Iris.


Luis with flag

This picture fits Iris’ personality.  I call it her sassy shot.  If your the type who likes to be invisible don’t hang out with Iris…the world is her stage and you can just see her love of life wherever she goes.

sassy iris

You can’t help but get excited about life when you are around Iris because Iris is excited about life.  She loves being a police officer and she loves flying.  Her camera is her best friend.  While we flew she took pictures of the drinks and snacks…of the instruments they used to study.  She was excited about touring DC but more importantly she wanted to see New York City…Time Square and Madison Avenue!

But don’t let that feminine look give you the wrong impression…she can handle herself very well and is a lot tougher than she appears.


iris bootcamp

Somehow she always knows when to smile…she’s a natural.

iris jungle

But if you look carefully she still carries that femininity…right down to her earrings.

iris jungle earings

Out of the jungles and into the helicopter…she’s ready to go up.

iris chopper


Seems like she had a good time.

fling iris

Hanging out with the boys and holding her own.

iris group

Even with our broken language it was a delightful conversation.  As we were arriving to our destination we started talking to a couple seated in front of us.  The girl spoke way better Spanish than I and they were just returning from the World Cup.  Her boyfriend spoke fluent Spanish but had slept most of the trip… it was a long trip home and they had one more leg to go.

Iris, Luis and I walked through the airport together and parted as we came to the Metro station…with hugs and promises to keep in touch we parted ways.

We did keep in touch…they are flying high in Florida and will return to Peru in a few months to finish their flight training….while I start boning up on my Spanish, adding a visit to Peru in the future travel plans. Imagining my incredible luck at finding the perfect guides for a safe trip while traveling to Peru! Machu Picchu here I come!

Life is a blast…get unplugged an experience a bit of it!