Friday, 28 September 2007

Family and Work Update

It has been a while since I have posted anything. It has been difficult to find time to sit down at the computer and write anything. Apologies if this post is rather long :)

Everyone is healthy in the family again so we give thanks for that. It was a bit of a rough week last week with Simon and Zara not feeling too well but they are both doing great now. Thanks to all who prayed for them. Zara is back at school twice a week and having a lot of fun with her friends which is encouraging to see. Joshua just seems to be thriving at school. When I ask him how his day went he tells me "...great and lovely.." long may that continue. His teacher was telling me this morning that he knows 18 sounds and will be moving onto books with words this week. It is amazing how much he has learnt in such a short period of time. He is definately being challenged which is what he has been needing. He has such a hunger for learning new things and his teacher is doing a good job of making sure he gets that. He will keep her busy :)

On the work front life has stepped up a gear. Flights are increasing with most planes out every day. Due to severe flooding in various parts of Uganda the only way to travel is by plane. This has definately attributed to our busyness. It is amazing to see so much dust where we are and then not too far away people's houses and roads are awash with water. I will attach some pictures taken in , Yei Southern Sudan that were sent to us recently. These roads show one of the main trade routes which is currently inpassable. All the trucks and cars you see lining the roads are stuck and have been for a while.

My new role with the Guesthouse has taken up most of my days recently. Since I last wrote we have looked into a new property which is a lot bigger and has lots of potential. We are still in negotiations with the landlady. We have also employed a new staff member which we are excited about and trust that she will do an excellent job on the housekeeping side of things. Yesterday Jacqueline (my colleague in this venture) and I sat down with our short term IT guy to put together a bookings database. Up till now it has all been done manually which is not ideal. We hope to bring the whole ministry up to a more professional standard.

We are praying that the work to be done on the new guesthouse will be agreed by the landlady and the work will completed by the end of October. This timescale would enable us to release the two flats we have rented for overspill and enable us just to concentrate on one property. The timing is a bit ambitious but one can only try.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

The sick house is recovering

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for our health this week. We have turned a corner and seem to be on our way to good health again. Zara is doing much better today. The fevers have gone and she is more like herself. The doctor put it down to a virus which caused her tonsils to enlarge and said we should see a difference in her within 6 days. 6 days is a long time when your wee girl is not well. Thankfully we have seen a difference in her in less than 6 days.

Simon wasn't well this week either as he had a suspected sinus infection and general cold symptons. This grounded him for the rest of the week but he seems to be on the up and up the last two days.

Joshua and I seemed to have escaped the worst of it all which is a blessing. Long may that continue.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Gecko 1 - Cockroach 0

The picture above was what faced me the other morning as I walked into the kitchen to make breakfast. I guess something else was feeling a tad hungry too. How the gecko caught the cockroach was one thing but how the gecko was going to eat it was, to me, quite another issue. The gecko didn't hang around on the wall too long and suddenly disappeared to enjoy his rather large breakfast.

My race with time

Zara sleeping off her cold and fever
If the start to this week could be described as a race it would be definately be classified as a 100m sprint with a few hurdles thrown in for good measure.

My job with the guesthouse has started at a fast pace with much to be done but never enough hours in the day to get it finished. There is a possible new property to rent which would be better than our current facility, new beds to buy, things to restore and bugs to beat. If that wasn't enough there are staffing issues to be dealt with which are slightly of a delicate nature.

Our guest, Kami Rice, arrived last Friday night. Kami is a freelance journalist and has hooked up with MAF UK to write some stories for them on the work of MAF Uganda. We know Kami as she was a roommate of a good friend of ours in the States. She is on a tour of various countries of Africa. She started in Ghana then onto Kenya. She is now in Uganda and from here onto Zimbabwe where she will finish up in South Africa. As I write she is on her way to Bunia, Eastern Congo for an overnight. When opportunities arise you need to take them. :)

My race with time came to an abrupt halt this morning due to Zara being a bit under the weather with a cold and a fever. The days plans were dropped and we ended up on the sofa watching pooh movies and me trying to catch up on my Bible study. God has a way of slowing you down in unexpected ways. Simon and Joshua are also struggling with coughs and Simon came back from his flight today complaining of sinus trouble. Thankfully my voice has come back as it had disappeared over the weekend. Well I'm glad its back!!

Pray for Zara that this flu would go as quickly as its come and that we would all be healthy again very soon.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

A new job

Last week I officially took over the management of the MAF Guesthouse. This is going to be an exciting challenge and I am looking forward to getting started. (our holidays end tomorrow :)) The housekeeper at the guesthouse has just gone on sick leave this week for at least a month so pray that I find the right person to replace her temporarily. Hopefully she didn't take sick leave because she found out I was going to be her new Manager. Ooops!!!
Our time in Fort Portal was a blessing in disguise as we were able to meet up with friends of ours who also use MAF services. They were able to highlight some of the things they would like to see in the guesthouse and what would benefit them when they come to Kampala for a rest. We hope to put some of these things into place over the next weeks.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Exciting holidays!!!

A bit out of sequence but Zara enjoying the open space at Mountains of the Moon Hotel

On our way to Ndali was quite the road. We didn't stay there just visited. At $250.00 a night it was cheaper just to visit. :)

A view of one of the crater lakes from Ndali Lodge

Zara relaxing at Ndali Lodge. She is waiting on her apple juice :)

Joshua with the crater lake in the background

Joshua enjoying the freedom to run around at Mountains of the Moon Hotel
(we didn't stay there either although maybe we will next time. The hotel was reopened in April after a major renovation project)

Zara sitting on a pot that made up one of the garden features at the hotel

It is difficult to see in this photo but a rare sighting of the glacier on top of the Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon). On the other side of these mountains is the Congo.

We just returned from our couple of days holidays to the West of Uganda. Instead of it being a 3 day holiday it turned into a 5 day holiday. As we left Sunday morning to return to Kampala, a four hour drive, the water pump on our car gave out. Now that is probably not a problem where you come from but for us this was going to be a challenge. God, however, in His goodness allowed it to happen just as we were leaving Fort Portal and right outside a garage. The garage of course could only supply us with more water for our radiator so that we could find a garage in the centre of town that could help us. We found a garage but, as is common in Uganda, they wanted to cheat us out of money plus they didn't have correct size of water pump for our car.

Thankfully we have friends in Fort Portal so we were able to call them up and ask their advice. To cut a long story short they towed us back to their house (bordering a tea plantation) and then called the mechanic they use to help us. He had to order a part in Kampala which was supposed to arrive so we could leave on Monday. By the time we got the part on Monday it was too late to set off. The matatu (minibus taxi) that was carrying the person with the pump had some mechanical problems on the way so hence the delay. The two mechanics were able to fit the pump last night so we could leave this morning. About an hour out of Fort Portal there was a strange noise coming from the back of the car. One of the back tyres had blown. Simon was able to change it and at the next big town we were able to get a new tube for the punctured tyre. We couldn't risk driving too long in the middle of nowhere without a spare. Despite two stops on our journey back we made it in 4 hours which is a bit of a miracle as it took us 4 hours to get to Fort Portal with only a brief stop for petrol. Mind you on the way there we hit a hail and rain storm which slowed us down considerably.
Having said all that we were able meet up with some friends while we were in Fort Portal and enjoy a lunch and a dinner in the Mountains of the Moon hotel that has just be refurbished. Wow it was really nice!!!
We are now glad to be back home and to enjoy all the comforts that it brings although having said that the power is now off. I guess some things don't change. :)

Monday, 3 September 2007

Island Ministry

Sam from Jesus Film Ministries has been looking for some land to purchase out in Lake Victoria for an Island base for JFM. This is an exciting project and a big one at that. The plan would be that Sam could set up a conference centre on this land as well as guest facilities and also an airstrip. This means he could better serve the Islanders with medical/dentist clinics, Pastors Conferences, counselling services and the list goes on. Simon and I are really excited about this opportunity and ask that you pray with us that God would provide financially for this project. Sam and I will be putting a project proposal together outlining the whole project. If you would like a copy of it please let me know and I will forward one onto you. Your prayers are vital as we seek God's will in this plan.

Holidays - Yippee

For the next week and a half we are on holiday. It is quite a strange feeling not to do any work. Our email and internet service has not been working for the last few days so that has helped to slow us down. God works in mysterious ways :)

Due to Joshua and Zara being at school we didn't plan on going anywhere but to use the time to do some things around the house. Of course there will be the odd trip to the coffee shop with some friends in between all the work :)

Having said that at the last minute on Friday I booked for us to go to Fort Portal for two nights this coming Friday. It is about a 3hr road trip from Kampala heading west. The road has greatly improved hence the reason we are going. We also have some friends who started a church out there so it will be good to catch up with them. We haven't told Joshua and Zara yet otherwise they get too excited. We will pick Joshua up early from School on Friday and head out. This means both him and Zara might sleep a bit of the way there.

Baby News

Last week our nightguard, Moses and his wife Robinah celebrated the birth of their first daughter. We are happy to say that all went well with the birth and both baby and Mum are doing well. Moses is on Paternity leave at the moment but we hope to go down to visit the little one soon.

Moses and Robinah gave us the great privilege of naming their little girl. We also got to name one of their sons whom we called Andrew. To name another family member was truly a honour. I asked Moses to give me a day to come up with a name. I didn't tell him that it took us 9 months to come up with a name for Joshua!!!! Of course Simon enjoyed coming up with some really crazy names but we eventually agreed on Ruth Joy (Ruth meaning "Friend of God" in some name books)