We have been back in Madagascar one week. We have adjusted well to jet-lag, better than our first term. We arrived the weekend of Easter so everything closed making it difficult to plan our trip down to the rainforest. The repairs on our house were not complete so it didn’t matter if we could have traveled sooner anyway. We laid over in Tana, the capital, through the weekend and when things opened on Tuesday after the holiday we began the rat-race of buying our provisions we would need for the next five+ weeks until Kelly comes. (Kelly is a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Student who is coming to live with us for two months starting early June.) After buying dry goods and cold groceries for over a month and putting them in a huge cooler filled with ice we headed south.
Early Wednesday morning we drove straight to Fianarantsoa where our things were stored, got a hotel and began looking for a truck. By nightfall Tim found a truck and set a plan to load our things Thursday morning. Thursday involved finding our things in storage ruined by rats and rat feces (it all reeks of feces), “negotiating” labor prices for loading the truck that apparently were not part of the truck rental, hiking up to the president-fokotany’s house to get a transportation letter stamp during his lunch break, and finally arriving at our house in Ifanadiana to learn that it is not in a liveable condition.
Without making a laundry list of the sad state the house was in when we arrived, suffice it to say that we had to store our rat feces-covered goods on the porch of the house because they were still painting the cement floors, other rooms and the outside of the house. We consider water a basic necessity so Tim checked the cistern where the rainwater is stored. The painters were cleaning their oil-paint paintbrushes in the cistern so the water system is contaminated. Deeming the house uninhabitable, we are staying in a hotel until the basics for living can be established at the house.
In spite of the above challenges, our travels have been smooth and we thank everyone for their prayers. Our kids have adjusted great so far and were amazing travelers. The kids were so excited to return to their home in the rainforest. They picked up playing with the friends they left behind. In fact they were so busy playing with their Malagasy friends that they did not even notice the house challenges we faced. One time when we were cleaning our home, we looked out the window to see Judah dressed in leaves by his friends and they were all running around the yard playing “Peter Pan.” Our children’s joy has given us encouragement.
We are still certain of our decision to return to Madagascar and are taking each new day as it comes with all its unique challenges.
- give Him praise that the kids have really transitioned well and have enjoyed playing with old friends in IFD. (an answered prayer request.)
- we get our water system cleaned out and functional soon. Both the cistern and the pipes leading into the house.
- for us as we learned today that Panzato, Judah’s best friend in Madagascar, passed away two weeks ago from cerebral Malaria. Pray for Judah in coping with this loss and the family of Panzato as they grieve. He had become a part of our family our first term.
- we have patience going through all our things we stored and lost because of rats. This will be a slow and dirty process…