Back to Ontario – December 20th
We'll spend Christmas and New Years with family sharing our time between London, Kitchener and Meaford.
Phil to Three Hills, Alberta – January 9th to 19th
I need to go out to Three Hills, Alberta to renew my IFR rating which re-qualifies me to fly by instruments only. I could do the renewal in a number of places but I'm in great need of the specialized training that I'll be able to get at Prairie. It has been 2 years since I really used my IFR and MAF's plans for us in the near future require that I get a thorough update of my IFR. See below for more on why this is the case.
Goodbye Canada – January 25th
We depart from Toronto and fly to London, England.
Facts & Friction Course, England – January 27th – February 8th
We'll be taking a course to prepare us for our work in Chad. It covers the day in and day out operations of MAF and focuses on introducing us to cultural differences, security protocols and what to expect in Chad. Grandma (Phil's mom) gets to come over with us to take care of the kids while we're "in school". This beats MAF trying to find a third party caretaker for the kids (in the last few years the UK has beefed up the regulations on paid childcare, bringing Grandma makes way more sense). We're all looking forward to these last couple of weeks together.
A brief pause in London – February 9th & 10th
We have a couple of days in the UK to breathe (and to wait for our next flight) before continuing south and saying goodbye to mom/grandma. Kaitlyn and Lily are looking forward to seeing where the Queen lives.
London to Kampala – February 10th
|MAF's Cessna 208B Grand Caravan unloading passengers and supplies at a remote strip in Chad|
Phil in South Africa for two weeks – Late February
If you're still with me, take courage, the ride is almost over. The Uganda program can handle the training of a pilot once he knows the basics of the Caravan but they don't offer the initial ground school there. For that, MAF sends their pilots down to the MAF South Africa program in Johannesburg. They have the facilities to run a 2 week, in depth course on the Caravan which includes plenty of simulator time and several hours in the actual plane. The hiccup in this plan is that I leave for this course after only having been in Uganda for about a week. Merilee and the kids will get to be introduced to Africa by our friends and the many other great people nearby, but it's still going to be a stressful first couple of weeks for her. Pray that she will rely on the One who can sustain her and see those two weeks as a time of stretching and growing for the years ahead in Chad. We are thankful for the great support they'll have from other families around them.
To Chad...finally – Mid May
Two weeks later, I'll return from South Africa and spend a further two and a half months getting really used to the new plane. When the instructors in the Uganda program deem that I am ready we will pack and fly, for the last time in a while, to N'Djamena, Chad. The arrival in Chad will have been a long awaited one and after over 7 years of not being settled we will enjoy the chance to get some roots in the ground.
If you've made it this far, thank you for taking the time and please consider praying for us along the way. We'll try to keep you updated as things progress.