Trouver un endroit où la passion prend son envol
Dans le cadre de la Semaine de l’action bénévole qui a lieu du 15 au 21 avril, Ingenium braque les projecteurs sur quelques-uns de ses précieux bénévoles. Aujourd’hui, le Réseau présente Terrie Pereira, qui raconte dans ses propres mots son expérience comme bénévole au Musée de l’aviation et de l’espace du Canada.
Par Terrie Pereira
J’ai commencé à faire du bénévolat au Musée de l’aviation et de l’espace du Canada à l’été 2013. À peu près au même moment, j’ai repris mes cours de pilotage à l’Aéroclub Rockcliffe; j’avais interrompu ma formation un an plus tôt après la fermeture de l’école de pilotage de Gatineau.
J’ai toujours rêvé — depuis l’âge de cinq ans — d’apprendre à piloter un avion. Toutefois, pour moi, ça demeurait un rêve que je ne pensais pas vraiment réaliser un jour. En passant, personne dans ma famille n’a d’expérience dans le domaine de l’aviation. Alors, à la fin de l’été 2011, je me suis inscrite à l’école de formation au sol pour suivre les cours qui débutaient à l’automne. J’ai passé les examens théorique et pratique pour obtenir ma licence de pilote privé (couramment appelée PPL).
I will admit that my first flight on the Cessna 152 with the instructor was actually quite scary. But being scared did not last. I developed quite the taste for the skies; I felt excitement each time I flew. Flying is exhilarating and beautiful, and this is especially so after one’s first solo flight. No one who has taken flying lessons ever forgets their solo. Being up at a few thousand feet from the ground makes me so happy; only those who share the same passion can appreciate how much happiness it brings. It’s like being a kid again and obsessed with toys – except the toys are a lot bigger and the investment is a lot more expensive!
Terrie Pereira and her children at the Gatineau-Ottawa Air Show in 2013.
The reason I volunteer at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is that I wanted to have a place to connect with others who share the same appreciation for aviation and flying. I never thought I would like volunteering as much as I do. Each time I enter the building, I actually get excited to walk into the hangar and see all those aircrafts sitting there with so many untold stories. From my encounters with other volunteers, I’ve had the chance to hear some of the stories related to some of the aircrafts at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. I feel humbled each time I have the privilege to spend time with some of the other volunteers who generously and happily give their time to share their knowledge.
I have spoken about the volunteers but I also want to speak about the employees. It’s an honour to be working alongside museum employees as much as it is alongside the volunteers. They are always happy and welcoming, and also very knowledgeable about their work. I may not know all of them very well, but I do know one very well from the beginning of my experience as a volunteer; his name is Cédric and he’s the volunteer coordinator. Cédric does an amazing job as volunteer coordinator; he happens to be one of these people that everyone I know truly appreciates.
With respect to my experience with the visitors of the museum, I believe I have come across hundreds – if not thousands – of people over the past few years. My favourite volunteer event day at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is Canada Day, which happens to be the museum’s busiest day. I can’t explain specifically why but there’s such a positive energy during Canada Day that makes me want to return and do it again each year. Everyone seems to be in such a festive, proud-to-be-Canadian and celebratory mood that it’s hard not to like working there working as a volunteer.
I would like to conclude my story by adding that one of the other reasons I also love to volunteer at the museum is that it gives me the opportunity to show my children how rewarding it can be to volunteer in such an amazing place. I see it not only as an opportunity to do something I find fun to do, but also to show my children that giving back to the community – and being a part of something greater than ourselves – can be extremely rewarding.