This is Murat Khasenov. He was brought up in a children’s home. He is a flight attendant in ‘Air Astana’ and, maybe, one day he will become a prime minister of Kazakhstan. With this smile he could do anything!
This is a young people’s home. Murat and other former inmates of the children’s home live here before they find their own place to live in. This is a 125-room building and it is crowded. Young people are allowed to stay here until they turn 29.
Although his room is pretty simple, it has everything he needs: a table, a bed, some other things… Murat grows flowers by himself and they make the room look prettier. He says he is happy to have lived in the children’s home because he always had a place to live and food to eat, unlike some other kids whose parents were alcoholics. However, some of his friends turned out to be misfit and now they have no education and are just hanging around looking for alcohol and drugs.
Murat does not blame his mother for what she has done because she might have her reasons. At first he wanted to find her but then he learnt that she had a family and stopped looking for her. He says that when his psychologist saw his mom’s handwriting, he assumed she was very handsome and well-educated.
It is a busy day today because he has two flights: Almaty-Kyzylorda-Almaty and Almaty-Astana-Almaty.
When he was a kid, he had a dream to fly. When he grew up and graduated from the university, he spoke English well, so one of his friends offered him to become a flight attendant and he immediately agreed.
He plans to take a sabbatical leave and go to England to study MBA. He has grandiose plans for the future. He wants to become a prime minister!
A company car comes to pick him up. It is time to go!
One hour later, the crew members meet in a briefing room where the senior flight attendant gives instructional advice, checks their documents, outfit , knowledge and so on.
Today Murat is going to serve economy-class passengers.
Murat has a health inspection, passport control and body-search and after that he comes on board of Airbus A319.
While the passengers are waiting for their boarding to begin, the cleanup men are bringing everything in order.
Murat accepts meals and signs the consignment note.
Everybody is in a hurry.
His was 15 minutes late for his first flight but he was forgiven because he was a beginner.
Now he knows the ropes!
First passengers begin to arrive.
He counts the number of passengers boarded with the help of a mechanical counter.
It is his duty to bring the door into the ‘automatic’ position so that, in case of an emergency, the emergency slide can automatically inflate and throw out when the door gets open.
He is calling the pilot to report that the door is ready.
Upon hearing a special sound, the flight attendants have to take their seats and fasten their seatbelts.
‘Air Astana’ replaced hot meals with hot sandwiches on short flights because sometimes flight attendants were simply unable to serve all the passengers in such a short period of time.
The longer the flight, the better because on long flights flight attendants do not have to walk when the plane is ascending. It is very difficult to do, especially for women who have to wear high heels.
High quality service is most important in this job.
The flight is over. Everybody is pleased. This plane is flying back to Almaty soon and then to Astana.
Once a year flight attendants have advanced training in Frankfurt. Now Murat is allowed to work on Airbus and Embraer, but after the training he will be able to work on Boing as well.
Fourteen more flight attendants are flying to Frankfurt for advanced training.
Lyazat describes Murat as a friendly and good-natured young man who is always ready to help.
It is warm and nice in Frankfurt.
Before the training begins, flight attendants have to put on special uniform.
This year they are going to have advanced training in passenger evacuation, extinguishing fire and opening and closing the door.
The training takes place on board of simulated Boing 757 and Boing 767.
The training plane is twice as expencive as a real plane, that is why airlines prefer to bring their flight attendants to already existing simulated planes rather than buy one for themselves.
Each door has a weight of 300-400 kilos and it is not that easy to lift it up even though it is automatic.
The flight attendants are being instructed on how to evacuate the unconscious pilot.
They are taught how to use fire extinguishers, protective masks and oxigen cylinders.
Apart from knowledge and skills, a flight attendant should have a strong character, be brave, tolerant and of great endurance; the flight attendant should know how to make quick decisions and stay calm in an emergency, because lives of passengers depend upon him/her.
The training lasts for several hours. The flight attendants have some time to walk around the city before their plane back.
Murat likes people who live in Franfurt because they seem to him more sociable and open-minded.
The city is clean and up-to-date.
It’s time to go home.
Some time later, Murat visits the children’s home where he grew up and finds out that the teacher is new. He says, that kids in these homes call their teacher ‘mom’ and it is very painful for them when she is replaced with another woman.
In these eyes Murat sees the reflection of himself.
He brought some presents for these kids, little planes.
Oleg wants to be a builder.
Dima likes singing and painting.
Natasha likes foreign languages and wants to live in the States.
Vlad wants to be a pilot so he liked the plane most of all.
After Murat left the orphanage, he entered the university and lived in a hostel. He studied really hard because he wanted to receive higher education. He had to choose what life he wanted and who he wanted to be. He might have become a drug addict or an alcoholic… but he had a dream. He wants these children have their dreams too because he knows for sure that dreams do come true.