Diane Greenwood

Thinking about…

PDC Finale, Lake Mburo and Leslie’s Paradise (Kigungu Village)

On the last night at Sabina we had a big big party and as a part of it we all had to have a little performance. My part in the night was playing an instrument that Will put together with a ‘thong’ and also playing the drums with Charles on the adungu. It was a great night and it was a good end to such a good corse with heaps of new friends.

Everyone performing

Little Rona dancing for her performance

Dan, Will and Amanda doing their performance of a ‘Ugandan Rap”

Group Shot

The last couple of days with some of the people from the PDC. We made it to a little National Park at Lake Mburo. Kate, Estelle, Daimen and I were lucky (or unlucky) enough NOT to get banda’s for the night and so we ended up camping with the hippos right beside us. I kept of thinking of Neva and how she would not approve of the sleeping arrangements given her escape from a charging hippo. It was actually a very relaxing couple of days and we went for a walking safari which meant we got up close to the animals with nothing between us and them except a guide and an AK47! Also we spent some time reading and laying in the sun.

These are my clothes drying and in the lake infront you can see how close they were

This is the warthog from inside our tent

I loved how they knelt to eat

Lots of hippos


Buffalo and Hippo

Sunset from our camp site

Kate, Estelle and Daimen on our walking tour with the guide, the animals were so close

Impala licking the salt from the salt water hole

Our guide, showing us Bush Berries

We made our way back to Kampala in a very interesting fashion. Now that I look back on it it was quite a fun trip, but along with a fight to get onto the bus, ending up on a 3 hour matatu, drinking and seat belt conversations along the way, Daimen, Estelle, Kate and I will not forget it at all.

After the Lake we caught up with Leslie from the Permaculture course. She offered us a place to stay and we found her house within a small paradise backing onto Lake Victoria. We spent Tuesday 26th January 2010 on Lake Victoria, in a traditional boat watching the sunset with a beer in hand. Ah what a tough Tuesday.

Lake Vitoria Boat Trip

The Boat on the Lake




The boat docked at Leslie’s place

Our safari tent accommodation in paradise

Bukenya, Daimen, Estelle, Kate and I infront of Lake Vitoria

A toad at our tent

On the last day of my stay Leslie organised for Rowe, Kate and I to visit Kigungu Village. This is a little fishing village on Lake Victoria surrounded and boarded by the airport on one side and the lake on the other. We were visiting to talk with some women from the village about a future project. There is so much opportunity in this country to make a difference. Let’s see where this takes us.

Rubbish disposal point in the village

Some local fish – we had a taste!

Were they cooked the fish

Jerry cans

Firewood for fuel being delivered from the islands

Little boy fixing a fishing net at the side of a boat

PDC Course

Hello Hello everyone!

Alright so it has been so long since I wrote – mostly cause I have been just so involved in the course. There was no internet access (or power for that matter – there was solar for the lights and essentials – but no charging for any of my tech items!) so I tried to write things down and what I have thought I would do is link over to a dedicated Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) page where I can explain what I have been up to. There is too much to write about from the last two weeks and at least this way anyone who wants to look through it all can.

Probably worth me saying that this course has been beyond inspiration. There are things that I have been thinking for a while that this place just gave me the words for, it opened my eyes, firmed up some directions, practically gave me ideas, stirred my heart, my soul and kept my brain active. I really encourage anyone who is interested in living sustainably to look into living with permaculture as this is the best solution I can see for the world’s future. In short I think that this is a change of direction in my life. The start of something new and exciting – I just need some time to talk it all through with Russell and then start getting it all happening at Chum Creek. I can’t wait.

Thank you to everyone who has still been checking out the journal and leaving all the comments on my last post. Please keep reading and following the future permaculture diary that I plan to keep of Chum Creek.

Just a few quick photo’s from the last two weeks. Check out the Permaculture Link with more.

This was our first look at Kampala

Kate and I at another equator crossing

A day trip into Masaka on the back of Leslie’s truck

Kate, Estelle and I

Will and I

Moses and I – we swapped hats!

Charles and I

Me, Rico and Lidsay

James, Nyero, Me and Moses

What’s Going On?

Hey there – it’s Russell here, not Diane.

Di’s in Uganda at the moment without much telephone, and certainly no internet – so until around Jan 29 she won’t be updating much here on her journal.

Di said to say Hi, and that she’s in the middle of her permaculture course, enjoying it a lot and will have lots to update here once she gets to Cape Town soon.

Sabbath School, Markets, Lake Nakuru, Tracy’s Birthday, Nairobi

So I have missed a bit. To be honest I am totally tired and just enjoying the time I have left here.

Sabbath – 2nd January 2010

It was Sabbath again and it was great to have Jason, Neil and Sarah playing some songs for us. We started with some songs lead by the band and then we got into the sermon. It was amazing at one point when I noticed Mwange (the little boy that we prayed for at our Christmas service) was there with his mum. He looked so much better and he was singing and smiling with his mum. Also something pretty special was that one of the visitors was asked to translate for us ‘mzungus’ (white persons). It was really good to be able to understand the service in Kiswahili. The message was “The Lord is our Shepard” – taken from Malachi, Isaiah, Romans and 1 Peter. 

Alanee giving the children’s story – about the little baby birds

Mr. Pastor and the visitor giving the sermon

Sermon notes from Phillip

Mwange and his mother looking heaps better

After the service Neil and I headed into Nakuru as it was going to be the last time that I would be able to get to the markets before I leave. We went into town and priced some laminators for Rebecca, then we got some photo’s processed (photo’s of Mission 2 children for the book that we are making). Then we met up with some other volunteers (Katie, Nat and Luke) and we had lunch at Cathay Hotel with another Mwange. It was really nice and relaxing and then we went to the markets and got a few last things together before Neil got back for his dinner roster. All the others met us in at the market – some stayed for dinner and others came back to MIA.

Sunday – 3rd January 2010

So today was Tracy’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! What a good day to be heading out to Lake Nakuru. The tour began with a little bit of a monkey moment from me – I retuned to the car while we were buying tickets to be ‘attacked’ by a ‘little’ monkey. I ran so fast, straight to Neil as I saw the monkey’s little chompers after my foot. Nat came to help me but also saw the chompers and ran! Thanks Nat!

We were so blessed with the animals that we saw and just had a really good time together. Although we were missing Nikki heaps as she was back to MIA having a ‘get well’ day. Praying for her speedy pickup before she also leaves (next Sunday!)

This is Rose and Bethany at 6am before the Safari, Bethany was knitting! Everyone else was stumbling out of bed for the early start

The sunrise at 6.30am as we drove out the driveway

Rhino with beautiful clouds

Closeup Rhino

Neil and I at Baboon lookout

All of us at Baboon lookout

One of these trees is not like the other one, one of these trees is just not the same …

A Dik Dik, and I love the mohawk!

Buffalo – peeking out of the bushes

Lions – yay! – we were very lucky to see some lions in the open and also a lioness with her cubs on the rocks

A hawk on a cactus tree with amazing clouds

Family of giraffes

Family of Zebra’s and I love the little one!


Yay we got to see some Flamingos (and a Buffalo skull!)

After Lake Nakuru we drove up to Crater Menengai, then went for lunch in town at Gillani’s for Tracy’s Birthday. It was a great day.

Tracy’s Birthday Lunch

Monday – 4th January 2010

Yesterday I really didn’t do so much, I pottered around the mud hut getting my stuff ready cause it was my last day at MIA – that is right, it has almost been a month and the time has flown. I was busy washing my clothes (along with Kat, Jas, Tim, Ben, Peta, Luke and Nat who all are going on the Masai Mara trip). I did venture over to play with the children and take some last photo’s for Sarah. It was a sad day really and worship that night we all prayed and said our good byes. Too emotional – but I feel that this may not be the last time that I see these people. THANK YOU IVAN, MARY, SARAH, RACHEL and SARAH (MARTHA and ANISHA) for just making my time at MIA so wonderful. I will miss you guys.

This is Jacob and I having a last hug before bed on Monday Worship

Tuesday – 5th January 2010

This morning we got up early. Alanee, Rose and I were all going with Sarah, Mary, Mama Brenda into Nairobi. Sarah and I were both going to be leaving (Sarah back to Australia and me onto Uganda for the next part of my trip). Alanee and Rose were going with Mary to buy some fabrics to make curtains, dresses and cushions for MIA. Mama Brenda was coming with us as her son is in Kenyata Hospital in Nairobi undergoing Chemo for eye cancer.

The first stop was the hospital. I was pretty excited to see the hospitals here. We all walked in with Mama Brenda and we met Victory in Ward 9D West. Ah, I am not sure I can explain on the journal how this experience went. It will take me a while to get the image and the words out of my head. The doctor didn’t seem to positive and I can hope and pray that Mama Brenda did not understand all the english from the doctor explaining it to us. Victory was a great little kid and was so happy and amazing at sharing the stickers and lollies that we had given him with all the other boys in the ward. 

On the way out unfortunately I was caught taking a photo of a corridor by the security guard. Not did I know you were not meant to take photo’s in Kenya hospitals (what are they trying to hide?). Anyway, it was a combination of shear panic and fear as we were walked to the Public Relations room to discuss my photo. When I showed my photo of the corridor and explained that I like the ‘natural light falling on the plant’ I was luckily able to leave and not cause lots of trouble. And remember that for the next trip – NO PHOTO’S IN THE HOSPITAL – YOU MAY END UP IN JAIL! Not a fun experience. 

We spent the rest of the day in town shopping for fabrics. It went well although the traffic was very very hectic and in the end I now sit here in the Guest House in Nairobi with Rose in a bed next to me and Alanee and Mary in the room down the hall as it was too late for them to travel back to Nakuru.

Sarah will be flying home tonight and I pray for her safe travels and return to her hubby!

Neil, Nikki, Rebecca, Tracy, Bethany, Debbie, Tim are all probably having a quiet night at MIA as Jas, Kat, Tim, Peta, Ben, Nat and Luke left this morning for the Masai Trip. Hope all is well and I will be checking other blogs to make sure I keep up with their adventures. 

Will post more when I am in Uganda. 

New Years Eve + New Years Day

New Years Eve

The day, not much different to Christmas, was a normal rostered day. This morning as I saw Neil drive the ute out the driveway off to do water tanks with Luke and Sarah, then I saw Tim driving the tractor off up the driveway, I had this real sense that we were all out and about on our little chores and getting things moving for MIA.


I had been given a list of photo’s to take of the children for their sponsor packs so I was off to find certain children. When I went up to the house it was very quiet and it turned out the children had gone for a morning walk. Just the babies were in their room. Bethany, Alanee and Debbie were upstairs doing the handprints of the little babies for their sponsors so I sat their for a while.

Rebecca and Bethany with Michelle trying to get her hand prints, Debbie at the back with Alex

It was only about 20 minutes later and Neil arrived back at the house. He had come back to pick me up to take me to do water tanks – YAY! Neil and I stacked the ute up with more stuff for another tank and we went off to do some tanking.

Luke and I attaching the gutter brackets

Neil digging the hole so that the bucket can fit under the tap for collection, Neil we will not forget the big root we happened to find in the ground and how the owner had to help us to cut it :)

Sarah and I attaching the gutter end on

When we got back it was time to set up for New Years fireworks. Ivan and some of the boys had gone to get some firewood for a bonfire and then they played and tested some of the fireworks that we had for the night. This is one of those times you think – ‘ah, boys and their toys!’ they were loving it and I just prayed that they were safe.  

The bonfire was ready, the fireworks were set, Mission 2 had come over for he celebration and the kids were all seated ready for the show. It was amazing hearing the kids oooh and aaaah as the fireworks cracked here and there. There were great comments from some of the children like: “Do you think that God can hear these?” and “Do you think that God is getting burnt?” It was an awesome night apart from really missing my family I was in there having a ball (as I am sure that Neil, Jason and Tim were having fun too setting off the fireworks!)

Bonfire with moon

Bonfire with fireworks!

HAPPY 2010!

New Years Day

Morning after fireworks

So who thought it would be 2010 so quickly! It is worth mentioning that for a new year we had a new life today. One of the cows here at MIA gave birth to a little girl! YAY!

New calf and happy mum!

This morning we also had a special trip to a place called Kanana Knitters. It was an amazing place that was hard to leave empty handed. Yes we ALL spent up big, hard to say no to reasonably priced woolen items when they are fair trade and you can see the support the woman are getting. Rebecca and I have already contacted the Australian Distributor to see if we can get some at home. 

Rebecca with some of our purchases

All the wools are dyed with natural flowers – these are the flowers being dried

Some products being dried ready for the shop

Neil, Debbie and Tracy undercoating Room 2

Alanee, Rebecca (and I) putting the top coat on the Library

When we came back we finished the day with some painting in the school. It rained pretty hard last night and the power went out in the middle of one of our prayers, it really ended the night on a very ‘God’ moment.