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 class...you 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!