It’s that time of the month again….roster time!

December this year has a not-so-nice little surprise on the cards – my yearly SEP exams!

We have to pass these recurrent exams once a year (held over 2 days) to keep our flying licenses valid, and somehow this year I’ve been lucky enough to be rostered them on the 24th and 25th of December. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!! That’s the downside of working for a muslim airline, I guess!

Looks like I’ll be celebrating Christmas in training college; I’ll have to take in some mince pies to make things a bit more festive!

Other than that I have flights to:

  • Singapore
  • San Fransisco (I was originally rostered Mauritius and Bangkok, but swapped those for San Fran to get extra days off before my leave)
  • Leave (where I have 2 special guests coming to stay for a few days – mum & dad!)
  • SEP exams
  • Paris
  • Paris

I’m trying to swap at least one of the Paris’ (seeing as I’ve also just been there, and 3 flights to the same place in a month can get a bit repetitive!) so I’ll see if I manage to change that.

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P.s. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @rachelwwilson for more day to day updates of what’s happening in my life!

The SEP Training (Safety and Emergency Procedures) has started! This, along with GMT (Group Medical Training) is supposedly the hardest part of our 7 weeks of training, and I can see why! It’s a lot to do, with theory and practials all day. Our batch has been put on the late shift, so we have training college from 3:30pm to 11:30 at night! We also get given homework to do – we have a thick workbook which is gradually being filled out and revision to do each day. This means either staying up after getting home at midnight or getting up early the next morning to do it before class.

Yesterday was our first time in the simulator….and it was so fun! We took a trip to Doha (not really, but that was where the flight simulation was going) and experienced some turbulence. We had all learnt the day before what to do during light, moderate and severe turbulence, and in groups we took turns acting out different scenarios.

The whole time the trainers were making notes about us and writing down anything anyone did wrong, so everyone felt quite a bit of pressure to do well. Luckliy we all passed the simulator practicals, but we still have a lot more to go. This is literally just the beginning of training! We will start having theory tests from next week as well, and need a pass grade of at least 80% or else we will have to repeat the week!

Something else that happened this week….it was Christmas!! Our trainers gave us the day off (which unfortunately means that we have to go in on Saturday to make up for it) and a group of us arranged to go to the beach. On Christmas Eve we all decided to go out in the evening, and a few of us who live in the same area met up before to get a taxi together. We had such a fun night! It also ended pretty differently to any Christmas Eve/day I’ve had so far…with the taxi driver taking us to a McDonald’s drive-through on our way home! I have to say, I never thought that I would be eating a McChicken on Christmas Day!

The next morning (Christmas Day!) we all met up to go the beach and spent the afternoon sunbathing. We wanted to go for a swim in the sea as well, but after putting 1 toe in decided it was too cold! Afterwards of course we had to go and have Christmas Dinner, so we wandered along Jumierah Road (at least that’s what I think it was called!) until we found a restaurant that looked nice. I ordered chicken, lamb and beef skewers with wild rice and grilled vegetables – definitely not the normal roast turkey but still pretty tasty!

We also had our uniforms fitted the other day, which was pretty exciting! They gave me a skirt which was about 3 sizes too big, but refused to even let me try on a smaller one, so once we get our uniforms I’ll have to see just how much too big it will be! The rest all fitted fine though, so I’m really looking forward to getting our uniform (especially the hat!) and suitcases in a couple of weeks. I’ve also heard that we get our roster with our first supy flights (= supernumerary flights are where we are considered an “extra” onboard, so we can get to know how everything works in real life!) at the same time, so I’m really looking forward to finding out where my first layover will be! I’m hoping for an exotic destination somewhere hot, by the beach!

Now it’s time to get back to some more revision – at the moment I’m learning about Pre-Flight Checks. This basically means checking all the emergency equipment is available and in the correct place on board. We will all be asked questions on it tomorrow in our 15 minute brief at the beginning of the session, and then I think we are going to do decompression (loss of pressure in the cabin) in the simulator tomorrow – should be fun!

I can’t wait until we get our residency visas (hopefully in about 3 weeks time!) so we can finally get wifi in our flat – it’s so annoying having to come to the internet cafe any time I want to get on the computer!