Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Uganda team 19 Day 18 & beyond

Day 18 and beyond!

Day 18 was an early wake up…  3.30am. With our bags all packed the night before we were ready for the journey back to Entebbe airport bound for Nairobi.  The time needed to be there on time for our flight was ‘flexible’ (as time is in Africa) depending on what the early morning rush in Kampala looked like. As it happened, we made it to the airport in record time, 2hr 45mins!!  So an hour was spent in the car park eating the rolls prepared for us by Di, Maddie and Sue, until the check in for our flight was opened.
On our arrival in Nairobi we flew through the immigration so fast and the baggage was out in no time. We are not used to this speed anymore!!
A short wait for our ACTS drivers as they had the wrong arrival time, then we hit the road, headed for Ol Pejeta conservancy, ready to see some wildlife…
Our arrival at Sweetwaters Tented Camp after about 5 hours of travelling came along with oohs and aahs, as we were greeted with hot towels and fresh juice. We decided the animals could wait until morning, choosing to find our tents and relax a bit before supper…
After a supper where most of us discovered the old parable that our ‘eyes were bigger than our stomachs’, we all pretty much bailed and went to bed by 8.45. The discovery of hot water bottles in our beds ready to warm us up (the Kenyan plains are cold at night) was a nice surprise!

Next morning, all set to go on our first game drive at 6.15, after a coffee of course. We headed out as the dawn began on the plains, seeing an awesome sunrise and animals slowly coming out.  After a few Impalas, wart hogs, rhinos and jackals, we got a call on the radio that there was a lioness out on the prowl, so in true safari drive fashion our drive sped it up and we bounced our way as fast as we could to the spot. We got there and were treated to some very close up moments with the lioness as she wandered along growling. She came within 2 feet of our vehicle, which was quite special! After that we headed out to the Rhino sanctuary where they take care of a blind Rhino that wouldn’t survive if left on the plains. He is kept in a 4 acre fenced area and cared for by the local gamekeepers.  He comes up to the public and likes to be fed, so we all had a shot at patting him and feeding him some breakfast.  This made us hungry too, so we headed back to the lodge ready for some food.  You’d think we learnt our lesson the night before – nope, our stomachs although in our minds empty, just wouldn’t fit one of everything!!  After breaky we went back and relaxed for a few hours.  So right now, we’re preparing for our last team meeting and our afternoon game drive, then some of us will head out yet again tonight on the night drive….
Tomorrow we’ll have a morning drive and then head back to the airport after lunch.
Then, it’s back to reality for (almost) all of us…
Thanks again for reading and praying. It’s been a great trip and a great team!!

Andrew B.   - Pics below.

Breaky at Entebbe airport carpark


Sunrise at Entebbe airport
Waiting for driver #2 at Nairobi
At the equator on the way to safari

Roughing it at Sweet waters camp!!
Early morning 'zebra crossing'!

She got close..  cool!

Rhino feeding

Rhinos in the wild..

Our lioness wandering off..

The 'party' bus!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Uganda team 19 Day 16 & 17

Day 16 & 17

Day 16 - was for the most part fairly uneventful!!  J
We went to Abundant Life church, joined in with the singing and dancing. The men were leading the worship so us guys had to get up and dance up front with the worship leaders. Well, all except Richard who piked on us!!!
We then had an ‘awesome’ sermon by Pastor Andrew which was quite un-African in length, but Pastor George made up for it by his ‘small summary’ at the end..
After church we pretty much all slept to catch up on some well earned rest before heading to town to do our last minute souvenir shopping and picking up our paintings..
We finished off the night with a meal at All Friends which has pretty much become our Sunday night eatery…

Day 17 - began just a little slower as there were a few ‘troubled’ stomachs overnight.
Breakfast was cereal and toast as our gas had run out, BUT we were not going to be disappointed because the last rolexes were slated for lunch, and they were great after a morning of hard work finishing off the parking lot at Village of Hope.  We had brick layers, spreaders of rock, people clearing the future netball court with hoes..
We headed home for that great lunch, rested a bit, then headed to Hope Community High School for the annual volleyball challenge.  We were determined to win this time and had even planted Andrew as the referee in the (not likely) event that we weren’t good enough!!
Andrew was too impartial and we lost the first match, BUT came back like bosses in the second and won, much to obvious disappointment of Robert Kafeero as he castigated his team J
After another short rest at Suubi, and we headed up to the Village for our farewell ceremony.  Speeches by all, thank yous all around, some crazy dancing and a warm soda were all part of the ceremony.  We finally tore ourselves away from the kids and mothers and staff, had a quick supper and began the arduous task of packing and cleaning (no mean feat for Josie!)

Tomorrow morning at 4am we’re off to the airport headed to Kenya for safari.
Probably fewer (or no) blogs for the next few days, BUT we’d really appreciate your prayers for all the activities and travels of the next few days..
Thank you all for following our epic trip and keeping us in your prayers and hearts…

Andrew B

Pics below...

The 'A-Team' of Parking lot constructors!!

The YSU chicken coop is coming along
The challenge is on!

Richard serving a ripper!

Time for a huddle, getting our 'win' on..

Charles busting a move!!

One cool Village kid!!

Soda time - farewell team 19!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Uganda team 19 Day 15

Day 15

Today started off with breaky consisting of rolex’s and chapatti’s, then Richard lead us in devotions about taking small steps in your relationship with Christ. Then we went to Home of Hope to do more work on finishing off the kitchen, which consisted of rendering the inside and out. The kitchen is almost done and the cooks are pretty excited at using the new space. 
While this was happening some of the others played with the kids and did some drawing and coloring as well as some therapy sessions with them.
We worked in the hot sun until lunch then came back to Suubi and had vegetable and mince pies for lunch.

After lunch we just relaxed for an hour or two. We then went to the village of Hope to play with the kids - the boys played a game of soccer, which was a lot of fun, and the girls played some other games and chatted. After the village we came back to Suubi and chilled before supper…
We finished off our evening with a team meeting as tonight is our last night with Phil and Nathan who head home tomorrow..

Ryan D.

Pics below...

Home of Hope!!

Beautiful kids...

The awesome new kitchen!

Hard at work rendering

Looks great!

Our junior renderer!

Jeff and Amy!! Awww

View from high up

Amy G and Farouk! sweet!

We have to win this time!
Our new car park ... with a car on it!!

Josie reads a mean story!

Checking out photos with Sue..  

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Uganda team 19 Day 14

Day 14

Today, while some chose the ‘soft’ option of souvenir shopping and lazing around the pool, the more intrepid among us headed off to battle the raging rapids of the river Nile.  At 8.30am Fred picked us up in a nice red comfortable bus (that required no pushing) and we travelled to the Adrift Base to wait for the other rafting groups to arrive.

While waiting we were kept amused by a Kiwi girl who did a bungee jump, and Maddie and Josie who attempted to haul themselves into the upside down kayak hanging from the rafters in the lounge area. They did a pretty good job of it and managed to get themselves into position long enough to pose for a photo.

Eventually all the groups arrived and we all got back onto the bus to travel 40 minutes to the launch site. Once there we were treated to tea, coffee, cake and bananas before meeting our fellow rafters. In raft number one were Phil, Ryan, Maddie, Josie, Nat and Dave, along with two nicely attired South Korean gentleman (cos we all wear trousers and shirts when we go rafting). They were expertly assisted by Sadat who also helped the South Korean gents to tie their spectacles on with string.

The expertise of Di, Sue and Sam was required on the safety boat so we made ourselves available to Grace (our Kiwi guide) and Sadal who expertly guided us through the rapids ahead of all the rafts so we could position ourselves to help the rafters who tumbled from their vessels when pulsing through the rapids.

The rapids we tackled were rated from grade 3 through to grade 5 and had exciting names, including 50/50, Nile Special and Overtime. Halfway through our day we stopped off at Gilligan’s Island (just kidding) to enjoy a super yummy lunch of wraps and salad.

While we were eating, a raging thunderstorm rolled in. But did rolling thunder and pelting rain stop us? NO! Back into the rafts we threw ourselves to continue to the thrill and spills of the Nile rapids. In between rapids we plunged into the water and let the current pull us along. It was actually quite warm in the water (hmmm….why?)

Finally after 26 kilometres and 5 ½ hours of wonderful scenery and tumbling waters we arrived at our final destination for a yummy BBQ and salad with a cold beer or soft drink. Josie and Maddie were still smiling, Di was picking bits of raw fish from her teeth (one of the kayakers did a bit of fishing on the way and tied his fish to the safety boat), Phil was done hitching his pants up and Ryan and Nat had finished translating for the South Koreans!

I self-appointed myself ‘legend of the day’ for hauling one dumped rafter into the safety boat and we all boarded the bus for our ride back to Suubi House in time for a good feed of spaghetti. What a great day!

Sue G

The team!!


Think we made it..

Nope!!  we didn't!

Hey! where are those legs off to?

Oops..  everybody out!

Drowned rats!!  Rain and Nile = wet!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Uganda team 19 Day 13

Day 13

The day started with our usual breakfast followed by Amy G’s thought provoking devotion about Saul which gave us some inspiration for the day.

After taking our life into our hands riding in the van home from the “Black Lantern” restaurant last night, the first job of the day was to get the van fixed. It was felt that since the tailgate was nearly falling off, and the back two rows off seats had become loose (which made those of us in the back seats feel we were about to fall our the back door), that some work needed to be done. Ignoring this, with the fact that we need to roll start the van daily, that the windscreen wipers don’t work and that you can’t open the door from the inside, this van has never failed to get us from point A to point B! I think this is a good example of African life!

The team’s morning was spent working on the new car park at “The Village of Hope”. The team was amazing today. The way everybody worked together was a sight to see, and the team was almost able to get the car park finished in half a day. Richard has a new specialty in rendering, Josie continued to be unstoppable in her enthusiasm for shoveling (which the writer was happy to encourage her to keep going as she was doing such a good job!), some made an impressive great production line moving bricks and others shoveled, barrowed and raked the crushed rock into place. Well done all!

After a short break for lunch the team then headed to the “Jinja Christian School” (for primary kids) a few hundred metres up the road. After another inspiring info session, this time from Ron and Anne (Australian’s who had been on an earlier “team” to Uganda and set up the school three years ago), the team’s task was to run sports activities for the afternoon. After several planning meetings by Amy G, Nat, Amy S, Maddie (and Ryan who FTA a single meeting), the team then ran the “best organized activities ever”! Netball was a huge success (although Di needed to keep her elbow’s a bit more tucked in). Tunnel ball, What’s the time Mr. Wolf ?, “Ship, shark , shore”  and poison ball were also enjoyed.
However, the writer cannot let the game of soccer go unmentioned. After a “nil all” draw in the first game, the second game was again a closely fought tussle- Charles was a “rock” in goals, Richard and Ryan were stoic in defence, with Ben S up forward. The deadlock was finally broken when Nathan McK passed to yours truly for a tap in goal. This was then followed by an amazing corner ball from Nathaniel to yours truly again for an header in to the net (if the goal had a net that is!).
Final score:  “Mzungu’s 2, Uganda 0.
It was a great afternoon had by all, and it was a pleasure to play with these thankful children and see their smiling faces.

Exhausted, we just had enough strength to walk back to Suubi House for “supper”. Charles announced today’s “Legend of the Day” : Nathaniel, for his “power of work” this morning and his ability to control the herd of school children in the arvo – congrats.

Another great day – Phil McK

Pics below....

Leveling begins

Team work gets it done!
Our new gifted renderer!

Now we add the stones.  Hard working ladies!
Looks good huh???

Jinja Christian School play time..
Lets get them organised..
Tunnel ball is always a hit!
Games in full swing
Our new netball star - she's signing up at home!
Charles, meet Charles!!