February 14, 2013

First Day Out

From the back seat of the small - but very full - mission plane, I could see both the altimeter and the time remaining on the GPS. We were getting closer. We started to descend about 30 minutes out. I watched the altimeter, 7,000 feet, 6,000 feet, 5,000 feet. Soon I was no longer watching the instruments on the panel, but looking out the window upon my new home for the first time. From the air I can see the village, the school, the black rivers, and what looked like an ocean of jungle. No roads, no cars, no power lines.
We landed on the soft grass strip smoothly. Once all our belongings were out of the plane and into the canoe, we stopped first in the village to check in at the police station (a small wooden structure with a man who records every foreigner who comes and goes) and then rode in the boat to the school.
As our canoe pulled up to the river bank, we were greeted with beautiful music from the primary students who shyly hid their faces as they sang. It was a very lovely welcome. We were then taken to the Brooks' house where we will be staying until ours is fixed up enough to move in. Laura had a lovely meal of curried-potato soup and corn bread waiting for us.
After a tour of campus, we settled down for the night.
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We woke up this morning to a symphony of parrots, frogs and howler monkeys. The water from the spring that supplies water for the house is cold. Our showers were quick this morning. Breakfast was leftover cornbread and fruit.
We went to look at our new house again. It needs a lot of work. Fixing it up will be a big, but worthy, task. We are writing home for supplies that will make our house more secure for our family.
The children love it here. Not only is there endless outdoors for them to explore, there's also endless wildlife (some more welcome than others). As I was making lunch today a bat came in for a little hello, and (thankfully) left as quickly as he came. I thought bats only came out at night!
Our lunch is nearly finished (I'm making garam massala with chick peas), and then we will head out to the grass airstrip to meet the plane today and take some video. The plane only comes once a week normally, but there are more foreigners that are visiting today.
We ask for your continued prayers as we get set up in our new home here. There is a bit of culture shock and adjustment to go through all over again now that we're in the village. We know we have a purpose here and will continue to share our experiences with you.

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