Thursday, 28 January 2010

Mary's Reunion...

We’ve really enjoyed the company of Phil and Swanny (friends from St Mary's Medical School) over the past 3 weeks and 3 months respectively and are sad to see them both go this week. They have been an integral part of our adventures here and we will really miss them.

Off to Lake Nabugabo...

Amy’s birthday continued with an overnight camping trip to Lake Nabugabo, an idyllic setting about 2.5 hours West of Kampala. 9 of us, 2 tents and a BBQ squeezed into Jasper and we arrived to find we had the resort to ourselves, apart from the donkeys. We pitched camp right on the beach and spent 2 happy days lazing in and by the lake, playing games and dining on freshly caught fish. We topped off Amy's birthday with marshmallows toasted on our camp fire and BBQ'd chocolate bananas.

High School Musical 8!

Amys 8th birthday party was themed along High School Musical lines, especially poignant as our friend Naltalie, who is currently living with us, bears an uncanny resemblance to the leading lady, Gabriella (as pictured with the girls here). To build up to the movie screening (projected from our laptop onto a wall) we had face painting, a nail bar, and jewellry making. And to work off the excesses of the party tea, we were subjected to the sing-along/dance-along version!

Friday, 15 January 2010

We call it 'Playdoh'...

Alan went with Bella to introduce the Ugandan children at Naomi's nursery to the wonders of Playdoh, made from flour, water, salt and colouring. They played with it for hours and seemed to enjoy sticking it to their faces!

Village Life

Last weekend we visited a village 2 hours outside Kampala with new VSO arrivals Diane and Sarah. Diane's sister was adopted from the village and she is now setting up a mother and toddler group there. We stayed for some delicious lunch and the women put on a traditional Ugandan dance for us. We were made to feel very welcome. The girs swapped versions of their favourite games with the gang of local children, which included variations on 'Oranges and Lemons', 'What's the Time Mr Wolf?' and a lethal game of Tug of War with no rope!

Ahoy me hearties...!

Amy and Zoe went to a pirate party with their friend Sarah. Would you mess with these guys?

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

hello 2010!

2009 drew to a close with horse-riding, a boat trip on Lake Victoria and even a round of golf amongst the sugar plantations. And the New Year was brought in on the Nile at Jinja.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

On Christmas moring, we were lucky enough to share a little Christmas spirit with our less fortunate neighbours and those stuck in hospital and also distributed some goodies that the girls had wrapped.

White Christmas (bunnies)

We also managed to commission a fetching pink rabbit hutch to house the 2 Christmas bunnies that we had bought for the girls, although transporting it home on Christmas Eve proved a challenge! The bunnies have been the centre of attention ever since, although Alan’s herb garden is suffering somewhat.

Santa makes it to Kampala

Much to the girls delight, Santa managed to find his way to our house in Kampala, although Grandpa Cowan and Alan were only too eager to be the back-up plan, in case he got lost. We were 20 strong for Christmas lunch around the pool at Speke Resort and in sympathy with the British weather, we had rain all day!

Christmas Capers

We were back in Kampala in good time to enjoy the run-up to Christmas with friends and family. Amongst other things, this included Amy reading at the hospital’s Christmas Carol Service, the obligatory Christmas panto and a house full on Christmas Eve with mulled wine and mince pies aplenty.

Service without a smile...!

Staff were thin on the ground at the Red Chilli Rest Camp in Murchison Falls…

Northern Exposure

As well as the arrival of Christmas, we had the visit of Granny and Grandpa Cowan to look forward to. We managed to arrange a 66kg luggage allowance each (which they impressively exceeded) in order to bring out books and clothes for some of the kids out here- thank you to all those who contributed. No sooner had their feet touched the Kampala soil, than they were whisked off, along with our friend Swanny, in Jasper our trusty tour bus, up to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and then on to the spectular scenery of Murchison Falls National Park. Needless to say, in true Ugandan style, we had a few run-ins with the wildlife, but emerged unscathed…

The GrandCowans in Kampala!

...obviously we don't mean these fine specimens (but we couldn't resist including them!)

Jude's First Birthday

Sorry for the recent radio silence due to lack of reliable internet access and now the flurry of backdated news, but here we go...
Before lauching into the frenzy of Christmas, December was heralded by a first birthday party for Jude at our place. Jude is one of Naomi's children and so it was a big family celebration and great fun with party games, face painting and, of course, Alison's obligatory cake!