We hit the deck running as soon as we arrived! So much lost time to make up. Sorry to all the families out there waiting to hear from us!!!
After arriving at the TMI base at 2 AM Monday night/Tuesday morning, we did the minimum necessary to get to bed. We were still missing two personal duffels (Bekah and Miranda) and a backpack that was checked at the gate in Orlando (Joseph), but everyone was glad to finally be here! After all the travel delays, everyone just said “of course!” when the van had troubles on the way to Mahajanga. The team has really learned to trust God with everything, and that they only need to know the next step God has set for us – not the whole plan. Even those without luggage don’t seem phased in the least by it. Bekah’s bag arrived last night, but the other two items are still lost in space. Fortunately Miranda packed extra everything in her carry on, and Joseph is fine with just his duffel.
The team slept in until noon on Tuesday, except for leaders and a few team members who woke up early. The early risers were a big help emptying out team duffels and sorting out kitchen supplies. It took until yesterday to get the kitchen fully organized! We couldn’t get to the store for the rest of the food staples until Wednesday, but we took the entire team along so they could get some needed personal supplies and a few snacks – they really enjoyed going to town! We got a tour of the base and the the school next door that TMI runs, around 1200 students! It was lunch time, so many of the children were around, so they got a bit of interaction with the kids briefly. At some point, they will get to go help teach a little English to some of the classes.
Many of the motorcycles needed work, so the mechanic came out for a couple of days and now they are all up and running. They have been getting used to the bigger bikes here and the terrain for the past few days, riding around the property and nearby. Their skills are ok, but a few of them just need to improve their confidence! In between bike training, they have been working on a project to rebuild the small bridge from the base to the school (since the tiny stream is dry this time of year). Today they also worked on their presentation, as they are planning to go out on the circuit tomorrow afternoon (Saturday).
Each day has been jam packed with getting organized and into a routine with work, classes, memory verses, etc. Each evening, one team member leads group devotions and shares their testimony. It’s been a special time of team bonding they all enjoy. The team is also starting to get to know the staff and Bible School students on the base, and everyone enjoyed some birthday cake the lady leaders and KP made for the son of our head male leader/base coordinator. We also took the opportunity to celebrate a make-up birthday for Haley who had her birthday at Boot Camp where we couldn’t do much to celebrate.
They are all excited to finally hit the circuit tomorrow!!! The first location is fairly close, so it’s a good time to be sure they are ready to ride and learn how a Sunday School Circuit goes.
We’ll try to get more pictures soon!