Friday, 30 March 2007

This weeks happenings....

We have had a bit of a quieter week on the work front which has been good. Simon has done three flights this week including taking out a lady from a place in Northern Uganda who was suffering from seizures. Thankfully she didn't have one on the plane and was able to go and seek some medical attention once she reached Kampala.

Due to Simon having some time off this week he was able to do some fix it jobs round the house. It seems like one thing gets fixed and the next breaks. Praise the Lord I married a handy man. He is also in the middle of making Zara a bed. Once he is finished I will be sure to post some photos on the blog.

My workload has also been reduced this week due to key people in the programme being in Kenya at a conference. This was a good opportunity to catch up on other bits and pieces.

David, our part-time gardener, has been supported the last few months with driving school lessons and English classes. Today is his big day as he takes his driving test. Pray that it would go well and that the examiner would be fair and not demand a bribe.

Last week we had some meningitus injections. Zara did really well especially as she had to have two (Influenza and MMR). She only cried a wee bit and stopped immediately the nurse said she could have a lollipop. She had never had one before and some lessons had to be given. It didn't take long for her to figure it out though :). Simon and I also had meningitus boosters. The injections weren't to bad of themselves but I came up with a huge bruise and Simon suffered with a sore neck for the next week. We both looked like we had been beating one another up.

In past weekly updates I have talked about Sam who runs the Jesus Film Ministries here in Uganda. Today Simon is flying him up to a place called Lira in Northern Uganda to have some meetings with Church leaders as well as do some film shows over the weekend. Pray for wisdom for him as he speaks to people who have been through some horrendous experiences that God would give him the words to say. Laura, Mike, Ivan and Deborah (MAF Family) are also joining him this weekend. They plan to do some work within a local school where some of the children have suffered at the hands of the LRA (Rebel group). Pray for a safe and encouraging time for them and that they may sow some seeds of love and hope during their visit.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Photos Galore

As you will notice from the amount of photos below we are now in the possession of our new camera. Graeme and Elaine (friends from home) came to visit us on the tale end of their trip to Kenya and brought it with them.

Joshua and Zara enjoyed having Graeme and Elaine around. They were also able to bring some of Joshua and Zara's books which we were unable to take with us when we left Scotland. I think Joshua had Graeme read them all in the same afternoon. Joshua was in his element.

We went to the Zoo on Saturday and enjoyed seeing all the animals. Zara was not impressed when one cheeky monkey came up to her at lunch time and took away her biscuit. Thankfully I had a plentiful supply in my bag.

Enjoy the more up to date photos!!!!

Me and my mummy having fun at the zoo

Lion watching with Auntie Elaine

Monkey watching Zara

Me and my dad watching the monkeys

Joshua and Uncle Graeme playing soldiers

Joshua gnawing on some sugar cane

Friday, 23 March 2007

Survival of the Fittest

Ten new family members joined us on Wednesday. They are of the fluffy got it...chickens. We started out with 15 but sadly 5 of them didn't make it. I think the bumpy ride from the "Chicken shop" to our house on a boda boda (motorbike taxi) didn't help things as well as being extremely hot. Joshua and Zara are loving them as you can probably imagine. The last chicken to die was given a brief sermon on where he would be going from Joshua. As the wee chicken lay on the cardboard ready to be disposed of Joshua kindly informed him that the angels would come and pick him up and take him to heaven. Joshua wanted to stay with the chicken until the angels arrived but I convinced him that he wouldn't seem them as they would be invisible (please don't judge me on my theology :)) If you have any better ideas on explaining the presence of angels to a three year old I would gladly hear it. Thankfully the remaining 10 are looking very healthy - long may that continue.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

"Somebody please help!!!"

"Commando" style

This weeks happenings.....

As I write this next update my ears are sensitive to what is going on in the dining room. Joshua has his friend, Jack, over to play this afternoon. At the moment they are eating popcorn but when it gets too quiet my motherly instincts take over and then its time to check things out. Zara enjoys Jack coming over too as they all laugh, shout and generally be crazy together.

This week I had my new boss over from England checking up on how the training is going. It was a positive experience as we chatted about the past, present and future of training. I am very much looking forward to working with her.

As I might have mentioned before we have a new couple working in the program. She is from Brazil and he is from Angola. Her English is very limited so I plan, with the help of CD's, to help her improve her understanding of the language. My portuguese is non existent so pray as we embark on this new challenge together.

Simon continues to be busy with flying. He had an interesting experience last week when a passenger arrived late and thought he could try and get on the plane even although Simon was about to taxi to the airstrip. Thankfully the guys on the ground were able to remove the passenger before any harm came to him or anybody else. Ah the joys of being a pilot!!

Next week is the end of term for Joshua. Today his class had a presentation of all the singing and dancing they have learned during the term. The teachers did a great job in getting the kids ready and the kids did a grand job in performing. Joshua is the only white boy in his class so he definately stood out from the class. Time to get a sun tan Joshua!!!!

Zara surprisesd me last Friday when we dropped Joshua off at school. I said to her that we need to go home now and she said "nope". I asked her if she wanted to stay at school with Joshua and she said "yes". So to cut a long story short that's what she did. It was a bit of a shock to think that my wee baby girl was ready for nursery. The teachers said she did very well and enjoyed playing with the other children. Having said that when we dropped Joshua off on Monday she wasn't keen to stay. I think it might be a while before she goes "officially". Phew I have my wee baby for a bit longer. :)

Our new camera arrives in three days so hopefully the next time I do an update you will see some new pictures.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Another week in Kampala

Since arriving back in Uganda we have virtually hit the ground running or flying in Simon's case. Simon has had a busy flying schedule with two flight exams. Thankfully he passed them both so is now free of exams for a while. One of his flights included taking a dead body back to Sudan for burial. He was greeted by the extended family who were at the airstrip to receive the body. The journey by road to get the body back to the family would have been days of ardous travel. The flight only took about 2 hours.

Today and tomorrow he is at a safety seminar run by MSI (Mission Safety International). This is mostly a technical seminar but the wives are encouraged to come to the "Managing your marriage in ministry" on Friday afternoon. I will let you know how that goes.

I have been busy getting the kids into a routine again with school runs and keeping Zara out of trouble at home. She is into everything. If she is quiet then we worry. The other day she came to Simon and said "Daddy's pen.." and gave him a pen. Both of us wondered what she had done with it before she had given it up. Well it didnt take long to find out. When I put Joshua to bed that night I saw her handiwork. There was some of her creative expression on the bed sheets. AHHHHHHHH. Now we have to hide all pens from her. Goodness knows what the house would look like if she was left alone.

Joshua has settled back into school life again and is enjoying it a lot. We have a MAF family from Chad helping out in the Uganda programme at the moment due to the instability problems in Chad. They have a son, Jack, about the same age as Joshua and they get on really well together. I asked Joshua the other day if he had fun with Jack at school and he said "....Jack's my buddy we are tight friends.."

I also started some training work again this week. Yesterday I had a meeting with the Heads of Department in MAF Uganda to see how we can make the programme run smoother and some of the issues they are facing and how training could be part of the solution. It was a good meeting but it showed that there was a lot of work to be done. I am looking forward to the challenge!! :)

On a different note please pray for our Nightguard Moses and his wife Robinah. Robinah's sister was killed last week when a Matatu (taxi) was forced off the road by a truck and hit her while she was selling bananas. Pray that Robinah wouldn't contract malaria due to her time in the village as she is expecting their third child.

We are cameraless at the moment. Somewhere between Scotland and Uganda we parted our ways. Thankfully we were able to purchase another one but it won't arrive until next week when friends bring it with them from Scotland. Until then you will need to put up with some photos of our time on furlough.

We seem to be able to send and receive emails again. Long may that continue. Thank you for your patience.

This week we have had electricity two days running...Yippee but I guess the authorities thought we couldn't have it all so turned off our water. Thankfully it has started to trickle in as of 30 minutes ago so hopefully it keeps going so our tanks will be full again. Never a dull moment!!!!

Friday, 9 March 2007

The "joys" of technology

In case some of you think we have fallen from the face of the earth you are mistaken. We are still here. We are having problems with sending emails at the moment although receiving them seems to be no problem. Also some emails that we have sent in the past week actually have never gone although they are logged as going. Mmmmmm only in Africa. We hope to get this problem sorted on Monday via the IT department. Look forward to communicating more soon. Thank goodness for blogs!!! :)

Monday, 5 March 2007

Our First Week

It is difficult to believe that this time last week we were still packing our suitcases to return. The week has gone by really quickly. It hasn't been without its interesting moments.
On Saturday night whilst Simon and I were watching a movie I heard a thud followed by a quick thud thud. Something wasn't right. I went to investigate as Simon hadn't heard anything. When I opened the hallway door there was a noise of an animal making a hasty retreat into the bathroom. At this point I shut the door very quickly, recovered my composure and entrusted the situation to Simon. He went into the bathroom to investigate only to find a rather large rat. I gave him a broom and then he shut the hallway door. After that there was a lot of banging and running sounds from both Simon and the rat. When the hallway door opened out came Simon, the winner, with a trophy in his hand....a dead rat. The broom handle has now seen better days but it came in very handy.

Joshua and Zara are doing well. Joshua started back at school on Friday. He was a bit reluctant to go at first but once he saw his friend Ivan everything was fine. Zara has probably taken longer to settle and it seems like she doesn't remember much at all but is having fun being outside and not having to wear so many clothes.

Simon has his base check today, all going well. He starts regular flying tomorrow to Sudan. Some busy and hot days ahead for him.

I am slowly getting into work mode and assessing what has been completed whilst I have been gone and what still needs to be done. One thing that has been completed is the salary reviews. Everyone has a new salary and a job description. The only job now is to send the completed job profiles to MAF Europe to be loaded on the database as our internet connection is too slow to do it. Phew we are really finished. Its quite difficult to believe.

We will be sure to post some new photos of us in Uganda once we can find our camera. We are hoping it is in the suitcase that is still to come from London. I have my doubts as its not a place we usually put it. Oh well we will see.

Friday, 2 March 2007

It was a bit of a stretch but I made it

Don't I look cool?

"Home" Again

Dear Family and Friends,

Welcome to a different kind of Weekly Update. We are moving with the times a little and have created our own blog. This should help in that you can go onto the internet and view our blog any time you like and will cut out the problems we have had in the past with emailing it. We are going to try it for a month or so and see how folks like it. If most folks prefer the email addition we can always do both :)

Onto other news.....

We arrived safely back in Uganda after having a wonderful flight. A BA pilot that we know managed to get us an upgrade into Business class. As it happened we ended up having the whole area to ourselves. We felt very special and were treated like royalty. Joshua and Zara did very well and slept most of the night. God gave us a special treat that's for sure.

We arrived back to warm temperatures, one suitcase missing, a bouncy dog greeting us out of the taxi and a broken fridge. Thankfully our dog Chewy has got over the excitement of our arrival and is back to normal. Also our fridge is back to working again after two visits from the workman and our suitcase which was due in today didn't make the flight so we are hoping for Monday now.

We are glad to be back "home" and settling into a routine. Our furlough was a busy one between one thing and another. We thank you all for your prayers for my Mum. Her health has improved greatly. God is good!!!

Well once I figure out how this blogging thing works I will be sure to post some photos of our furlough time.

Love to you all
Pam, Simon, Joshua and Zara xxx