Day 2, Tuesday, March 6

We spent the rest of the day yesterday at the inn. We had fish & chips at the tables by the lobby for dinner. We talked a lot about being in a different culture & feeling awkward & unsure of ourselves. After supper, we went back to our room & went to bed early. My internal clock is definitely all mixed up. Bryan fell asleep around 8:30 & I read a little and fell asleep around 9:30. We both woke numerous times during the night and at times were wide awake. We got a call from Brad at 6AM, and I was already awake. He said he had coffee & breakfast waiting for us, and that someone would take us to the airport at 6:45.

We got our stuff together quickly and had a wonderful breakfast. We had eggs, toast, pineapple, watermelon, & a small kind of banana. We also had some very good juice of some fruit – kind of like orange juice, but sweeter and a little bit thicker. We got to talk to Brad about all sorts of things. He told us about plans and about how helpful it would be to have someone in our organization on the ground to make plans and contacts. We went to the airport and continued talking. He explained that because we have no one on the ground, we have to depend on contacts, but there is only so much you can ask others to do for you. He told us that his original contact had fallen through. A few weeks ago, he told him that now they could not do what they had planned to do for us in _bigger city_ (have a guest house ready & people prepared for the literacy workshop). Brad decided that we would go anyway, and he contacted another person who had shown interest in help from him for literacy training in the past. He told her that he could do a workshop just for her & whoever she wanted to attend. She was very excited & was going to take care of everything, including lodging. But because of the short notice, she was going to be out of town, & so she turned the arrangements over to an African friend. This friend was hard for Brad to get in touch with, & he finally was told that the man had passed along the responsibility to someone else, who turned out to be the original contact who said he couldn’t help us. So basically, we have no idea what will happen when we arrive in _bigger city_! 🙂 I’m not worried, though. We were told that flexibility is extremely important in Africa, & we are taking that to heart. We also know that the Lord has a purpose for us here, and we are going to trust him to show us!

We waited for a while & then went out to the airplane [that was going to take us to _bigger city_, _country_]. We watched them fuel it, & Brad told us about the situation in _country he is a missionary in_. He also told us about the grant for our trip & how one of us could be considered a support person to make it possible for us to use some of the grant money. He said that since his wife didn’t come, we could assist him as she would have and use the money that had been set aside for her. Next, we boarded the plane & got settled in for the flight. The plane seats 10 including the pilot & a seat next to him. Luggage is underneath. The flight is supposed to last about 2 hours.

Oh yeah – A funny thing happened as we were getting ready to get on the plane and were by the counter where they would usually check your luggage. First, they had us put our bags on the scale, and then they had us climb up one by one onto the scale to be weighed! 🙂

We got off of the plane and went into the small building by the airstrip. We spoke to some men in uniform & asked for travel papers. I was somewhat surprised how open Brad was about what we’re doing, even on all travel documents. He openly stated on the papers that he is a missionary, so we did the same. He said it’d be different if we went somewhere more resistant to Christians. The travel permits were much more expensive than we were expecting. ($100 for each of us for 6 months, $200 for one year.) We chose six months.

Brad found a ride to town for us with a young Samaritan’s Purse worker. Bryan and I rode in the front, & Brad rode in the back. The trip in the truck was uncomfortably bumpy, and Brad got bounced around a lot in the back. We rode with the driver, Daniel (from Oklahoma originally), to the _missions organization we’re working with_ compound. We asked him lots of questions & he told us about his radio on his truck, about being careful not to take pictures of soldiers or with soldiers around, and about getting permission before climbing mountains. (He & some friends had climbed a mountain and had gotten in trouble with the police and local army. They had been imprisoned and a lot of items were stolen from them.)

We then went into the __ camp, & we saw Brad at work. 🙂 He is so good at talking to people and getting them to help! We met many of the workers at __, & after a lot of talking, we were settled in their guest quarters. The only room they have available has a single bed, so Bryan and I will be in that one. Brad is in one of the huts with a single bed.

Next, we had to set up the workshops for this week. We visited so many people! We visited the Episcopal church offices to try to see the pastor who was supposed to plan everything, we visited the local Bible organization that has a stock of __ Bibles, we went back to the church & found the bishop, & we went to find the principal of a school where Brad wanted to have the workshop. Then when we did not find him, we went to look for him at the “internet cafe.” 🙂 He wasn’t there, but we got to send out two emails (it took a half hour to send one on my email account and one on Bryan’s!) to friends and family. The place is a shed with tables & chairs set up on each wall & with Dell computers set up. The internet connection was SO slow & didn’t work on some computers.

We walked back to the compound, & since Brad left before us, he ran into the man he needed to see from the church, & they had a good talk. They decided to focus on a trauma healing seminar, & to invite pastors. They also decided on a way to distribute Bibles – by having an announcement on the radio for all 103 pastors come to _bigger city_ to pick up a gift for their churches. This will also give Bryan a chance to gather language data about the region.

We got back & got water, and then we talked with Brad about plans for the week. He told us about his conversation with the pastor, and we talked about possibilities for workshops. Then we rested, took “showers” out of a bucket, & had dinner at 8:30. After dinner, we went straight back to our room for bed. We talked a lot, evaluating our first day in _country_. I was doing pretty well with everything. I had enjoyed meeting all the people, & I loved seeing the little children say, “Hello! How ah yoo?” and then just grin when I answered back. We went to sleep after that. It took a while since we were in a single bed, it was so hot, & there was so much noise outside from people talking.

Published in: on April 20, 2007 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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