Monday, 30 April 2007

A weekend of dramas

It has been quite the weekend for us. On Friday I got a call from the Principal at Joshua's school to say that he wasn't very well. I went and picked him up and brought him home. Before long he was suffering from fevers and headaches. The sight of him brought back vivid memories of when he had cerebral malaria. We did a malaria test but it was negative. However, I put him on some malaria treatment just in case (was worried about a faulty test kit). Anyway by the next day he was still suffering from fevers so Simon took him to the Dr's in the afternoon. (I had a difficult job holding Zara down for an IV injection so there was no way I was going to be able to hold Joshua down if he needed an was Dad's turn) He was so worked up about going to the Dr's as he thought what happened to Zara (injections and IV's) would happen to him. Finally we got him in the car. When he got down to the Dr's they found out that he had a severe case of tonsilitus. This particular Dr is not all that compassionate (a good Dr though especially for tropical illnesses) but he did think Joshua was quite perky considering the severity of the tonsilitus. He is now on antibiotics three times a day and seems back to his normal self. Praise the Lord for modern medicine.

Well if that wasn't enough adventures for the weekend we also had a flat tyre coming back from the airport. We picked my Mum up at Entebbe on Saturday morning and three quarters of the way along the main road we picked up a nail which did a decent job of puncturing our tyre. I was so thankful that Simon was there as the tyres on our car are so big and heavy its difficult to lift them. The tyre is now in the shop getting fixed. Africa is great nothing goes to waste and most things can be fixed.

That was Saturday's adventure. On Sunday after returning from Church we were rear ended by a saloon car. Thankfully we were all fine although the car that rear ended us was a right off. Thankfully we were on a main road so there was plenty of Police around to help deal with the situation. The passenger of the vehicle hit his head off the window as he wasn't wearing a seat belt. Simon gave the driver some money to take this man to the hospital for a check up. The man was grateful that we weren't going to press charges although he did try and ask Simon for money to fix his car. I don't think even in Africa the car would be able to be fixed. It looked like it had hit a brick wall. We were just grateful that it happened at a slow speed and no-one was hurt badly. You will understand now why we ask for prayers when we drive on the roads here in Uganda....they are crazy :)

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Planes and Lizards

I haven't given you many flight stories since we returned from furlough. This can be a good sign as it means there have been no dramas and things have gone relatively smoothly...Praise the Lord!!!

However, I do have one from you that I just heard from Simon the other day. He had dropped off some passengers in Lira, Northern Uganda and was getting the plane ready for take off to go to his next destination. As the plane was travelling down the airstrip a monitor lizard decided to cross at exactly the same time. The timing of the plane and the lizard couldn't have been better (well not for the lizard) as Simon ran over it with the plane. The way Simon described it was like going over a speed bump. Thankfully the plane suffered no damage and he was able to take off with no problems. The monitor lizard, however, was not so fortunate.
I don't know the size of the lizard in question but Simon said when he drove back from Entebbe one afternoon he saw something in the distance ambling across the road. At first he thought it was a crocodile and then realised it was a monitor lizard. This gives you a bit of an idea on how big they can get. Big enough for me!!!!!

Monday, 23 April 2007

Adventure Weekend

This past weekend we decided to go camping with some friends. It turned into a real adventure. The journey to Jinja is only supposed to take 1.5 hours but it took us 4 hours. The traffic was horrendous. The friends that we were going with left a bit later and never made it as the traffic was so bad. They had to try again the next morning. We only made in 4 hours due to following some taxis who took a dirt road off the main road. We figured they knew a short cut and one way or another we would end up on the main road. The gamble worked and we cut out a lot of the traffic jam.

It was the first time we had camped with Joshua and Zara so we weren't sure how it was going to go. The first night we were there an almighty storm blew in. There was thunder, lightning wind and rain. Oh my it sure put our tent to the test. Joshua wasn't too impressed with the storm so he cuddled beside me. Zara was oblivious to it all and slept all through the night!!! We definately serve a powerful God if He can make storms like that. :)

We enjoyed days of swimming and relaxing....just what we needed. The days were extremely hot but it was good to see the sun shining. When we were packing up to leave the temperatures were in the 100' hot hot!!

We made it back to Kampala in 90 minutes with no signs of the busy traffic that we had experienced coming....Hallelujah

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate

Simon's parents just sent us a package and with it came some Swiss Chocolate. Simon gave some to Zara yesterday. I will let you see for yourself whether she enjoyed it or not!

Party Time

Zara was invited to her first birthday party without her big brother being there. She had a great time with all the other children and enjoyed helping Hadassa (Birthday girl) open up her presents. In fact she enjoyed the presents so much you can see her reading one of the books below. The last picture was the one taken before we went to the party as I knew she would not stay too clean after she tucked into the chocolate birthday cake!!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007


This mornings challenge was to find some fuel here in Kampala. Before heading out to track down a petrol station that had some I thought I would ask around first. Nobody knew of a station that had diesel. The problem is how far do you drive to find fuel as the whole time you are driving you are wasting some. A bit of a dilemma. However, after about 4 petrol stations on the Entebbe Road I found some. She also didn't limit me to how much I could have which has happened in recent weeks. The price had gone up of course but not as much as other stations who didn't even have any....interesting theory!!!

On Monday Simon and I and some friends went to visit the school that we hope to put our children into this coming September. Joshua and Deborah would join the reception class (class prior to Grade 1) and Zara and Ivan would join the Kindergarten class. It was a bit overwhelming to say the least to think that Joshua is ready to move to the "big" school. If Zara isn't ready for Kindergarten in September then we will delay it although she does enjoy the company of other children which is the reason we would put her in for a couple of hours.
The school is called Rainbow International. It boasts over 700 students which range from Kindergarten to High School and within that 700 are 51 different nationalities. Phew!!! It is a bit of a change from Little Swans where they go just now as they only have about 30 children.

Last week Zara was due to get her stitches out. I put it off as long as I could as she was hysterical getting them put in and I knew we would go through the same thing getting them out. Well God answered my prayers as Simon wasn't flying that day and he said that he would take her as I had Jane's graduation in the afternoon to go to. He assured me that she would be fine and it shouldn't be a problem (I thought that was a bit optimistic even for Simon). Simon's report was that she expressed herself very clearly that she didn't want to be there and was not impressed at the nurse touching her head. The nurse left her for a few minutes to calm down before returning to finish off the job. After another lollipop from the nurse all was fine again. We pray now for her safety that we won't have to go to the clinic anytime soon.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Jane's Graduation

We have known Jane since we arrived in Uganda over five years ago. She is a lovely lady and many of those who have come to visit us will attest to that. She is great with Joshua and Zara and baby sits for them on occasions. A couple of years ago Jane wanted to do a teaching course for pre-school children. After a lot of hard work she finished her course and gained a diploma with distinction. I had the special privilege, along with her two sisters, of witnessing the occasion on Friday afternoon. Of course, it wasn't without its dramas, with one of the dancers fainting, the guest of honour arriving late and the power going off but for the most part it went according to plan :)

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Peace Reigns

Thankfully the riots that started on Thursday did not continue and there is peace again. I was downtown this morning and everything seemed normal - of course that means crazy driving and very congested City but at least it was safe. Thanks to all of you who have been praying. We appreciate it and pray for a peaceful outcome to the situation in the long term.

Friday, 13 April 2007


Yesterday there were protest marches in the centre of Kampala. These protests were against the planned cutting down of trees in the Mabira Forest (situated East of Kampala) to make way for the production of sugar. The Government is talking of selling part of the forest to an Asian Sugar Company but this has not gone down well with the local people.

The protest marches started out peaceful but there was a misunderstanding between the police and the protestors and it quickly turned violent. The protests also took on a racial slant against the Asian community in which many Asians feared for their lives. The BBC reports of three deaths but there has been talk of more. For the full story you can check out the following link

Simon landed at Entebbe airport where I SMS him to tell him that there was some unrest in town and to watch the Entebbe Road (the only main road from the Airport to the City) as there was word that the troubles could spread. As he drove home he witnessed absolute chaos as people were driving the wrong way up the dual carriageway just to get out of the City. He ended up turning around and going back to Kajjansi (MAF's airstrip). Meantime he did a short flight out for the one of the other pilots who couldn't make it out to the airstrip because of the problems. When he returned about 6:30pm the roads were quiet and order seemed to have been restored.

We would value your prayers for this situation that there would be no further problems and that this situation can be sorted out in a peaceful manner.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Simon's Handiwork

As many of you know Simon loves woodwork and always has a project on the go. He managed to finish of two of his projects this past weekend. As you can see Joshua and Zara are displaying them for you in the above picture - two highchairs and a big girl bed for Zara. Zara was quite impressed with her new bed especially when she saw her favourite dolly sleeping in it. She did manage to fall out of bed twice but didn't hurt herself. She managed to find the one gap we hadn't secured to slide through. For the next few nights we need to barricade her in till she gets used to not having any sides.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Bonding time

Easter Adventures

If a trip to the clinic with Zara wasn't enough excitement for this holiday then Saturday afternoon brought more. As we look forward to a couple of days of rest the phone rang. It was our Office Manager. The reception in our house is not a good place to answer a phone so I went outside and heard the last sentence "...are you guys at home.." Well to cut a long story short I passed the phone onto Simon as this sounded like a job for a man. Two men were supposed to have jumped the wall at the MAF Guesthouse and Simon was assigned the task of finding out what they were doing there. I told Simon he should take Chewy (our dog) but decided against it as Chewy can take a sudden dislike to strangers who are not of the white variety. I don't think she has figured out she is black but anyway that is another story. When Simon got down to the Guesthouse a Policeman was already running towards the gate. Simon quickly checked the grounds but to no avail. He checked another MAF house which was close by but nobody was there either. The Police figured the men had run off but Simon wasn't so sure. He manged to get into the grounds of another MAF house and then onto a wall before jumping into a further MAF house (hope you are all following the story) compound. As he checked the front door he could see straight through to the back door where two men were trying to get into the house. He yelled at them and they sheepishly walked round to the front of the house where Simon took them to where the Police were. They said that they had been looking for tin. (we have heard better excuses than that). Simon and another MAF family watched on as the Police "interrogated" the two men. Finally they all went down to the Police Station to give in their statements. Simon came back a few hours later having saved a MAF family from a break in. Just another exciting day in Uganda......

Friday, 6 April 2007

Bad "head" Day

What an interesting day we had yesterday. While shopping Zara managed to fall which produced a gash in the back of her head. Shopping became less of a priority as we abandoned the shopping trolley and headed for the car to take her to the clinic. Upon arriving at the clinic she was seen by two nurses. One of which said that 99% of the time they just use superglue to stick the head back together again. Not our Zara she was beyond the superglue and had to go all the way and get a few stitches. She was none to impressed as you can imagine so they had to give her some drugs to put her to sleep for 10 minutes so they could do the minor procedure. She, of course, tried to fight the anesthetic but eventually succumbed although her eyes were open the whole time. What a girl we have!!!! Thankfully she felt none the worse for her ordeal and by late afternoon she was helping me wash the car with Joshua. Although they both needed a good wash at the end as they were both wet and muddy. We give thanks that God protected Zara from a more serious injury and as you can see from her smiley face at breakfast this morning she is doing great.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Best Friends

The past month or so Jack and Joshua have been inseparable or should I say "double trouble". Jack along with his parents and two sisters moved to Uganda from MAF Chad for three months. There was a coup in Chad last year and all the staff had to evacuate. It is now safe to go back and they plan to return to Chad on the 16th April.

Jack has been great for Joshua in many ways. For a couple of months now I have been priming Joshua that soon he won't be able to wear nappies (diapers) when he goes to bed as I can't get his size in Uganda and also due to the fact that he has been out of nappies during the day for well over a year now I thought it about time. He wasn't keen at all until I mentioned that Jack had moved onto a new phase in his life with no nappies in bed. So one night early last week I said tonight is the big night no more nappies. He said that's fine and got into bed. Simon and I were dreading the next few nights of disturbed sleep as we dealt with wet beds and a wet son. So far we haven't had one wet bed. We still can't believe it. HALLELUJAH comes to mind!!!!

Yesterday we took Joshua and Zara along with Jack and his sisters to a new park that opened up in the City. It was quite amazing and the kids loved it. As you can see they had a ball pool. It was pretty dusty and the kids looked like they had got a serious sun tan by the end as they were so muddy.

The funny thing was that this little park was like an oasis in the middle of the dusty City. Over the hedge was a building site and beyond that was the crazy roads of downtown Kampala. We had found a perfect niche in amongst all the mayhem.

Joshua and his best friend Jack