28 November 2014

Being Thankful

I know it seams weird to talk about this topic in November for a Canadian, but I am not in Canada right now so stay with me. Living in Uganda the 13th of October was not a holiday and nether is the 27th November.

In our MAF Uganda program right now their are 3 families from Canada and 3 from the USA. Back in September one of the American ladies and I were talking about what each of us was going to do to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. One of us suggested we do a joint celebration in between the two dates. So a plan was born.

We had our "Ugandan Thanksgiving" on 8th November. The Derksen house was the location for the festivities. There were 35 people between the 6 families and 12 of those were the adults (there are a lot of children in the MAF Uganda program).

With all this being said I wanted to say what I am thankful for this year...

I am a Child of God, I don't have to do life on my own strength.
Dallas, the wonderful husband that God has given me.
Our children, they are healthy and willing to go wherever mom and dad go.
Family, for supporting us as we follow God direction for us.
Great MAF Uganda Family, you make living away from immediate family so much easier.
Acacia International School, a good place for the kids to go this new school year.
A "new to us" house, a little more space.

I know there are many more things to be thankful for, but that is all I am going to write for now.

To all my family and friends, Happy "Belated" Thanksgiving to the Canadians and a Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans.

6 November 2014

Another Update

OK so it turns out I might be a 7-8 month blogger. I guess you can expect to get an update twice a year from me of the everyday goings on from the Derksen's in Uganda.

In March I posted about our Christmas. A lot of things have happened between then and now.

The beginning of April we moved house. We now have a little more space and Drew is in the same part of the house as we are. Shortly after moving we celebrated Drew's 12th Birthday with 16 kids running around. It was a great day for him.

Playing a game together.
In May we celebrated another Birthday, Katrina turned 11. Apparently we are bad picture takers because we seem to have forgotten we had a camera. There are no pictures from her special day this year. We will try to do better next year.

June found us starting preparations for our "mid-term break" in Canada. On the 18th of June we flew back to Canada for a break. We were able to see our families and get some rest before heading back to Uganda. Sorry we could not see all of you but when we come to Canada in 2016 it will be our "Home Asignment". That will be the end of our term and we will come to see you. We came back to Uganda on the 15th of August and have settled back into life again.   

On the 26th of August the kids started school again. This time at Acacia International School. At the end of school last year we decided our children needed a change in school. We found Acacia, it is a Christian school. This is its third year of operation and the first year for grades 6-8 so smaller class sizes which appealed to us very much. The kids have been enjoying their year so far. We have seen a great change in how they look at school and learning. Praise the Lord!

New School Uniforms

In September we celebrated another birthday. It was Jacqueline's turn to get a year older. She turned 10 this year and now we have all our children in double digits. Where has the time gone?

10 Candles
That brings us up to date again. October was us living out our daily actives. Dallas flew planes or worked at the hanger. The kids went to school and did homework. I made sure we had food in the house, clean clothes, acted as bus driver, and did flight following.


5 March 2014

MAF (Missionaries Are Flexible)

This last Christmas had a bit of a twist to it.

We invited the Schlatters, another MAF family, to come share the day with us, and have a Christmas meal together.  They are also a pilot family, have three children too, and the kids all get along well together.  So we would have 10 of us all together for Christmas day.

Then as I was doing Fox Fox (In the phonetic alphabet F is "foxtrot", so "Fox Fox" is short for "flight following") on December 17 we found out that the air space in South Sudan was now closed.  It opened again few days later and MAF started to evacuate people out of South Sudan.

On the Sunday before Christmas we found out that a family of 7 was going to be evacuated on Christmas Eve, and they would be staying with the Schlatter family.  They asked if it would be alright if they joined us for Christmas day.  We said yes it was just fine if they joined us for the day.  We were already planing to do hamburgers for dinner so it was very easy to add a few more.

The makeshift table for the day. Notice the Canadian touch.

Digging in to the food.

The chef!

The kids playing some Wii.

Working of some energy, they played this game for 2 hours.
Another family of 3 was also evacuated at the same time, and they joined us as well.  We end up having 20 people at our house to celebrate the birth of Christ.  It is defiantly a Christmas we will not soon forget. The life of an MAF missionary, flexibility at all times (MAF = Missionaries Are Flexible).


26 February 2014

Flight Following

OK so I am not very good about keeping up to date on my life here in Uganda.  It has been 7 months from my last post.  Life has been full!

My weeks got a little fuller at the beginning of November when I started training to "flight follow". 

What is "flight following"?

Any time a MAF plain is going on a flight it is in radio contact with someone on the ground. On Tuesday mornings I am now that person.  I have been learning the phonetic alphabet, I can almost get it all when the pilot uses it to spell something, and to record time in "Greenwhich Mean" or "Zulu" time.  I am also learning to write numbers really fast.

When the pilot it ready to taxi for take off he will call on the radio and let me know where he is going, how many people are on board, and the weight of the aircraft.  Once he is in the air he calls again to let me know what time he got into the air, his estimated time of arrival or ETA, and how far off the ground he is flying.

Half an hour after take off he then calls with his position in longitude and latitude.  If the flight is more then an hour a call will be made every half hour until landing.

When the pilot has reached the destination he calls to let me know he is landing, and then calls again when safely on the ground.

When the plan is ready for the next destination the whole process starts over again.

This is all done to keep the pilots and airplanes safe.  If there is a problem or emergency we can better asses what the solution will be with the information the pilot has give the "flight follower".

Like I said lots of numbers.

Right now I go to the MAF office to man the radio on Tuesday morning, but am hoping to do it from home in the near future.

So this is what my Tuesday mornings look like now.  I am really enjoying the experience and being a part of the flights we do here in Uganda, South Sudan, and East DRC.