I apologize for a long overdue blog post to let you know that I have arrived safely. I managed to quickly get on facebook after arriving, but didn't quite have it in me to blog. I've been meaning to write for the past few days, but with the six hour time difference and the overwhelming welcome, I haven't had much time on the computer. Travel went so incredibly smoothly, I wondered why I spent so much time worrying. Our flight from D.C. to Ethiopia was the longest stretch, but as comfortable as it could be. This was my first time flying internationally and I was amazed at how big the plane was and how accommodating the flight attendants were. I watched a few movies on the screen that was on the seat back in front of me and was pleasantly surprised that I could pick the movies I wanted to watch or play a game. I also ate the first meal served, which was chicken and rice and later wandered up to take a veggie sandwich that was in a basket for passengers to take as they pleased. It was so interesting to walk around and to see people sleeping, stretching their legs, eating, and basically just making it through the 12 hour flight, just as I was doing. It was a completely new experience, but I rather enjoyed the diversity on the flight and everyone was very pleasant. I had been a bit nervous about making it to my connecting flight in Ethiopia. However; I met a very nice lady about my age that was from Malawi. She had spent the past four years in the states attending school and this was her first visit home. She helped me find our gate and it was so nice to talk to her about her Country. She told me that the people are kind and that I would love it very much. My final flight was smooth as well and the one that I did the most sleeping on. It was about 7 hours and I sat next to a man who had actually graduated from African Bible College. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about the campus, the community he formed there, and the education he received. This was very encouraging to me. Once I landed in Malawi, it was a quick check through customs where I then grabbed all three of my bags and headed out to meet two of the staff members from ABC who picked me up. I was so happy to meet them and to finally be in Africa!
When we arrived at the campus, I was amazed at how many buildings there are and how nice everything is. There is the college campus and dorms, the academy, the gym, the dining hall, basket court, swimming pool, and staff housing. I was brought to the house I will be living in with my roommate, Michelle. She was at an event so she was unable to pick me up from the airport. As I walked into my room, the first thing I saw were beautiful roses, a note, chocolate, and a picture of last year's Kindergarteners, some of which I will be teaching this year. I couldn't believe that she had thought this far in advance as to take a picture with my name on it! I was completely amazed and thankful for her kindness and her warm welcome. In the past few days, she has been such a huge blessing to me as she's shown me around and shared with me about life here. This is her fourth year and I am so thankful for her. We have already enjoyed cups of tea and wonderful conversations. I know this year will be filled with many more and a lasting friendship.
As I know I could keep typing, I think I will stop for now in order to get some sleep. I will write again soon though as there's so much to share. I am hopeful for this year and thankful for all that is to come my way. I am a bit overwhelmed with the newness of it all, but taking it one step at a time and soaking in all the joys that have already come my way. This truly is a beautiful place that I get to be a part of!