Saturday, 23 April 2011

Catch up time

It has been a while since I have given an update and that is largely due to Joshua, Zara and I being unwell and then having some holidays in the west of Uganda for the Easter school break.

Prior to the holidays Joshua first of all came down with a stomach bug which lasted about a week on and off.  Then Zara and I came down with it.  Thankfully Joshua and Zara only had a stomach bug and it righted itself within in a few days although Zara was given medication from the doctor to stop her being sick.  I, unfortunately, had an amoeba (will let you google that one :).  I haven't felt that sick in a long time.  The medication also had some side effects so it took a while to get over it.  Thankfully, as of today we are all healthy again.

Simon and I took some days off while Joshua and Zara were on school break.  We headed with our tent to the west of Uganda to Lake Albert.  It took us 3 hours on a tarmac road and then a further 2 hours on a dirt road to finally arrive at our destination.  If we had taken a MAF plane we would have been there in 50 minutes.  Ah the luxury of flying!  Anyway we enjoyed the drive as we got to see parts of Uganda that we hadn't seen before.  It was a hot few days and not cooling much below 100F each day.  Thankfully the lodge had a small swimming pool which we were able to take advantage of which cooled us down somewhat.

We had plenty of adventures while we were there.  Two nights we slept in the tent, well Joshua, Zara and I did and Simon slept in his hammock outside.  The third night the owner of the lodge came to us and asked if we would like to use one of his little cottages as he wasn't busy at all.  We took him up on his offer since we hadn't slept much the last two nights due to the wind blowing quite strongly.

Throughout the week we encountered snakes, one being a black mamba (a very poisonous snake) which was in the cottage two down from us.  The owner of the lodge is a hunter so he came with his rifle and shot it.  It was 8ft long.  Photos to come.  The next day I was lying on the bed reading when something dropped from the roof, it was a bit of the grass (thatched cottage) and low and behold in the rafters was a snake.  Thankfully it wasn't that big and we found out later that it was a grass snake so we were in no danger.  Felt a bit odd going to bed that night not knowing where the snake was though.  Praise the Lord for mosquito nets.

Joshua and I also encountered a very large baboon which kept popping out of the bush as if it was stalking us.  Thankfully it didn't try and come in and steal any food.  They can be known to be quite vicious.  I had plenty things nearby to throw at him if he did try and come any closer :)

A couple that stayed at the lodge for two nights were professional hunters from the States.  One night they had gone out and killed a very large warthog.  We were able to go and see the staff skin and prepare the skin for it to be sent to the States in two or so months time.  It was quite the sight.  Joshua and Zara enjoyed all these experiences and thankfully took them all in their stride.

Unfortunately we had to cut our holiday short due to Joshua having very bad earache.  We drove back to Kampala on Sunday and went straight to the clinic.  He was given ear drops and then to come back in three days for his ear to be syringed.  He is back to normal now and in no pain which we are grateful for.

Another blessing of coming back on Sunday which, we believe, God orchestrated was that we missed the riots on the Monday.  During the time we were away there were some problems around Uganda including Kampala due to the increase in fuel and food costs.  The road we would have travelled into Kampala on was a hot spot for trouble which included riot police and tear gas.  We were glad we didn't have to witness that.  There has been more trouble this week but thankfully we are getting reports from the British High Commission and from other sources as to where the trouble is located so we just stay at home or avoid those areas.  We would value your prayers for Uganda that these troubles don't escalate into what we are seeing further north in Africa.