Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Another Challenge.....

Unfortunately our email/internet connection is still down due to some problems in the office. This is not our only challenge as our computer has crashed. Thankfully it turned on once more so we could get some of our files off of it. We are looking to purchase one from the States and hope to have it brought over sometime in January all going well. I am currently doing this post in the office and has taken me at least double the time than normal due to a very slow computer. Bear with us in the next couple of months if you don't hear from us as regularly.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Connections problems

We are currently having problems again with our internet/email connection. This means I need to come down to the office to check emails and/or write blog updates. Now for anyone who has visited us that is not a big deal as we are living opposite the office but when you are used to having access in the comfort of your own home it takes a bit more planning. We have a cable that runs from our house through a tree, over a wall, across the road, over another wall and then down into the MAF office where it is connected into the server. Somewhere between our connection at home and the connection in the office the world of cyberspace has gone dark. Hopefully we will be able to get it up and running again next week so we can be back in regular communication again with you all.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

New school = New challenges

Since Joshua started at Rainbow International School it has been a steep learning curve for us all. I need to get to grips with whether its a PE day or normal day and then dress Joshua and Zara accordingly (just to make it more confusing they don't have PE on the same day). Then there is their reading books, library books and also homework to be done at the end of the day. Phew its tough being a 4 year old! Zara even comes back with homework - learning nursery rhymes and her library book. Sometimes it feels like a military operation in the morning getting them ready for 7:30am to leave for school. Once I get back home I feel like it should be lunch time :) Having said all that Joshua and Zara are loving their new school and are doing really well. Joshua is being challenged which is what he needs and is loving his new teacher, Miss Lunt who is from the UK. I had his first parent/teacher conference last week. He got a glowing report which is always good for the first one. She did say he liked to talk a lot so its a good thing to keep him busy :) We give thanks for answered prayer that they have fitted in so well to a new school.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Morulem, Northern Uganda

Last Saturday Simon was flying up some freight (salt, soap and mosquito nets) to Morulem which was requested by a Japanese Doctor working in the area for a short time. This doctor is a nerve specialist working in one of the main hospitals here in Kampala. He committed to working for a year in Uganda whilst his family remained back in Japan.

Simon thought this would be a good opportunity for Joshua to go along with him as it wasn't a long flight plus the second flight wouldn't have any other passengers just freight. Joshua, Zara and I drove out to Kajjansi to meet Simon for his second flight. Joshua was really excited about flying with his Dad. Before I knew it Zara was all excited too and wanted to join her big brother. So it ended up that we all went on the flight. It was supposed to be an hour long but ended up being a lot more than that due to a strong head wind. Joshua was up front with Simon acting as co-pilot while Zara and I were behind playing games. One of them being looking for crocodiles in one of the rivers far below....there were a few objects that looked like crocodiles but they could have been a few other things too.

When we arrived at Morulem we were greeted, as usual, by a crowd of people. Joshua and Zara were the star attractions of the visit as the people pointed and wanted to touch them. Joshua is not into big crowds so he was quite happy to stay in the security of the plane. Zara, on the other hand, waved at the crowd and laughed with them. She was quite the character and would have been swamped if she had come further out the doorway. Simon allowed some of the children on the plane so they could see what it was like and one boy even had his photo taken. It is quite the highlight of the day when a plane lands at the airstrip.

The Dr. was overjoyed to see us come and couldn't help thanking us for the work that MAF does. He said that he had visited all the people that morning that he was going to distribute the soap, salt and mosquito nets to. The distribution would happen that afternoon to about 300 families if I remember rightly.

These supplies that the Dr. had purchased would not have made it up to Morulem any other way that day because of the recent flooding with roads impassable and collapsed bridges. It was a joy to go on a flight again and see the difference that MAF makes here in Uganda as well as all the places round the world.

(Sorry for the lack of photos to back this story up....we left the camera at home due to the fact that we though it was only Simon and Joshua going on the flight....maybe next time :))

Monday, 15 October 2007

Kami has moved on....

Our recent guest, Kami Rice, left us in the early hours of Saturday morning. Her next destination is Zimbabwe. Pray for a productive time there for her and a safe time. Zara used to visit Kami early in the morning with dolly and her bear Pinky. She was a bit surprised when she went into the room and found Kami gone. At breakfast Zara informed me that Kami had gone flying like it was the most sensible solution to her disappearance.

The plight of Sudan

We received an email this morning alerting us to the fact that the peace accord in Sudan could disintegrate very quickly over the next coming days and weeks. The peace accord was signed two years ago but is now in a fragile state. MAF has been asked to prepare for possible evacuations of NGO's and missions if things get too bad in Southern Sudan. To read the full BBC story of the situation you can click on the following link..
Please pray for peace to come to Sudan and that the Northern and Southern governments can find a solution to the issues that remain - mainly oil and where to cite the border between north and south.

Friday, 12 October 2007

The end of Ramadan

Today is Eid Ul -Fitr which is a holiday in the Muslim faith which signals the end of Ramadan -the month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic term meaning "festivity" or "celebration" while Fiáš­r means "to break the fast". Now you might be wondering why I am mentioning this in our blog seen as we don't hold to the Islamic faith. Well the reason is that up until last night we didn't know if Joshua or Zara would be at school today. The day does not come about on a specific date but depends on the sighting of the new moon which is checked for after sunset. This can be a bit of a problem on a cloudy night when you can't see the moon. Plus some Muslims disagree with this notion of "Moonsighting" since it does not appear in the Quran.
Anyway not long after sunset the sounds from the valley made it quite clear that Ramadan had finished. The calls to prayer all mingled together as each mosque started their celebrations and we awoke this morning to ferverent calls to prayer. As Christians let us pray for those in the muslim faith that they might come to know the true and LIVING God.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

The changing times of pass the parcel :)

Last Saturday Zara was invited to a party of one of her friends at school (Naomi, the birthday girl, is also a MAF Kid). Joshua was invited by default as Simon wasn't going to be at home to look after him. Joshua was more excited about it than Zara. They were to dress in their favourite outfits. For Zara this means anything pink and for Joshua he picked his Swiss cow t-shirt. As you can see from the photos above there were a lot of fairies and cinderella type outfits. Zara hasn't gone down that road yet but I am waiting on the moment. How long it would stay remotely fairy like on Zara is another question entirely. They played the usual party games including pass the parcel which Zara never really got the hang of. Although I have to say pass the parcel has come a long way since my childhood. Inside each wrapper is a sweetie so you never go home empty handed even if you don't get the big prize at the end. There is also enough wrappers on each parcel so each particpant gets to unwrap a layer and get a sweetie. Some parent must have come up with the idea when they were tired of dealing with distressed children who never got the big prize or never got to unwrap one of the layers. Now that I have two wee ones I sympathise entirely. Zara was very passionate about being able to unwrap a layer and get tucked into the sweetie within.

Friday, 5 October 2007


Many of you have been asking about the flooding in Uganda. If you follow this BBC link you will see pictures and read the extent to which people are suffering at the moment. There are more rains expected this month but we hope to see a drier November.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Another story please.....

Kami Rice has been staying with us during her time in Uganda. MAF has kept her extremely busy. As I write Simon, Kami and Layton (Photographer) are flying to Bundibugyo (western Uganda) to do a story on World Harvest Mission. They will be gone until tomorrow.

One of the nights that Kami was here she got cornered by Joshua and Zara to read the bedtime story. Simon and I normally limit the number of books to be read to one otherwise we would be there all night. I think Kami had gone through quite a plethora of books by the time we called it quits. Joshua and Zara enjoy having guests especially the ones that spend time with them playing or reading stories to them. As you can see from the photos above they were having a ball.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Friend or Foe

The other night we heard Chewy barking incessantly. This meant that there was something or someone bothering her. If its at the gate we don't think too much about it as its usually just someone who has got to close to the gate for her liking. This time she was barking underneath Joshua and Zara's slide. When Simon went to investigate with his rather heavy torch, which also acts as a good defence weapon, he notice a rather large lizard of a colour we hadn't seen before. We gave it plenty of room although Chewy was not for letting it roam around "her" garden so we had to literally drag her away from it until it felt safe to move on to another abode. The delights of living in Africa. You never know what you are going to see next. :)