We have arrived!

The last 6 weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and craziness.  But we are very pleased to announce that we arrived in Madagascar last Thursday night.  The next phase of this journey has officially started!  Thank you to everyone that has prayed for our family and supported us to get us to this point.   We are very excited for what the Lord has in store for the next year.

The first week has been in the capital region of Antananarivo (or Tana, for short) taking care of business that can only be done in the capital.  We also spent a few days in nearby Andasibe National Park spotting lemurs and exploring the rainforest.  See pictures below.  On Monday, we will drive the 12hrs to Mahajanga, our new hometown on the northwest coast of the country.  

A few initial observations:  We definitely aren't in Kansas anymore.  You are immediately confronted with being in a developing country upon landing in Madagascar.  Immigration and customs is inefficient and crowded and there are lots of people forcibly trying to "help" with your luggage as you exit the airport.  Driving is completely different from what we are used to and requires artful dodging of other cars, people, oxcarts, tuk-tuks, pedicabs, pull-carts, stray dogs, potholes, chickens, zebu, street vendors, beggars, broken down vehicles, and anything else that you can imagine.   You see poverty everywhere, but the people are friendly and ready with a smile.  The land is scarred, but there is incredible beauty in the forests and amazing variety of animals and plants.  

We are all anxious to get to Mahajanga and begin the process of settling in and get started with the work ahead!