Thursday, 31 May 2007

It's a small world

A couple of months ago we were contacted by a Swiss/Dutch couple who were coming to Uganda to work in a children's home just outside of Kampala. Last week Joni contacted me to say that they were having to leave the project abruptly and did they know of anywhere they could stay. Well as it happened our guest room was free so Joni and Silke have been staying with us for just over a week now.

It has been fun to chat with them as Joni and his parents were in PNG when Simon's family were there. It has been fun for them to reminice about their time growing up in PNG even although they didn't meet at that time.

They are planning to head to Rwanda and Kenya before they return to Switzerland. They will stay with us in between all their travels. We look forward to hearing where God is going to place them in the future as they have a real heart to meet the needs of children here in Africa.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday Zara!!

Simon made Zara a special birthday cake yesterday. This was his favourite kind when he was a child in PNG. Lots of chocolate and biscuit. It seems like Joshua and Zara take after their Daddy as their plates emptied pretty quickly.

Zara and Simon enjoying playing with the bubbles

This past weekend we went camping again. It was half term break so an excellent opportunity to go away for a couple of days. It was also Zara's birthday on Monday so many reasons to celebrate and have a good time.
Zara doing the thing she loves most....swimming (sorry the photo is dark)

Joshua' afternoon nap under the tree

Joshua and Zara with their friends Ivan and Deborah

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Another Milestone!

Zara celebrates her 2nd birthday on Monday (28th) and she has decided to celebrate in style by giving up nappies (diapers). Simon and I are rejoicing in the fact that very soon we can do away with nappies altogether..Yippeee. When I put wee pants on her she usually turns to me and says "nice". Mind you I have to confess her pants look a lot more comfortable to wear than her nappies. We pray this desire to wear pants is a long term thing and not just a novelty. Ahhh the joys of toilet trained children!!!!

She also went for her second happy day to Little Swans (nursery and pre-school). She had a great time and wasn't ready for me to pick her up two hours later. I had to play with her for a while in the sand pit. She had the last laugh when she scooped up some sand and then turned too quickly and the sand went all over me. I was chewing sand for a while after that. Although it was so good to see her having fun and making friends with the other children.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Sunday afternoon fun at Kajjansi Airfield

On Sunday afternoons we typically head down to Kajjansi airfield. Joshua and Zara love it as they can ride their bikes as there is lots of space and they love to see the airplanes. There are also lots of birds, ground squirrels, occasionally monkeys and once we even saw a rabbit which chewy chased but came back empty mouthed as the rabbit won the race.

A rare occasion with Simon and I in a photo on our own!!!

Zara gets to ride her bike on the airstrip too. Who needs shoes!!!!!!

Catching Zara for a photo can be a challenge sometimes!!!

The airfields new security guard

Joshua doing circuits round the planes on his bike

Bath time for Chewy

Friday, 18 May 2007

On the work front...

I thought it about time that we wrote about what we are up to on the work front. Simon continues with his flying schedule both in Uganda and Sudan. He will also be doing some supervisory training for one of our pilots who has just passed her training on the Caravan. Along with flying he is also getting his hands dirty in the hangar. Due to the fact that we don't have a chief engineer at the moment there is a lot of work that needs to be caught up on in the hangar. Also there is another audit coming up with a final deadline for some of the work so its all hands on deck. At the moment he is helping to sort out the tool room to make it more organised and user friendly. This is where he gets to be creative and loves every minute.

I have been a bit quiet on the training front for various reasons. However, I am planning on doing more Customer Care training with each individual department in the near future. Another training course that is to be designed is "How to lift safely". Many of our staff are required to lift heavy objects which can result in people suffering from sore backs. Pilots often have to maneouvere equipement and baggage in and out the plane which is really heavy. Laura, our lady pilot, weighs only 60kgs and had to try and get a generator which weighed a lot more than her out of a 210 cessna. It can pose a bit of a challenge to some folks. So anyway there is a need for training in how to do it correctly to prevent injuries happening. One of our international staff is a qualified physiotherapist so I will be leaning on her expertise :)

As many of you know Simon and I have been involved with Jesus Film Ministries for some time. I am trying to help Sam Tsapwe (Director of JFM) with some of the administrative work. This week he delegated the work of putting a project proposal together to raise funds for the work he does out on the Islands in Lake Victoria. This project proposal is being sent to Germany with one of our MAF families who is going on home assignment. We pray that God would already open the hearts of the people and that they might respond to it and give generously.

Stormy Days

We are in the midst of the rainy reason. For those of you who come from countries where you get a lot of rain and are sick of it well Uganda is not the place to visit at the moment. We are enjoying this time of year as its not quite so hot, we have electricity a lot of the time, we have an abundance of water and the plants and grass are looking like their proper colour as opposed to the burnt brown that we are used to in the dry season. As you can see from the photos above, which were taken at 7:30am this morning, the sun was nowhere to be seen. Usually at this time we are enjoying the suns new rays of the day but not this morning. It was so dark we had to have lights on. The roads are so muddy it is like driving on ice. Thank goodness for four wheel drive!!!

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

"Where's Granny?"

Granny left yesterday for Scotland. This morning Zara was asking "Where's Granny?". Her brother filled her in on the details. "...She is in the big airplane going back to Scotland..." As far as Zara was concerned she should still be here.

We had a good time with Mum while she was here albeit too short but we look forward to the next visit. Joshua and Zara had a ball and were spoiled by all the extra attention.

Zara even got up at 2am one morning and went to Granny's room for some milk. My Mum gave her some and then put her back in bed. After Zara had finished her milk she got back out of bed again and went through to Granny's room, lifted up the mosquito net and climbed in beside her. She took up most of the bed, as Zara does, and fell asleep till morning. She has never done that before not even with us. Maybe because she knows she will be sent straight back to bed :). The things you get away with from Grandparents!!

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Fun days

"Best Friends"

Zara on one of her favourites at the park, a see saw

An angelic moment from Zara

One of Joshua's more serious moments

Zara started a water fight in the garden

Monkey business at the park

Joshua and his new bike. A present from Granny for his birthday.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Church plants and Children's Homes

Yesterday Simon flew the Senior Pastor, Assistant Pastor and photographer from KPC (Kampala Pentecostal Church) up to Gulu (Northern Uganda). They are looking at planting a church in the area. For those that have visited KPC it is quite the experience. There are 2,000 people at each Sunday morning service and there are a total of 4 services. They also have other church plants around the City. Along with churches they also run children's homes. Some of you may have heard of Watoto. You can check out the website to know more. You could even book the children's choir to come to your church. It is amazing to watch these children perform and share their stories. A real blessing and eye opener.

It is a great ministry and many children in Uganda have been blessed by it. Please pray for Pastor Skinner and Pastor Komagum as they look into the possibility of opening a Church and childrens homes in Gulu. There are many IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps in the area and so it would be a much needed outreach to a very desperate people.
(The photo above is a picture of an IDP Camp in Northern Uganda. The little dots you see are huts that people live in...everyone is crammed together. Sanitation is a problem and disease is rampant)

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Who needs Bob the Builder when you have Joshua

As I have mentioned before there are always fix it jobs in and around the house to be done. The job that has been pending for a while was the posts on our car port. 4 out of 6 are rotten and need to be replaced before the whole car port comes crashing down. Simon and Joshua got to work yesterday on it. Simon allowed Joshua to use some of the tools which made him feel like a big boy.

Zara on the other hand liked climbing up to the top of the ladder when no-one was looking. I don't have a picture of that as I was more concerned about getting her down. She is quite the girl. Don't know where she gets her adventuresome spirit from?????? The picture of her above is a rare occasion....her relaxing in a chair. It lasted about 10 minutes before she was off on another mission with her dolly.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Rooster "Sitting"

For the past few months we have been Rooster "sitting" for another MAF family while they have been on furlough. It has proved to be a bit of a crazy bird and I have come to the conclusion that it thinks its partly human in that it thinks it should have the same rights. The family that own it used to keep it as a house pet. They also had a piglet in the house too at the same time and the baby rooster and piglet were good friends. Anyway before you think we have all gone mad here in MAF Uganda I will continue with the story......

Our ten little chickens were ready last week to fly out their cage in the garage and move into the chicken coop. The only problem was that the crazy rooster was occupying the space. We didn't feel we could put them all together as Simon and Zara have already been attacked by it so goodness knows what would happen to the young chickens. The rooster fights with its beak and its two feet in the air along with puffed up feathers and a lot of noise. Its quite the sight until your baby girl is the receiver of all the anger. The second time Zara was attacked she was in a pair of bright pink poka dot pyjamas. She was warned not to go in but Zara being Zara decided that she would go ahead anyway. For her disobedience the wrath of the rooster was her payment. The bird took a sudden dislike to her pink pj's and started to pull at them with its beak. Thankfully Simon was at hand to rescue her. Zara now calls it the "bad rooster".

It is also strange in that is doesn't like sleeping in the cosy chicken house but on the wobbly fence. The picture above shows it resting on the post looking out at anyone who comes in the gate. If its starts its cockle doodle dooing when you walk in the gate when its dark you can get quite a fright. Our rooster "sitting" finishes at the end of June when the MAF family returns. Hopefully it makes it that long and doesn't end up in the pot.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Happy 4th Birthday Joshua

Yesterday was Joshua's 4th birthday. Phew where has the time gone. As a treat for his special day he was able to go horseriding. He enjoys riding on horses a lot so this was quite the present. He even got to ride on the same horse as he did last time. It is called Heavy Metal but Joshua likes to call it "Heavy Nettle". An extra treat was to see the little foal that had been born the night before. The foal walked like his legs didn't really belong to him. Joshua had a super day and thanks to all who sent cards and well wishes.