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We* left for the village yesterday!

November 13, 2012

As Lori wrote about in our previous post, it’s time for us to go stay in a rural village. It’ll be a chance to learn, grow, and be stretched in many different ways.  One benefit of doing this learning in this village is that we’ll get to make mistakes in a place where we will NOT work long-term. We’ll be able to leave after we make lots of cultural mistakes, so at my 60th birthday party, it won’t be all, “Remember that time we all watched Lori learn how to do laundry?” [Lori’s example, not mine! =)]

Our scheduled departure was yesterday.

Our plan to get to our host family’s home was:

  1. Take a 7-hour ship ride with the other new Wycliffe family (Andrew & Megan) to a major town on another island. The ship arrives at that town at 1AM, so we’ll sleep on the ship until 6AM or so. Andrew & Megan will then go to their village, and we’ll head toward ours.
  2. The man whose house we’ll be living in has said he’ll be at the wharf to find us. We won’t be hard to spot. He’ll help us find the truck we need to take to get to our village.
  3. Load our boxes onto a truck and ride for 1-2 hours until we get to their house. We’ll be staying in his new house while he and his wife are staying in another town for their jobs right now. So we’ll have their home to ourselves, and our “host family” will be the family that lives right next door.

The SITAG truck loaded with the cargo for our two families.

However:
We have frequently been told that being a missionary requires lots of flexibility, so we had an excellent chance to practice! Sunday evening we were told that the road going to our host village was flooded and impassable. We were supposed to leave in less than 24 hours, so we had to quickly come up with a new plan.

A few of our options included:

A) Take the ship Monday evening as planned. Stay with another missionary family in the town where the ship ride ends. Live with them until the road is fixed and someone from our host village can drive to pick us up.
Pros: We already have tickets. Most of our things are packed. We would be partway to our village.
Cons: It’s one more place for Little D (and us) to adjust to. We could be there a few days or a few weeks.

B) Wait here until Friday evening, when the same boat goes out again, and try to transfer our tickets.
Pros: We might be able to use the same tickets. We may have one less place to adjust to.
Cons: If the road is fixed before then, we would be missing a few days of staying in the village.

C) Go out on a different boat, which might be earlier than Friday if the road is fixed soon.
Pros: We could go to the village almost as soon as the road is fixed. We may have one less place to adjust to.
Cons: We might be separated from our luggage, as this might require doing something else with our cargo (basically our checked luggage). Not all ships take cargo, especially the ones that more frequently travel this route. Some take only passengers and their “carry-ons.”

It started raining just as we finished loading the cargo onto the ship – thank you God for perfect timing so that all the luggage stayed dry!

Monday just before lunch we found out that it was still raining there, so the road crew hadn’t even been able to start working. We have no way of knowing how long the rain might last or the repairs might take, so we decided on either B) or C). We sent our cargo along with Andrew & Megan so if the road is fixed quickly we can take a different passenger-only ship before Friday evening. We’ll stay here until it sounds like the road is nearly fixed.

Andrew & Megan settling into their spot on the ship.

Now that we’re staying, we’ve had to unpack a few of our things and borrow some food from another family here at SITAG since lots of our food was sent on the ship already. But we’re happy that Little D won’t have to call yet another place “home” for a few days, as we’ve already moved 11 times in the past 12 months.

Hence the title of the post: “we*” means the other family and our cargo, but not us…yet.

Here’s the ship headed out to sea (the small speck a little right of the center).

-John

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