The days fly by as my departure time approaches. Tomorrow I will leave UK soil once again for another adventure in Africa.
In many ways I am ahead of schedule! My bags are packed – I have ¾ lb left for my toilet bag in one case - the other might have a couple of ounces spare! Dilys scales weigh to ¼ pound – I hope they are accurate! I might even have a pound or so in my hand luggage for the bits and pieces I will find in the next few hours!
Teddy and Raymond have been scouring Monze for somewhere for me to stay but so far have had no success. Fr. Kenan has always been most hospitable, so I will spend, at least, the initial night or two at the Priest's House. I have been warned that the priests have been practising at pool so I might have some serious competition this year.
Jennipher hasn't been very well and was referred to UTH (University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka) for treatment. I tried to call her earlier but the line was one way and she couldn't hear me. I have been busy preparing the case for her to visit the UK when I return in June. Our Liberal Democrat MP Martin Horwood has written a very good supporting letter. My first task in Zambia will be to complete an application for a visa with Jennipher – having obtained further supporting letters.
Easter is a wonderful time of year. It is a time of new life here in the UK. Blossom and flowers are brightening our world. In Zambia the rains are coming to an end and harvest time is fast approaching. It is a time of anticipation.
During the week I was informed that the flight schedules had been changed. Since I could still fly out at the same time and connect at Addis Ababa, I was relaxed about the changes. However new tickets hadn't arrived by Friday! I seem to have one or two problems with my e-mails at the moment – fortunately I have an alternative address and now have new tickets.
I was interested to note that the outward journey to Ethiopia was going to take nearly two hours longer than originally scheduled. It appeared that we were going to make an extra stop. Checking the flight details I was surprised that the plane is now flying to Rome! Fortunately it then progresses to Addis! On the whole I think this detour will prove better than an additional hour or two at Addis airport in the early hours.
About a week ago I lost a set of keys. This evening I realised that the small keys for the locks on my cases where on this ring. - panic over spares have been located!
I am looking forward to being back among my friends in Zambia. It is never easy but it can be so very rewarding. I have known many of the people for a number of years. It is good to see that some are progressing and making their way in life, but for many it is still a daily struggle to provide sufficient food for the family.
So as I prepare to leave please remember me in your prayers – I need a lot of guidance.
With love and prayers