Thursday, 24 October 2013

Helping hands...

The team in the hangar has just said goodbye to a team of 3 guys from an organization called Brass Tacks that volunteer their time to help other organizations in practical ways. Ferenc (Frank) and Tim are both professional electricians and the team leader Paul who is skilled in all areas of construction have all been working in the hangar for two weeks working on some finishing touches to the new hangar.
For those that haven’t heard of Brass Tacks you can check out their website at In a nutshell, Brass Tacks has on their lists over 200 volunteers of all different trades that volunteer their time to work on all kinds of projects in Europe, Asia and Africa or where ever there is need.
In our hangar they completed the planned list of jobs which consisted of installing LED lighting on the hangar floor and in the offices; fabricating and installing ducting to complete our ventilation system; and installing lighting and power sockets on the top floor of the hangar. Since they completed all the planned work in the first week…..they were able to install the solar panel system as well as complete setting up the projector and speaker system in our training/conference room!
Paul, Tim and Frank completed way beyond what was expected and have been a great encouragement to us working in the hangar, who have been too busy maintaining the aircraft to complete these final projects in the new hangar.
Thank you guys!!!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Making Memories

It has been a week of celebration in our home.

On 8th October we celebrated Abigails 1st Birthday. It was all a low key afair, but you can get away with that for a 1st Birthday.
Abigails' smiles show she enjoyed the day all the same. She had a play date with a little friend in the morning and we celebrated as a family with a Birthday tea and presents. Our baby is fast becoming a lively, mischievous little girl who keeps us very busy but is never short of smiles and giggles, especially when she is surrounded by the company of others.

Two days later I drove through the Kampala traffic jams and reached my destination with about 5 minutes to spare.
Amy was competing in her first inter primary school swimming Gala. She swam the freestyle relay race really well, making her mummy very proud. The occasion was made even more special when Rainbow International School won the whole event.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Hitting the Ground Running

Do you ever feel like you are stuck on a treadmill that is going at a speed that is too fast for you to keep up?
Life has felt a bit like that since we arrived back in Uganda two weeks ago.
Is it only two weeks? It feels much longer...

Mark knew that three days after being in the hangar, the Chief Engineer would be leaving Mark in charge for a couple of weeks so that he could visit family in the Netherlands. Mark therefore has the extra responsibility for managing the 'small' team now remaining in the hangar and making sure that maintenance is completed on time.
Having told several people whilst in the UK, that Marks work rarely involves trips up country to fix broken down planes, one such trip was required on his first day back in the hangar! He had to fly up to Kotido to change a wheel whose tire got a puncture on one of our aircraft... a long day 'in the office'.

As well as running the hangar, Mark has been busy preparing for a team from 'Brass Tacks' in the UK who have come to help finish off some electrical jobs etc around the new hangar.

Life has not been dull at home either.
Our gardener/guard for the past four & half years told us he needed to leave that week to return to his home in Congo and care for his sick father. We knew this, but had not realized he had no plans to return to Uganda and was giving up his job permanently. Emile has lived on our compound. Not only has he been the most reliable worker but he has cared for our pets, played with the children and become part of our family. With great sadness we watched Emile pack his bags and said good bye.
As I faced the task of interviewing new gardeners, Joshua's only request was that I find someone who would bounce with him on the trampoline like Emile did!

Having just about emptied the guest room of our suitcases, we welcomed a guest for a week. Heather Swanson arrived on a 'look see' visit to check out schools, houses and other amenities in preparation for her families arrival here next February. It was great to get to know Heather better and our children enjoyed making videos for her children in order to help them look forward to the big transition ahead. The Swansons come from Scotland and Andy has just completed his training as an engineer at MMS Aviation in Ohio where Mark also trained. Andy, will be a most welcome addition to the hangar team which is short of staff right now.

Amy & Joshua have settled in well at school. It has been hard work for them as they have had to 'catch up' on the 3 weeks of school they missed at the beginning of the year. The general level of tiredness has meant we have all picked up colds this past week...Half term break is around the corner so we shall try and get some rest then.
Before that, Amy has her first swimming gala where she is representing the Rainbow School team and Abigail will turn 1 ! More photos to come.