Retired couple swap Warwickshire for the jungle - The Leamington Observer

Retired couple swap Warwickshire for the jungle

A CARING couple have swapped leafy Warwickshire for the jungles of Papua New Guinea.

Alan and Annette Hone have been volunteering in the Oceanic country for more than a year with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) – a Christian organisation that helps isolated communities around the globe.

It has been flying aid, medical care and essential supplies into some of the remotest regions in PNG for over 70 years. Its regular medical evacuations include patients injured as a result of tribal violence.

Alan and Annette, who lived in Priors Hardwick near Southam for 12 years, have returned to the UK after 15 months in PNG but will be making the 8,500 mile journey back later this summer to continue their volunteer work.

Alan focuses on special building projects and Annette is part of the organisation’s flight operations team.

While neither are paid, they say volunteering on the frontline for MAF was “part of our calling” and offered them a “purposeful retirement”.

Annette said: “People face tough situations around the world, but people are still people everywhere – everyone tries to do the best they can with what they have. I like to be able to help make life better wherever I am living.”

Alan added: “I don’t think of our lives as volunteering – I think of it as a job that needs doing. We’ve stepped up to the plate and life is far richer as a result.”

Alan, a civil engineer, grew up with a fascination for aviation but was unable to pursue a professional flying career due to his eyesight.

Hearing about MAF as a teenager, Alan became a supporter and later a UK-based volunteer.

He has decided to put his business, Alan Hone Associates – a specialist glass design business – on hold in order to relocate to PNG.

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