On Saturday 24th January, the DREAM students and their teacher and foster home manager, Ms. Ma, took a day trip to the Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Corporation (AMECO Beijing). AMECO Beijing is a joint venture between China’s largest airline, Air China, and the German airline, Lufthansa. It provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for airframe, engines, and components of commercial aircrafts and offers training, engineering, and logistics assistance. It services Air China’s entire fleet of aeroplanes and, in addition, works with almost one hundred other domestic and international carriers! If you want to learn anything about the function and design of an aircraft, AMECO Beijing is definitely the place to be! The trip for the DREAM students was extremely special - AMECO Beijing is usually not open to the public for viewings, but Ms. Ma had been able to arrange a trip for the DREAM students when she introduced the DREAM program to an employee at the company! What made it even more exciting was that five of the DREAM students had never travelled by aeroplane before, so for them this was their first ever experience seeing an aeroplane!
This trip, however, included far more than just sitting inside the economy class seats of the plane - the students were also able to explore the business class sections and were even given a tour of the cockpit of a Boeing 747! As they were shown around by an AMECO employee, the DREAM students’ reactions were priceless. Mary, a nineteen year-old DREAM student from Hubei, said she felt completely exhilarated and that she just wanted to be able to fly – whether in a plane or by herself! When William, a nineteen year-old DREAM student from Yunnan, sat in the cockpit of the Boeing 747 and looked out over the front of the plane, he said like he actually felt he was flying the plane! Olive, a seventeen year-old DREAM student from Sichuan, said she was overwhelmed by the sheer number of buttons in the cockpit and how many tiny, intricate parts it took to control such an enormous plane. Vanessa, a nineteen year-old DREAM student from Shanxi, said she couldn’t wait for the opportunity to one day be able to travel by aeroplane! Ms. Ma accompanied the students as they gazed in wonder at the aeroplanes, whispered excitedly to each other about the business class seats, and dared each other to be the one to lead the way into the cockpit. She smiled at the expressions of amazement on their faces and the laughter in the air and felt a sense of contentment that these students were able to experience this as a result of her own efforts. It was moments like this that made working at ABC so worthwhile.