The two daughters of the intrepid Argentine pilot, 49 year old Martin Rappallini who flew his small Piper Aerostar to the Falklands on Wednesday, have talked of their delight at visiting Port Stanley.
22 year old Maria Eliana who has ceased her training to be a pilot for the time being in order to continue with her studies into bio engineering in Parana said 'I admit that I was a little afraid of how the people would receive us, but everyone we have met has been so warm and friendly and helpful. However we are only staying for 2 days, so I would like to return again and stay longer and get to know people of my own age.
20 year old Maria Paula who is studying chemical engineering said that she was surprised ?how smooth the flight across to the Islands was ? I slept a little so it was obviously not a bumpy flight. I want to do some sight seeing too, and would also like to return with my sister'.
One of the first tasks which they undertook was to buy a telephone card and call their Mother back in Buenos Aires and tell her of their save arrival and warm welcome at the Airport. ?She was a little concerned for our safety because of the long flight and we had to wear special survival suits just in case something happened, so I wanted to calm her down as quickly as possible. However she had already heard from the news in Buenos Aires that we had arrived, so it was not such a surprise', said Maria Eliana.
Martin Rappallini who has a seismic data processing company which has a joint venture with Spectrum IGN information technology from Britain for the past 6 years, jointly owns the Piper Aerostar aircraft with a ?good friend'. Having been born and raised in Comodoro Rivadavia he insists that, despite now living in Buenos Aires, he is not a ?porteñio' but is very much a ?Patagonian'. ?We are all "Patagonians" ? the people of the Islands too ? because we belong to the land of the cold, desolation and the winds'.
The Rappallini family were surprised at the cleanliness and tidy lay out of Port Stanley, and also were amazed at the many new houses which have been built during the last 10 years and are still being constructed. ?It is a healthy sign of prosperity' said Martin Rappallini.