One month from today, I will be arriving in Madagascar!
Five travelers from across the USA and myself, from Canada, will step off an airplane in Madagascar, greeted by our country coordinators, to begin together our year of service. Each of the six of us is volunteering to serve as a short-term missionary with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for one year in Madagascar! As volunteers we are a group together, then each of our placement’s work and our locations are spread around the island of Madagascar as far as 16 hours of travel apart.
With only three weeks before our training begins in Chicago, I have lots of tasks at hand to prepare:
- final packing and checking over things packed: ongoing!
- removing things from my baggage that I really don’t *need* for one year: ongoing!
- doctor’s visits for anti-malarial medication and first aid kit extras: to do Tuesday!
- book list choices: ongoing (any suggestions?- they are welcome!)
- goodbye’s to family and friends across western Canada: almost complete…
The year ahead holds so many anticipated experiences: meeting new people at the seminary, exploring the new-to-me city of Fianarantsoa, worshiping in a Lutheran community of over 10,000 people, singing in a Malagasy choir, learning all about teaching, meeting the women of the women’s empowerment centre, visiting the markets, roaming mango groves, spying on local lemurs, discovering all kinds of animals like these…
There’s lots of excitement to come and I’m looking forward to it! In the meantime, saying goodbyes is difficult. As I leave behind family and friends for a year there’s the fear of losing contact and having limited contact over the coming year. There’s also the sadness of missing all the highs and lows of the year- celebrations and challenges. A year passes quickly, but so much happens in that time. With the anticipation of the coming adventure, I am also grieving all that I will miss in the coming months.
Thankfully, I’m learning allllll about new ways (new to me!) of keeping in touch over the distance- like this blog!
Thank you for reading it.