Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We've arrived!

Arrival from Sue's perspective:  We made it! We're here!  The idea of coming to visit Todd and Patsy has turned into actuality!  Everything went amazingly well with the journey - my brother arrived at my dad's home at 3am, and got us to Manchester airport safely.  Flight onward to Paris was on time, so we had plenty of time for quiche and soup and an excellent chocolate pistachio tart before our next flight, which took over an hour to board.  There were more than 600 passengers on it - at least Malagasy, French, Belgian, Swiss, Italian and a troop of Canadian scouts.  11.5 hours later we arrived slightly ahead of schedule in Antananarivo, where it took the best part of 2 hours to get visas and collect baggage.  Todd was waiting outside customs to great us and took us to Manga Guesthouse, where we slept from 1:30 to 4:10am before leaving for the next flight to Toliara.

After 4 trips through security for Simon (he had to go back outside to pay for the excess luggage on the internal flight) and finding the mislaid wallet, we successfully got on the flight to Toliara.  Everything went smoothly, and we had  delicious pains au raisins for breakfast on the flight (one of my favourite French pastries!  It has a custardy inside, as well as raisins and is like a Danish pastry without frosting).  All our luggage arrived safely in Toliara!  So we have all the supplies we need for the sessions we'll be leading.
When we arrived we were greeted by Buddy (Todd’s dog) at the gates to the complex and then the cook, guards, evangelists in training (and I forget the jobs of the other people) in a line-up reminiscent of Downton Abbey.  

Patsy, Matthew and I unpacked in Bishop Todd and Revd Patsy's lovely home, above the Diocesan offices and chapel, while Simon went with Todd to get a new battery for his pick-up truck, which they'd had to jump start earlier. ( Todd and Patsy had been away for 2 months).

 After a delicious lunch of rice and greens and ground (minced) beef (depending on your nationality) we all napped before setting off to see the sunset at the seaside.  
We have a couple of quiet days getting oriented before the first children’s session on Saturday morning.

It's now night-time and the geckos are talking to us, so I think it's bedtime. Photos will follow when we have adequate internet access to upload some

Thank you so much for your much-needed – and totally successful  - prayers so far. 


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