Well CHOGM week has come and gone along with the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Then there were 53 Heads of State and 5000 delegates who all returned to their homelands this past weekend.
Simon along with another pilot did a VIP flight last Friday for Sir Trevor McDonald who was reporting on the Queen and Prince Philips visit. Simon was able to see Prince Philip on a couple of occasions and get a glimpse of what a day in the life of a Prince looks like. By the end of the day Simon was more convinced than ever that being Royalty isn’t all that its cracked up to be.
After that we were invited to join some friends who were holidaying about 2 hours east of Kampala in Jinja. We took off for the weekend to visit them and met up with a few of Joshua’s school friends who were also escaping the chaos of Kampala. It was a relaxing weekend and we enjoyed it a lot. We left Saturday afternoon to go to Jinja and that afternoon Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Jinja just 5 minutes from where we were staying. They had wanted to come and visit the place where we were staying but the owners said that it would be too much disruption for the guests so they had to go visit somewhere else. I guess even royalty have boundaries.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
The acronym has many variations (some quite funny) but the true one is Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. This meeting is taking place this week and it is no ordinary meeting. HRH Queen Elizabeth II will be arriving tomorrow. There are also 53 other Heads of State and 5000 delegates arriving during this week too. For most countries it would be a bit of a logistical challenge to host such an event and for Uganda we would say that it has been a bit more than that. Having said that we have seen roads re-surfaced and some roads even seeing tar for the first time in their lives, hotels springing out of nowhere, rubbish bins being placed around town and various other amenities that we didn’t think we would ever see in Uganda. Most Mzungus (white foreigners) are seeking refuge in various other parts of Uganda or neighbouring countries to avoid the impending chaos. For us, we decided to stay and “enjoy” the event. School children are especially happy for CHOGM as they have no school this week. It seemed it was easier to close schools rather than teachers and parents have to battle through traffic, cope with road closures and numerous other inconveniences that might arise. MAF is open for business although flights have been greatly reduced to avoid too much disappointment if they can’t go ahead because of closed roads or airspace. Once we get into the post CHOGM stage we will re-surface again and let you know how it all went J
Monday, 19 November 2007
Sam and I have had a difficult time over the last couple of months trying to find time to sit together to put stories together for the MAF space. Our schedules have been quite hectic but thankfully last week we managed it. You can check on the JFM link at the side of our blog for some new stories. I hope to be able to update the JFM space on a regular basis just as before. Enjoy reading again of what God is doing in Uganda and Sudan through JFM.
Thursday, 15 November 2007
It was a sad day on Wednesday when we had to say goodbye to a good friend of mine from home, Sharon Brown. Sharon came over to visit from Scotland for two and a half weeks. We had a lot of fun together and Joshua and Zara were thoroughly spoiled. We were able to take a couple of days holiday and visit a game park. After a very long game drive (5 hours) we finally managed to see lions. 5 to be exact. We also saw a baby elephant which had to be helped up an embankment by its rather large mummy and also witness the first few steps of a Ugandan Kob (deer like animal) which had just been born 5 minutes before we arrived. It doesn't seem to matter how often you go on safari you always see something new. More pictures will follow in the future as Sharon took a lot more than us :)
A few weeks ago Simon flew a team back from Yei in Southern Sudan to Kampala. You might be wondering what was so special about this team that I would write about them. Well they were all from Scotland. It was a wee touch of heaven having a bunch of Scots all together at one time (as you can see I am not biased at all). They were a great bunch of guys and we were able to have them over for a barbecue and enjoy some Scots fellowship. Joshua and Zara loved all the additional attention and even got to stay up late that night so that was an extra bonus.
Saturday, 10 November 2007
Due to being silent for a couple of weeks there is a lot to tell. Don't worry I won't give you a detailed account of all that has happened but an overview :). If my memory serves me well you will remember that Jacqueline (Partner in crime for the guesthouse) and I were busy getting ready to move to the new guesthouse. Well it has happened. We had some very long days in order to make it work along with a few willing helpers. We had one day to move, get everything set up before more guests arrived. If that wasn't enough of a challenge there was no power. So it was a race against the clock to get everything done before 7pm. Of course it didn't happen but thanks to my husband and a few helpful souls we managed to get one light on in the house using our car, our invertor and a few wires connected in the right places. The whole move looked like one of those TV shows back home where a team have one week to remodel a house. The only difference was that we didn't have a week. As we were preparing to go home after a VERY long day we got a phone call from our bookings officer to say that she had come across 2 Irish couples looking for a bed for the night. They had tried to get into other places but to no avail. All we could offer them was a mattress on the floor as two of the rooms were not ready to be occupied. It was all hands on deck to make the room look presentable with the only difference being that there were no beds just some lovely made up mattresses. The two couples were relieved that they didn't have to sleep in their cars and greatly appreciated the hospitality offered. We are now into our second week and there is still bits and pieces to be done but a great improvement from two weeks ago.
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
Sorry about the silence from this side of the world. It looks like we may be able to borrow a computer from friends of ours on Friday which is an answer to prayer. I will do a proper update then. The computer I am using in the office is working at a snail pace even by African standards and is a wee bit frustrating to use to say the least. Looking forward to giving an update on Friday.