Thursday, 28 August 2008

I forgot to tell you about the......BEACH GATHERING!

Towards the end of June Abu, Erin (an American Physio who has been doing some work with us) and I decided we'd like to do something to celebrate a year of this community based rehab in Sierra Leone.

So we decided to invite all out current children, a sibling and a carer to come to the beach for fun in the sea and sand.

Not really sure how many would come we spent an evening cutting up many a pineapple, mango and banana by torch light hoping it would all go. Rainy season was just starting so again we were praying that we'd have a dry morning.


We had many volunteers join us and we could not have manged without them.....

we think nearly 90 poeple came, and we sure had a great time.

It didnt rain until we had packed up to go home, and the fruit and drink was the exact amount needed right to the last few late comers had had their fill too!

Praise God for such a wonderful event.

The only sad news we have though is that Kadija, this lovely girl with Downs Syndrome very suddenly died just a few weeks after this event. She too enjoyed all the fun and games and will be sadly missed by us and her family. Please pray with us for her family who deeply cared for her.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Mystery Landrover parts discovered by airport security!!

I hate packing to come back to Sierra Leone because it's always such a skill to get all the important stuff into my weight limit and leave all the non-essentials for next time. So having spent many an hour juggling what comes and what stays, inevitably it was my luxuries that got chucked out – no Crunchy Nut Cornflakes or Chocolate spread for me for a while!!

Airport was fun, I nervously waited my turn for my bags to be weighed, the young man looked at me then my bags asking where i was going to....”Sierra Leone” I said with a sweet innocent looking face, wishing him to be gracious with me. The numbers flashed before and were a little higher than they should have been (aaarrghh after all my juggling!), the nice man looked at me and I looked at that sweet eye fluttering look – on he passed me turning a blind eye. So off we went to the next desk wondering if I'd be weighed again and have to pull my persuasion powers again. Only to find a lady waiting....I said nothing and neither did she...phew!

So my last few moments with Dad we did our usual huge coffees whilst stuffing lots into my hand luggage that had previously been in my pockets and trying to find my small purse of SL money I was sure I had put in a 'safe' place ready for the hover craft (still haven't found it).

I then got to Security's XRay to be asked what I had in my bag that was metal - racking my brains for what it could be, I totally could not remember ......jewellery? Spiral bound diary? Keys? Still couldn't give them an answer they were happy with so they scanned again, then searched my entire bag - holding up a queue of angry passengers! We found books, the jewellery, underwear, antimalarials, a soap box full of tampons, sandals, a small box with a painted duck someone had given me (I think by this point they thought I was very strange!) and eventually came to ......the Landrover parts!!! Then they thought I was totally barmy. I had totally forgot about them! It was only one box (a heavy one) I'd taken out of main luggage trying to help the overweight problem I had!! I smiled that innocent look again told them nervously I was working in Africa and the roads were really bad – at this point they smiled and waved me on.

However my cleverly packed hand luggage was scattered about the table like a small explosion had taken place and I had to get it all back in the bag – quick – only 10mins to get to the gate!

You'll be pleased to hear that i did it, but I was sweating before i even got to Africa!!

Lessons learnt
- don't forget about large metal objects in your hand luggage.
- practice that sweet innocent eye fluttering look long before you need to pass through airport security!!

Friday, 15 August 2008

It's about time.....

So now's my chance to give you all a quick update on a wonderful summer in the UK....

Thought a few photos would do some of the talking for me (though I can always talk more!)

I had a wonderful time seeing my Grandma, she's just moved into her new place and we had a lovely walk along the seafront in the sunshine, not to mention an icecream or two!

Then I had a lovely holiday with 2 great friends Kirsty and Tracy. We stayed in a beautiful cottage literally in the middle of nowhere - so much so that my trial contact lenses that were sent there still have not made it!!

Found this cool old fashioned sweetie shop.....ate fish and chips.....
.....and walked along beaches, sat and talked for about an hour on jetty, oblivious to the fact that it was private and the owners were right on the shingle next to us having crab races (don't think they minded) and running on the tops of windy cliffs.

It was a refreshing well needed holiday, it's SO good to have such special friends.

I spent much time travelling around seeing so many other friends and family and loved every moment. It was well worth the different bed every 2 or 3 nights.

I enjoyed walks in the park with friends and their baby's and / or puppies

Going to the cinema with my Godson Joshua - and we even made it to Cubs together!

Eating chinese takeaway

Shopping with Mum

Going to a see the Billy Elliot musical in London

Mama Mia chick flick with DAD!

Late night coffee/cakes/chocolate and chat

An amazing day up the Portsmouth Spinnakar Tower, then drifting through the waters on a boat pretending to sail!

Having a laugh camping with old church friends

Amazing worship with 5000 other in a field in Somerset

Getting wet, feeling cold and enjoying a bit of British climate

Eating Strawberries, milkshakes and smoothies, great beef burgers, brocholi, pasta, mussels, and so much more with mum and dad.

But I think the highlight of my whole time away was that my beautiful sister had a beautiful baby boy....... Jack Andrew Bendell
.... with his proud mum and dad.
Right now he's being a very good little boy feeding and sleeping well, except for the fact that he pee-ed over me when I changed his nappy!

.....looking very cool with his new african patchwork quilt

I have to admit I'm a very proud Auntie and loved having cuddles with him.