Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Snap shots from the MAF Christmas party

Zara watching the puppets

Joshua and Luuk watching the puppets with much enjoyment

The first at a MAF Christmas party - Line Dancing

We had a great day at the MAF Christmas party last week. Our MAF Puppet Team (Out of the Blue) were a big hit again along with some line dancing. There are rumours that I need to organise a ceidlh for next year....YIKES! Anyone planning on coming over from Scotland to help????

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Tango Charlie

Our Cessna 210, call sign Foxtrot Tango Charlie (FTC) is now back from Bulago island and has a new nose (propeller). Simon flew to the island with one of the other pilots and engineers where they fitted a new propeller. The engineers had completed an engine check to make sure it hadn't been damaged during the prop strike. Thankfully the verdict came back that it was safe to fly back to the mainland but the engine would still need to be sent back to the States for further checks. Simon went armed with his helmet, life jacket and lots of prayer :) He took off and climbed up to 11,000 ft before descending into MAF's Kajjansi airfield. The flight is not long but with climbing to that height, if the engine did quit on him, then we would have enough gliding distance to make it. Thankfully none of the safety precautions were needed and the plane and he arrived safely and all in one piece. Another prayer answered!!!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Praises and Prayer Requests

Please note the updated Praises and Prayer requests!

Another Update...

The start of the 2hr boat ride to Buvu Island in Lake Victoria

View of Buvu Island from Lake Victoira

The first Church on the Island which I think took 2 years to build!

One of the few boda bodas (motorbikes) on the Island to look at the potential location of the new airstrip. A lot of work to be done!

The team that went out to scope it all out.
(L to R Brad who is an engineer from EMI, Simon, Sam Tsapwe from Jesus Film Ministries and Adrian Went, MAF's Operations Manager)



Well it is definately time for another update. A lot has happened since my last post so I will try to fill you all in while we have power. The power went off on Sunday afternoon and came back on for a couple of hours today and then went off again. Thankfully it is back tonight. Hopefully it stays on :) Anyway I had better get writing this post in case it does go off.

Simon had a productive time down in South Africa at the end of October. He was doing some MAF training in order to be qualified as a Check Pilot. We give thanks that he passed the training and is now officially a MAF Check pilot on the Caravan (Cessna 208). This means he can check out new pilots in MAF programmes and also keep the other pilots up to date on all their 6 monthly checks. He continues to also be Chief Pilot for the programme and Chief Safety Officer so he spends quite a bit of his time behind the computer than he used to much to his dismay. :)

Simon had an unfortunate incident last week when he had a propeller strike on one of the smaller planes (Cessna 210). He was taxiing and making a last turn before take off when the nose wheel of the plane went into a hole caused by termites. The weight of the plane caused the ground to disappear into a hole. The propeller then hit the ground and so as a safety measure the engine has to be thoroughly inspected for damage. The plane will be out of service until January. The programme is really busy with flying at the moment so not the best timing but we do hope to have another plane in our programme soon so that should lessen the burden. We are just grateful it was nothing more serious and that Simon is fine.

Simon was also busy last week visiting an island out in Lake Victoria called Buvu. After many years of trying to encourage the programme to look at possible ways of helping the people out in Lake Victoria we finally had a break through. Simon, Sam from Jesus Film Ministries and Adrian our Operations Manager travelled by boat for two hours to reach Buvu Island and meet with the officials there about building an airstrip on the Island. There has been funding from the UK for this project and we are excited about the possibilty of it becoming a reality for the people there. At the moment there is no clinic or pharmacy/chemist on the Island so people have to travel to the mainland for medicines. For them it can be a 3 hours journey in a leaky boat added with the fact that many Ugandans have a great fear of water. Hopefully by building an airstrip on the Island NGO's and other aid organisations will be happy to invest time to go and give assistance to the Islanders on Buvu as well as neighbouring islands. Also with that the hope of Jesus Christ.

While Simon has been galavanting around Joshua, Zara and I have been holding the fort at home. While Simon was in South Africa Joshua and Zara had their Autumn break. We were able to do some fun things together and even went horseriding. The place where we went horseriding was hosting some top African leaders and Presidents so we had to negotiate our way in. After a few chats with the military personnel and police at several points we managed to get into the resort. We didn't have the same freedom to roam around like we normally do but Joshua and Zara had fun nevertheless. During that time we also had some of the MAF EDRC (Congo) team staying with us because of the insecurity so the house wasn't quiet :)
Not only do Joshua and Zara keep me busy but also my work with MAF. At the moment I am working with a friend on a project out at the MAF airstrip in Kajjansi. We are involved in some re-structuring of how work is currently carried out there as well as implementing some new processes and procedures. Our flights have increased a lot in recent years but the resources have remained the same so the staff out there needed a little help in re-organising to accommodate this increase in workload so that they wouldn't disappear under the pressure of it all. It is a fun project and I am learning a lot through the process.

My role with training continues. At the moment I and another colleague are finishing off some Customer Care training with all the MAF staff. We are organising some First Aid training next week and then at the beginning of 2009 I have organised some Project Management training which a friend is going to teach so exciting times ahead.

Along with all the work I have been hosting a Bible Study at our house for some ladies for the past few weeks. We are going through the Book of Philippians. A friend is leading the study and it has been of great benefit to those who have attended. We have been challenged to look at Paul's devotion to Christ and his sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel. We pray that we would be changed forever by what we learn through Pauls writings to the Philippians.
I will add some photos to this blog to give you a picture of some of the things we have been up to.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Barnaby Bear came to visit

Last week Joshua came home from school with Barnaby Bear. This bear is supposed to visit all the homes of the children in "his" classroom. Last week it was Joshua's turn. He was so excited. Barnaby Bear also has a diary which Joshua was supposed to write in and tell of Barnaby Bear's adventures at the Wunderli home. Joshua was also to draw pictures of the things that Barnaby got up to but we decided to take photos instead and then stick the printed photos in his diary just to be a little different. Above are some of the photos we took.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Bunia Evacuation and other news

Last Friday we got a phone call to say that the MAF Congo team were evacuating out of Bunia, East DRC due to rebel activity. We suspected that earlier in the day that this was going to happen but were not sure. Simon had flown into Bunia that afternoon but the situation was still uncertain as to whether a evacuation was necessary. Anyway by early evening we were told that the team were evacuating and had been given permission to fly at night. Simon and one of the other guys went pick them up at Entebbe. We have three people staying with us. One of them is a good friend of ours Sheryl Strietzel. Her and her husband had just returned to Bunia a month ago after the last problems there. Lary and one of the other pilots have remained in Congo to carry on doing the flying. Some of the team plan to return at the end of this week however, Sheryl and the couple will remain in Uganda until maintenance on one of the planes is finished and then will fly in after that. The couple, Caleb and Emily Winter, who are staying with us recently graduated from Moody Aviation. (Caleb did anyway) They were to do their internship in Congo but God had other plans for this time. Hopefully they will be able to continue in a couple of weeks.

Anyway we have a full house again. I didn't think we would have guests until Christmas time when my Mum comes to visit but God had other plans again.

Simon is off to South Africa next week to do his check pilot course. Please pray for him as there has been a lot of pre work aswell as a full program once he gets there. Pray for good weather and that all goes well with the course. Pray for us as we remain at home. Joshua and Zara will be on holiday next week so pray we have a good time together despite Simon being gone. Also that it would work out with all our guests too :)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

HRH Crown Princess of Denmark

Last week Simon had the privilege of flying the Crown Princess of Denmark around Uganda. This trip was inconjunction with the Danish Refugee Council. The Princess was visiting various places where the Danish Refugee Council work in Northern Uganda. Simon said she enjoyed the time in Uganda and had a wish to return at some point. The photographs above were taken from the MAF Denmark website.

Zara was especially excited as she loves anything to do with Princesses (not sure who she got that from??) she was asking Simon on the phone during the week what the Princess was wearing and if he was bringing her back to our house. It was quite the week for Zara that her Daddy was flying a real live Princesss.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Gingerbread Man

Zara playing on the newly constructed pirate ship at school while waiting for Joshua's assembly to start

Zara our little posing Princess

Joshua was excited this week as it was his classes turn to take the Infant Assembly at school. They were performing the story of the Gingerbread Man and Joshua was the Gingerbread Man. Another bonus was the fact that Simon could also attend as he had a non-flying day. Joshua did a splendid job of being the Gingerbread Man and we were wondering how they were going to portray the fox eating the gingerbread man. However, I guess in Uganda they have a different version (or they changed it!) because at just the last minute the little old man and the little old woman came running to his rescue and delivered the gingerbread man from the wily old fox.
(Sorry the pictures are not so good of Johsua, the lighting in the music room is not good for photography)

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Rainy Season

We are in the midst of rainy season at the moment. Phew can it rain!!!! The other day I was coming back from a friends house with Zara in the MAF van. (our car was out of service awaiting a new battery). As I was going up one of the hills the van started to slide and the wheels were spinning. It took about 10 trys before I managed to make it up the hill. Zara was sitting next to me and she kindly advised me..."Mummy we should just go back to Ilonka's (friend) house and sleep there for the night.." Thankfully once I managed to get it into 4WD we made it up the hill. When we got to the top of the hill we both thanked the Lord for a successful mission through the mud. Please pray for our pilots during this season of rain and storms that they would have wisdom and an alertness to juggle all the necessary decisions that need to be made. Also I would value your prayers for driving on the roads especially when taking Joshua and Zara to school that we would have safe passage. I will try and take some photos this week so you can get a better idea of the conditions ;)

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

For your interest

Our MAF Uganda website has just gone live in the last couple of weeks. You can check it out by clicking on the following link or clicking on MAF Uganda in the Interesting links section of our blog.

I have also managed to meet up with Sam from Jesus Film Ministries again for some stories. You can click on Jesus Film Ministries in the Interesting Link section and read some of the amazing things God is doing in Uganda.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Family/Work Update

The summer holidays are coming to a close. Joshua and Zara start school again tomorrow. They both move up a class. Joshua into Grade 1 and Zara into Kindergarten (she was in the nursery class before). It will be strange not having them around the house although I will have Zara around during the week as she is only 3 days at school. They are both looking forward to returning and seeing their friends again. Zara said to me the other day...they have lots of toys in my can see where her loyalties lie.

We were truly grateful for our 10 day break in Tanzania. We were ready for a holiday by the time it came around as the previous weeks had been rather hectic. On our return from Tanzania I took up the role of Acting Programme Manager for two weeks due to our Programme Manager being on furlough and our Operations Manager on holiday. It was a challenging week but I enjoyed the glimpse into what life is like in that role...BUSY!! Thankfully it was only a two week stint and now I am back into my regular work as co-running the MAF Guesthouse and organising training. Our Guesthouse is keeping Jacqueline and I on our toes. We are now offering evening meals and continually trying to keep up with all the challenges that a guesthouse brings in Africa. The training side of life will be picking up the pace soon as a friend and I are putting together a Project Management Course. We hope to offer this course to all the Managers as well as some other folks who would benefit from it. Ilonka (Training Co-ordinator for Sudan) and I are planning our next Customer Care course for the Operations Department, Finance Department and then last but not least Kajjansi Airfield staff. We started Customer Care in June and hope to get through all the departments by October.

Due to the internet being down on and off the last few days I haven't managed to publish this post. We give thanks that Joshua and Zara are enjoying school and have got off to a good start.

Simon has base checks this week so he is busy with organising everything as well as being checked out himself. Pray the weather stays fair for all the base checks to be done. Hansjoerg Schl├Ątter from TZ is here to do the base checks and it is quite a tight schedule. We knew Hansjoerg and his family from our Moody days and they are the family that we met up with at Lazy Lagoon. Small world!! :)

Monday, 18 August 2008

Kidepo Valley

The place we stayed was the settlement in the distance. Kind of difficult to see in such a small picture. The lodge is the nearest settlement in the picture.

Unloading from the plane. We were only gone two nights. It looked like we had packed for a lifetime stay. A lot of it was food as we had to bring all our food in for our stay.

12 of us sitting on dining room chairs in the back of a pick up. It was definately a interesting safari especially when we came across lions, elephants and buffalo. I felt particularly exposed.

Zara our little Princess!

Bulbul the elephant who is a regular visit to the camp. As I was using the bathroom I happened to look out the window and there was bulbul looking straight back at me. It must be one of my most unique bathroom moments. Unfortunately I didn't have the camera with me in the bathroom. In the picture Simon, Joshua and Zara just coming out the bathroom.

Tim the King of the Pride

Bulbul on the wander again...Joshua and Mat also took a walk.

This was the first time we saw Zebra's in the wild. We even woke up one morning and they were grazing outside our banda.

These buffalo can be even more dangerous than lions.

Who says lions can't climb trees!

A beautiful sight watching these giraffe wander the savannah lands.

An angry Mummy elephant who was none to pleased to be separated from her baby. We were on the road, the Mummy elephant had already crossed the road but the baby hadn't. Yikes it was a bit tense for a while.

A couple of weekends ago we had the opportunity to go up to Kidepo National Park. This is the most remote park in Uganda. Simon has always wanted to visit this park since we arrived in Uganda but it hasn't been possible. Anyway an opportunity arose and we jumped on it. However, the accommodation was rather basic, a small banda with two beds in for 4 of us. Mmmm rather cosy shall we say. The lodge further up from where we were staying would have cost us $1,000 per night for the 4 of us. As it happened it only cost us $15 per night for the 4 of us at the UWA (Uganda Wildlfe Authority). It was a bit interesting at night when you needed to go to the bathroom as it was communal. The only problem being that you had to cross a grassy area, navigate round two ditches and avoid any animals that might have wandered in. That could range from buffalo, elephants, lions, jackals, zebra and goodness knows what else. I will leave it to your imagination as to how we overcame that problem. :) Enjoy the photos!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Tanzanian Travels - Lazy Lagoon

This one is a bit out of sync due to me deleting it by mistake. Anyway J and Z having their morning Chai (tea)

The view of the beach outside our banda on Lazy Lagoon

Simon and Zara on the boat ride to Lazy Lagoon

Pam and Joshua on the same boat :)

Our "home" for the five nights. The loft area was where J and Z slept. They thought it was pretty exciting.

We set the kids a challenge to make the biggest sandcastle. Of course the Mums and Dads were involved too. This one we made outside our banda so we could watch the tide come in and dismantle it. Even on the day we left the sandcastle still stood with only some battering from the ocean.

Gives you some perspective on how big the sandcastle was :)

At 7am we had Chai (tea) delivered to our Banda. J and Z got really into. Very milky tea with sugar in it. Even now they still ask for some. I don't tell them that at home they only get warm milk with a little sugar...cuts out the caffeine :)

Zara loved looking for starfish in the many pools when the tide was out. Trying to carry them all was not quite so easy.

The nets were soon abandoned when they were told the starfish wouldn't do them any harm

J and Z with Rahel. The managed to carry 12 starfish between them colouring from red to green to grey.

Z drawing pictures in the sand.

A morning of kayaking with our friends. Zara wanted to be as big as the other kids and use a paddle

Joshua and I senting off on an adventure against the tide. He talked the whole way....if he had used his paddle as much goodness knows where we would have ended up :)

Monday, 28 July 2008

Tanzanian Travels - White Sands

On our flight with Air Uganda from Entebbe to Dar Es Salaam we made a quick stop in Kilimanjaro to pick up more passengers. This is a view of Mount Kiliminjaro from the plane. (its the furtherest away mountain in the photo)

Our early rise of 4am took its toll as you can see. This is J and Z finally giving in to tiredness on the taxi ride from Dar Es Salaam airport to White Sands Hotel.

A windy afternoon on the beach at White Sands

Waterworld next to our hotel. The kids loved all the slides.

Me on one of the slides at waterworld...felt like a kid again :)

Joshua our little fish....

and Zara our second little fish...

Simon and Zara enjoying the waves of the Indian Ocean

The Wunderli blog has been quiet for the past couple of weeks or so and the reason for this is that we were in Tanzania. We were able to take some time off and go to Tanzania for 10 days. It truly was a blessing from the Lord!!! The first 5 days we stayed in a hotel on the beach called White Sands just north of Dar es Salaam. The second 5 days we headed further north to a place called Lazy Lagoon (just what we be lazy!!!). There are 10 bandas (little round houses) on a penisula that you travel to by boat. It was like being on a tropical island and so quiet. The kids loved it. We were able to meet up with some friends of ours from the MAF Tanzania programme. They have three children so Joshua and Zara had a blast. The photos above will do more justice than I can put into words so enjoy them.
The Lazy Lagoon photos will follow in time. It took me two hours just to put these on due to a slow internet connection :(