Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The heat is cranking up

In the last couple of weeks the temperature and humidity has notably increased.  Mopping floors, vacuuming or some other necessary household task can reduce you to looking like you just got caught in a monsoon.  As I sit and write it is already over 30 degrees in the house and humidity is rising.  However, for all of you sitting in the northern hemisphere I am not jealous of your cold weather although maybe of the snow.

This past month has been eventful to say the least.  In my last update I mentioned that I went through an in depth process for the role of HR Officer in the MAF Cairns office.  I am thankful that I was accepted for the role and will start under the new terms and conditions in January.  Thank you to all of you who have been praying.  Along with that our new HR Manager will be starting this week after her induction in the UK.  We have been without an HR Manager for a number of months now so it has been quite the juggle managing the needs that are far and wide.  We are looking forward to having a new team member join us.

We seem to be managing Joshua's issue with diarrohea.  After a few conversations and time spent looking into the issue it appears that he has an issue with an amino acid called Tyramine.  Foods such as cured meat, aged cheese and sourdough bread, to name but a few seem to be the cause.  His body doesn't have the enzyme to break down this amino acid in big quantities.  If he has one food item on his plate containing this amino acid then it is fine but if he has multiple then it is a problem.  We are just so glad it is easy to manage and for the past few weeks he has had no further stomach issues.  Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us in this regard.

Joshua and Zara finished school last week and they were rejoicing at the much needed break after a busy first year in a new school.  Simon finishes this week with instructing and then is planning to scope out a new airstrip next week that could be used for training.  The plan is to take Joshua and Zara along and they can help with all the details that goes into planning and evaluating an airstrip.  Looks like they might be camping under the starts as it will be an overnight trip.  Islay, our puppy, might also get to go also and have a change of scenery from Cairns.  Thankfully she loves to go in the car.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Update on J and other news

As some of you will know Joshua has been having diarrhoea issues for a few months now.  We have completed a barrage of tests but nothing conclusive has shown up.  Last week, Simon and Joshua headed down to Townsville (4 hours south of Cairns) to meet with a specialist and to have an endoscopy done.  The specialist believes that Joshua issue is related to abdominal migraines.  We now need to get in touch with a dietician to see if food is a trigger for these migraines.  We are thankful that it is nothing more sinister and that there is a way forward in finding out the root cause.  Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us and especially Joshua.  It has been a long road in some ways but thankful that we have come this far.

My 6 month interim stint as HR Officer in the MAF Cairns office is coming to a close.  It has been quite the learning curve and I have had some amazing opportunities including delivering some training at the RMC (Regional Mangers Conference) last week as well as supporting some managers face to face whilst they have been in town.  Some of them I knew already and others only via skype and emails.  Great to be able to work with different people from all over the world.
After praying and talking it through with others I have put in my application for the permanent role that was being advertised.  Next week I will have two interviews and a presentation to do.  Pray that I will present my best during these meetings and that whatever the result may be will be good for MAF and our family.

Monday, 9 October 2017

A new addition to the family and other news


Since our last post we have had a new addition to our family, Islay, our 7 month old puppy.   We got her from a family who were fostering her for a rescue home.  She was very nervous and timid when we first got her and almost scared of her own shadow.  However, after being with us for two weeks now we are seeing a big difference in her confidence.  She is not so scared to go on a walk will play happily in the garden.  She loves all the attention she gets from us.  Good to see such a difference in a short space of time.


It has been a busy few months with guests.  In July we had Simon's sister and brother-in-law visiting us from Switzerland.  It was good spend time with them and explore parts of our local vicinity that we hadn't taken the time to do.  

Following that Nadia and Olivia Dick stayed with us whilst connecting with other friends in Cairns.  Nadia, Andrew and the kids were good friends of ours in Uganda and left a month after we did to return to New Zealand.  Olivia and Zara had fun catching up and loved the time together.  It was a fun time!

A week later a good friend of mine from Scotland, Lillian, stopped in for a few days on her way to New Zealand to visit with her sister and family.  It was good to reminisce about old times and also make new memories. We have had some funny moments over the years.

Last but not least my Mum, Aunt and Uncle are with us for a few weeks.  At the moment my Aunt and Uncle are off to tour New Zealand for a couple of weeks so they are making the most of their time on this side of the world.  Good to have family around and the extra help doesn't go amiss.


Simon has almost completed another Standardisation course.  It has been a busy period for him with training different pilots.  One is heading back to Uganda, one to PNG and two to Arnhem Land.  Great to see new pilots going out to serve with MAF.

Pray for Simon as he adjusts to more of a ground role than involved in operational flying.  It is quite the change for him.


Joshua has been struggling with some health issues on and off since we arrived in Australia.  He had an ultra sound today for one issue which came back clear.  So thankful for answered prayer.  Another test also came back clear but further investigations are required.  This means a bit of travel as the test can't be done in Cairns.  

I am sure he would value your prayers as he is tired of dealing with health issues and, at times, frequent trips to the doctors.  He is not the only one!


Thankfully she is doing well and although suffered with pharyngitis (as well as Joshua and Simon) a month ago she recovered well.  She is so enjoying having a dog in the family.  They are like best friends already.  Islay can't wait to play with her.  Joshua and Zara both missed having a dog around so there has been a lot of joy with our furry friend.


My 6 month stint with MAF is almost up and it has been a great experience, although challenging at times.  I have applied for the full time role and so interviews will happen at the end of this month.  We will see how God leads this one.

Just today I received my certificate from the Australian Institute of Coaching.  I am now officially a Professional Life Coach.   All the studying has been worth it and has come in useful in my role with MAF.

Visa Update

Give thanks that we are now on a bridging visa for the 187 which is a more permanent visa.  It won't fully come into play for another year but will help us in terms of receiving full medicare instead of partial which will help.  Simon will also be able to get into the system which will be a bonus.  

Monday, 11 September 2017

Prayers Answered

We give thanks that Simon received notification from CASA (Aviation Authority) that they have granted him a restricted flight license.  He has been given a VFR (visual flight rating) which enables him to continue in his role as a flight instructor in the standardisation department.  In the future he hopes to challenge the aviation authority and pursue the full license with IFR (Instrument Flight Rating) and night flying.  However, one step at time.  Grateful we have made it this far.

Thanks to all of you who have been praying through this situation with us.  It has been quite the rollercoaster but thankful that God has been with us on the rollercoaster.  So thankful that we don't do this alone!

Friday, 8 September 2017

"Wombat" Week

"Some days just have me looking like a Wombat"

This past week or so has had some folks in our family looking more like a wombat due to being unwell.  Joshua has had some issues over the last few months with diarrhoea which we are having looked into but no specific cause has been found yet.  He has now been referred to a specialist.

On top of that he came down with pharyngitis at the beginning of the week and has been really unwell.  After another trip to the doctor this morning showed that he is improving but will take time. In the meantime Zara has come down with it also and Simon is now coughing and has a sore throat. We are praying that they don't get it as bad as Joshua and that I can rise above it.

However, through all the ups and downs of sickness we have had friends visit and had some special times together which we have enjoyed a lot.  Thankfully they are still healthy and doing well and have not picked up our bugs.  I will try and post some photos at a later date.  Time to do my rounds at the Wunderli "hospital".

Monday, 14 August 2017

Aussie Update

I used to think that when we lived on the Equator time went super fast but it seems in the southern hemisphere it is no different.

Some of you have been asking for an update on Simon's eye test the other week.  Sorry it has taken me so long to post an update.  He flew down to Brisbane and rented a car to drive to the clinic where he was to have the eye test.  Unfortunately he didn't pass this test either.  You may be wondering what does that mean for him and flying.  At this point we are not sure.  We are waiting to hear back from CASA and that could take some time.  Meanwhile life continues and Simon started his next course.  He will be taking a Indian lady through MAF's four week Standardisation course so that she can fly in our Northern Territory programme here in Australia.  He will be doing the same with a South Sudanese man who, in time, will return to South Sudan to fly all going well.  We might be in Australia but we continue to get to work cross culturally across more than just the Aussie culture.

Last Thursday we said goodbye to Simon's two sisters and brother-in-law who were visiting us from Switzerland.  It was fun to have them here and see parts of our neighbourhood that we haven't even seen yet.  This included snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef.  I am still amazed that we had the opportunity to do this even although it is on our door step.   We also visited some wildlife parks.  Normally we are on the lookout for lions, buffalo, leopards and elephants but this time it was crocs, koalas and different birds.

On one of our road trips as we were about to cross a bridge we noticed a group of people standing looking into the water.  Curiosity got the better of us so we stopped too only to find a very large crocodile on the opposite bank taking a snooze and a slightly smaller one in the water that would appear now and again.  Some guys were tempting it with a chicken on the end of a stick however there were no bites that day.

Below are some photos of our time together with family.  It was a special visit and we look forward to the next time.

Where are those turtles?

Shall I try standing next?

Who can spot Nemo?

Monika and Therese with "Crush"

Chillin on the beach...

Monika went along as a passenger on Simon's instruction flight.  Good practice for the student in passenger management :)

The girls just couldn't beat the boys!  Dani took the checkered flag each time!

Joshua making friends with a black parrot who squacked non stop

Zara and her furry koala friend Codi who just happened to pee right at that moment!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Colour Deficiency Update

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for Simon regarding his colour deficiency issue.  As mentioned before he failed his colour test with CASA and has now been referred for another test in Brisbane on the 2nd August.  Thankfully, CASA has not banned him from flying but have issued him with a restricted pilots license which enables him to continue in his training role with MAF

We are praying that it all comes together and the issue can be sorted out.  Another pilot that Simon works with has a similar colour deficiency and he is able to fly with no restrictions.  Just need to work through the red tape on this one.

Thankful  for your prayers as we navigate the challenges of living in another culture.  Life continues to keep us on our toes.