Tuesday, 19 February 2019

2019 - Year 5 in Uganda!

After several weeks of intense heat, a refreshing storm brought some much needed rain to Kampala today.  At last the fans are off, and we can enjoy a cooler breeze.  The first few months of the year are always the hottest.  It’s been a while since our last update and we thank you for your patience. 
We spent the Christmas holidays at home this year – this was easy with three children and the addition of a new kitten! We welcomed “McSquizzie” to the family and she has been so much fun in our eyes – our guard dog on the other hand does not like her. I am still not sure if it is worth taking the risk trying to get them to bond.  For now McSquizzie will handle the inside night life and Skye will keep things at bay outside.  The cat met her first cockroach recently and proceeded to eat it – I love her more already! January meant back to school for four of us.  I am organising a primary musical production this term the students are buzzing with excitement as things are coming together.  We have just started our half term break today so looking forward to a week of rest (housework!!)  The school day has been extended Tues-Thurs with every student encouraged to participate in enrichment clubs. 
Matthew is enjoying Swimming, Science club and trying his hand at fencing! Matthew is also beginning to play his bass guitar at church and it’s great to see him confidently using his talent.   He is settling into Rainbow and one of his poems was selected for an international school’s poetry competition (COBIS registered schools).  Homework is still his least favourite thing in the world.   

Abigail is involved in the secondary production called “Willow Blue”.  The school has hired the national theatre in Kampala for this one and it will take place at the end of March.  Abi’s after school clubs revolve around rehearsals and art club, while finding the time to prepare for her Grade 4 piano. On a more serious note,  a lump above her knee was investigated in December and found to be a benign tumour called an osteochondroma.  It was a nerve wracking few days of waiting to find out the results. It is an extra growth that is spiking off her femur bone and is giving her pain,  especially in PE.   She is scheduled to get it removed next Tuesday 19th and we would appreciate your prayers.  We are blessed to have a good hospital in Kampala that specialised in bone problems. It is about an hours drive and she will stay overnight on the 18th.  It is still very Ugandan in that there is no information to prepare any of us,  no details of what to take into hospital here – it is not uncommon to have to take bed sheets and blankets. So we will find out and I am sure the experience will shape us both.

Eilidh participates in two after school clubs – brownies and craft club.  She enjoys socialising very much and had her first sleep over at a friend’s house in the new year.  She lost a front tooth the other week so is still getting used to that cute gap.  Swimming is still her favourite activity and she loves to tell us how much she loves home work (all the while enjoying a little dig at her brother!) Eilidh adores the kitten and is never far from it – not sure the kitten is always so enthusiastic with the cuddles.  She hasn’t tried to dress it up and put in in her pram yet but I think that day will come.

Andy has had an busy few months painting one of the aeroplanes in the hanger.  I believe the project should be finishing in the next month.  He is really enjoying the painting however trying to paint in such a hot dusty environment has it’s challenges. The heat he has to endure in a paint suit all day and helmet, not to mention the frustration when things, including insects upset the smooth wet paint that just needs to dry.  He is taking a few days off holiday next week so we will enjoy some family time while Abi is recovering from surgery.

The MAF International and UK HR team were here in Uganda over the last few weeks and it was great to see some of them.  Thanks so much to those who sent Christmas cards – we received them at the end of January but it’s never too late as every year we put up any cards we have and read them all again year after year (they remind us of you all and home)  so we will be putting them up next Christmas.   We have also enjoyed a meal with a few Scottish visitors this term who are based in the Kilmarnock area.  
I started this blog on Saturday and here we are on Tuesday the 19th and I am getting around to finishing it.  Abi has just gone in to surgery so now I will keep myself busy and finish this blog before my laptop battery dies!  We were unsure of who the surgeon would be and I am so thankful that the original Italian doctor who saw her in December is the one operating today.  They will remove the mass and send it to Cincinnati for biopsy in the USA to check that everything is all benign.  I am so thankful that we can receive this level of care here in Uganda.

Medical diagnosis can be very unreliable in Kampala for people who do not have much money. Emmanuel, who works for us (He is like a member of our family) approached us with a concern for his 4 year old son.  He had a swelling and after two different medical clinics and an ultra sound,  everything was still unclear for them.  Doctors were saying it was a hernia,  however this did not add up with the ultra sound report.  I took them to the expat clinic that we go to yesterday morning and we got a clear diagnosis of a hydrocele.  This is not nearly as serious as a hernia and can be operated on when he is a bit bigger.  Thanking God they now have a clear diagnosis and can move forward from there but it is sad there are so many rouge clinics just looking to make money.  Then in the afternoon I drove Abi here to Corsu Hospital so it was a busy day!
I will keep you all posted on the outcome when we receive it.
Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers,  especially for Abi and Emmanuel's son Micheal. 
Love in Christ

(p.s. Abi's surgery went well and she is home recovering.  We will go back in a few weeks for biopsy results) 
Michael and Eilidhii

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