Photo: The mighty Hawk helicopter ….. and I was impressed specially flown by the US pilots.
The biggest air show in Africa is currently being held in Cape Town. I was lucky to be invited to an opening ceremony of the big event. Like every testosterone filled male I was blown away with the sheer size of the huge war planes. After holding the 20th assault rifle in my hands and aiming through the terrifying scopes and watching the heat signatures of humans through night scopes I knew war is a serious business.
I could not help thinking if the grenade launcher I am holding on to would somehow one day kill someone in some foreign country. Chilling thought! The USA and the CHINA exhibition didn’t help easing my fears. Walking into a US cargo plane is something to behold. Enormous is not an adequate word to describe the feeling. The US pilot could not hide away his passion for these humongous flying machines as he guided us through the plane. Chinese officials watched with a careful eye as I tried to gather some information. “Inglish not good …. try later someone else”. I never got to someone else but the fact remains: Weapons were big business.
The passion of the salesmen trying to sell their latest death machines was interesting to watch. “This one …. well will leave such a big hole …”, I stopped him. “With this 50 mm we don’t need you … we will just blow your house out of the sky!” And as a South African salesman said: “Sudam Hussein did great business with us until he perished…”. And so they continued.
And I wondered about my job! And they did ask. And I did answer. “Transformational engineer”. “What on earth is that?” I answered with a smile … “saving people from your weapons!” A frown and a smile …. and then just continued with the next willing customer in his shiny uniform with more silver than I own.
May we all one day be bearers of peace and hope and agents of transformation?