We have officially been in the Gambia for a week today. Last Thursday evening (Gambian time which is 5 hours ahead) we arrived at the airport in Banjul, The Gambia with the Guinea Bissau YES team. Our travel was quite uneventful, which is a good thing. We left Albany at about 10:00 a.m. and arrived in D.C. about an hour and a half later. We then waited in the Dulles airport for about 6 hours where we met up with the Guinea Bissau team and then we were on our way to Brussels. The flight was about 7 1/2 hours to Brussels and then we had a 3 hour layover. Then our last leg of the stretch was about 8 hours with including a transit in Dakar, Senegal and then we finally landed in the Gambia. We were shuttled to customs then waited for awhile for our bags to arrive. We were greeted by Gary Williamson, one of our outreach directors, and Beryl Forester, the Guinea Bissau outreach director. They took us back to MEHDA, where Elias and I are currently staying, where Denise (Gary's wife) and Lori Doll a 2 year long termer had beef stroganoff ready for us.
The first night we slept very well considering sleeping on a plane is never easy, but then the next couple nights we noticed the 5 hour time difference and it took some adjusting.
In this past week we have learned how to use public transportation, met most of the youth groups we will be working with, have begun to learned our way around the market, eaten Gambian food (rice and fish), which Elias likes, but I (Jess) will need some time to adjust to, hand washed clothes, been out to the gardens, and went grocery shopping with a quick swim trip included.
Elias and I are unsure how long we will be staying here at MEHDA, but we currently have no electricity and only cold running water, however running water is a blessing either way. At our house that we will be living at for the remainder of the time we will have both electricity and running water so we are very excited about that even though we have learned that living without electricity isn't that bad.
Ok, well I don't want this blog to be too long, so while there are many other things I could write about, I will stop there and hopefully have some pictures next time. We love you and miss you all! Blessings!
-We Made it!
-We have not gotten sick yet
-We are adjusting
-That we will remain healthy
-For the Lord to provide vision as to what our role will look like with the youth