Monday, 8 November 2010

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Standing next to an terminte hill with the rhinos in the background. One eye was always on the rhinos and we were warned that if they charge we should climb a tree or hide behind one. Fortunately we didn't have that expereince.

Enjoying some family time together :)

Our two "swinging" monkeys

"Two peas in a pod"

Baby Augustu - Only one year old but a formidable character nonetheless.

Bella the female and Augustu

Augustu was very interested in us and the guides said that she wanted to come and play. However, this would cause problems with the mother so they were able to talk her down from coming any closer. There are rangers with these rhinos 24 hours a day to protect them from poachers so the rhinos know their voices very well. Not sure how well off we would be with a playful rhino :)

Simon and Zara strolling through the bush.

Moja the dominant male, Augustu the baby boy and Bella the mother of Augustu

It was amazing to get so close!

Our little Princess!

Safari J with his arrow. We left the bow in the car. Afterall we didn't want him mistaken for a poacher :)

The drive to the rhinos was pretty rough so we were glad we had a robust car. We were able to just park our car in the bush and walk a short distance to see them. Sometimes you need to walk up to two hours to find them. Maybe next time we will get to walk :)

Joshua saying hi to one of the many rehabilitated animals in the sanctuary.

We had a very playful kitten come by our little house to play with Joshua and Zara. They enjoyed it a lot.

In the dining room there was a wall split into three sections whereby you pay $5 to write on the wall. Depending on what part of the wall you draw on depends where the money goes. Joshua wrote on the side that supported the ranger and Zara wrote on the side that supported the local community school. The middle section was for the rhinos themselves which we were supporting anyway by staying in the sanctuary :)

Another wee friend that J and Z enjoyed following and touching.

This past Saturday we headed two and half hours North of Kampala to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. This sanctuary was established in 1997 in order to reintroduce rhinos back into Uganda. Due to poaching, hunting and an increase in human population the numbers of rhinos in Uganda have dropped significantly. Due to the civil unrest in the 1970's rhinos were poached to extinction for their horns which fetch a high price on world markets particularly in China, Asia and Yemen. In 2004 the sanctuary was completed and they now have 9 rhinos in total. After a viable population of 3o rhinos the sanctuary will release the rhinos into their original habitat in one of the National Parks in Uganda.

During our time at the sanctuary we were able to see three rhinos. The dominant male called Moja, one female called Bella and a baby called Augustu. The 9 rhinos in the sanctuary are enclosed in a 69 sq km electrified perimeter fence. This is to keep the rhinos in and the poachers out. The total length of this fence is 60km!!!

At the sanctuary they also had some other animals that they were looking after. Some bush buck, African Grey Parrots and other deer like animals. The photos will give you a better idea.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Slowly but surely we will have a new hangar

MAF Uganda is in the process of building a new hangar. This has been a project that has been a bit of a challenge from day one. This is due to different factors including weather and contractor issues. However, we are finally seeing builders making progress and the construction is beginning to look like a hangar. We are excited as to the difference this hangar will make to the maintenance of planes within MAF Uganda. I know the maintenance department are very excited at the prospect of moving out of their current hangar due to the problems it has one of them being old age :) I am sure the team overseeing this project would appreciate your prayers for work to go well and a good end to a challenging project.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Chicken "Pops"

The last three weeks have been Chicken "Pops" weeks. Three weekends ago we headed off to Jinja (2 hours East of Kampala) for a weekend away with friends. The day after we arrived Joshua had various spots on his body. At first we thought they were bed bugs (not unheard of in the place where we were staying) but the day after confirmed that it was chicken pox. He did pretty well with it and considering everyone that we were with had had it we decided to stay for the remaining two days. I think the cold water of the swimming pool helped a lot to keep the itch out.
Well two weeks on from there we were wondering if Zara would actually get it. If she didn't then we reckoned she had the constitution of an ox. However, last Friday she came out with spots and then Saturday there was a plague of them, she had them in her throat and mouth so she was very uncomfortable as you can imagine. Our little Princess was not her happy go lucky self. She was miserable. Yesterday we took her to a pool while everyone else was at church and dunked her in there to give her some relief from the itch. It seemed to do a lot of good. She was happy to swim around in the pool staying cool than sitting in our bath at home. Last night she slept in her own bed and slept all the way through so we have turned a corner towards good health. It is not fun when kiddies are unwell but glad that J and Z have both had chicken pox now and don't have to suffer it when they are older when it is much more painful.
By the way Chicken "Pops" is Zara's version of Chicken Pox :)