All photos and text are property of Dave Forney and may not be used without express permission.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

MAF Liberia

MAF's newest program is based in Liberia.  The program was originally supposed to be up and running about a year and a half ago, but got delayed because of the ebola outbreak.  But now things are really spooling up over there.  A little over two weeks ago, we said goodbye to a Cessna Grand Caravan, 5X-OPE, that had previously flown for MAF in Tanzania, and was now headed for the Liberia program. The engineers here in our Uganda hangar had been doing a lot of work on it during the past year, getting it re-registered in Uganda (it will initially operate in Liberia on a Uganda registered certificate) and ready for future service in Liberia.  The photo below was taken during OPE's maintenance test flight here at MAF's airfield in Kajjansi, Uganda two and a half weeks ago.

Emil and Arjan were the pilots who flew OPE across Africa to Liberia. They also happen to be the guys who will be flying it in Liberia.  This shot was taken just a few minutes before their departure from Kajjansi.

Arjan begins to pre-flight OPE on the day of their departure.

Here's a few of the MAF folks that came out to the hangar to say a prayer for Emil and Arjan and the new Liberia program before their departure on the long ferry flight.

And here they are departing the MAF Kajjansi airstrip on their way to Liberia. This first leg of their 5-day journey was only a 4-minute hop over to Entebbe International Airport to clear immigration and customs requirements.  Then they were on their way West towards Congo.

While I was out at the airfield grabbing some pics of OPE's departure for Liberia, I also snagged a few shots of one of our other Caravans departing for a routine shuttle flight up to Northeastern Uganda. Below, is 5X-LDR taking off from our home airfield in Kajjansi.

Sorry I missed updating the blog last week.  We were without electricity and internet for a variety of reasons for a number of days. The Internet is mostly sorted out, but our electric issues continue.  Every time the wind blows, the electric pole which connects our house to the grid sways, and that results in our power cutting in and out.  Despite the arcing, crackling noises that can be heard coming from the top of the pole, we can't seem to convince the electric company to come fix it.  So we've been without power for much of the past two weeks, and when we do have it, we often have surging or dropping voltage...which in turn kicks our internet router offline.  I can't imagine what it's doing to our appliances.  It's been frustrating...but hey, at least nothing has caught on fire, yet.  By the way, if you work for UMEME in Kampala, and you're reading this, please send someone over to fix it before the pole and/or wires fall down and kill someone!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

World Elephant Day

On Wednesday, August 12th, I saw in the local paper that it was World Elephant Day.  I actually had no idea that there even was a world elephant day. 

That said, during my first year and a half living in East Africa, I've had the privilege of seeing quite a number of elephants. They are massive, majestic, magnificent creatures!  I love watching them and it's hard to imagine what the Savannah would be without them.  Then again, there's no wild rhinos in Uganda anymore, as they were hunted to local extinction a number of years ago.  Hopefully, that won't happen to the elephants.

Sadly, though, elephants are being slaughtered at the rate of about 100 per day (yes, that translates into well over 30,000 per year!) mostly due to the ever-increasing value of black market ivory, and the insatiable desire for it--especially in China and other parts of Asia.  Uganda's elephants are doing pretty good these days and are fairly well protected.  Not so in many other African countries.  Their numbers throughout Africa and worldwide are rapidly declining.

Anyway, this week seeing as how I have a lot of elephant shots that I've never shared, and since it was in fact World Elephant Day on Wednesday, I thought it would be appropriate to show you a few of the elephants I've seen here in Uganda.  Enjoy!

As usual, all photos appearing in this blog post are copyrighted and may not be used without express permission. Contact me if interested or if you have any questions. Thanks!--Dave

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Karamoja Trip (Part 2 of 4)

Last week we enjoyed having my parents visit from the U.S.  At some point I'll share some photos from their time here... but I'm really behind on photos right now, so rather than delving into ones which I haven't even looked at yet, I thought I'd return to a previous series that I started several months ago. Karamoja.

You may remember that way back in April, before I went to Nepal, and before the craziness of the busy summer season, I had just begun to share with you about a trip that my oldest son, Britt, and I took up to Karamoja.  We had the privilege to join a small group from our sending church in the U.S. for a week of visiting, praying with, and encouraging local pastors in remote village locations throughout the region.  If you you don't remember that previous post, or missed it, you can see/read it by going here.  

Above is a photo of a handsome elder walking down the dusty road in Moroto. Below is a picture of the Karamoja area throughout which we travelled many miles, visiting and praying with many national pastors, and seeing their churches and communities.  I just love the vast open country and limitless sky of far Eastern Uganda!

Here's some random pictures of some of those visits/meetings and a few of the people with whom we met, along with some services we held.

It was also great to see the Karamojang peace villages that I've heard so much about over the years. Below is a school that our sending church in the U.S., Good Shepherd Community Church, helped make happen for the children who live in the peace villages.  

Speaking of kids, there were always tons of them around--curious about who we were and what we were doing.  They were especially interested in Britt, who was often surrounded by many youngsters.  Below, while we were changing a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, he had the chance to explore a bit of the Savannah on his own.  He was disappointed not to find any lions or leopards, but still came back with a smile on his face.

Kids love having their picture taken. Frequently they gesture to the camera indicating they want a photo.  Then, of course, they want to see the photo on the camera screen.  If I ever get back up into these remote villages, I'd love to print some of these out to give to them.

These kids are carrying water back to their huts. Those jerry cans are HEAVY! And much of the water-hauling is done by the kids and's often a very long haul too!

Speaking of water, here's a man-made reservoir in the area.  I had seen it a number of times from the air, but never from the ground. It was pretty cool to see it from this perspective as the sun was setting.  It's amazing that even in the driest part of dry season it still has water in it.

Check back again soon and I'll have some more shots from our Karamoja trip.