Thursday, May 24, 2012

STA Orientation Day 2

Today has been so informative. I honestly wish I were heading out today, instead of in a few weeks. I feel so ready, mentally and spiritually. Being around these people who have served God in countries all over the world makes me realize how unfounded my fears are. Burkina Faso is just a piece of land with people made in God's image, just like the USA. Another photo of my Burkina Faso sign, reminding me that I will soon be 5,136 miles from home. But, home is where your heart is, right? Well, my heart is with my Lord, so I guess in one sense, I'm always home, and in another sense, I won't be home till He comes back or He brings me to Him :)

Here is the chapel, where we started our mornings. I tell you what, I think life runs much better when we can worship and pray every morning with other believers. If I could sing better, I would sing during my devotions every day. (But I pity my parents, who might be wakened by the awful screeching below them at 5am!).

Here is the coffee, and the Kuerig, although its picture is sideways. These have been very important to me this week!

The beautiful decorations in the SIMUSA center. 

This is Kathy, who I got to have lunch with. She served in Burkina Faso for 20years and was able to pray with me and share with me about her time. What a blessing!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Orientation: Travel and 1st Day

UPDATE: All pictures have been removed until further notice.

This week I have STA (Short-Term Associate) Orientation, followed immediately by the NEXT conference. Praise the Lord :) On my way out on Tuesday, I stopped at Carousel for my first (and possibly last) Funky Monkey of the season. I used my gift certificate from Teacher Appreciation Week :) 

I ran into a nice young man named Gary a few times going through security, and he ended up walking me to my gate, "spinning yarns" to pass the time. He was a delightful fellow. He was departing from gate B78 (pictured below), while I departed from gate B76. It was a lovely convenience, allowing us to sit together and pass the time quickly. 

These are the chairs we sat in. I thought it would be too forward to get a photo with him, after our half our of acquaintance (plus I didn't think of it!). But a photo of the seats we sat in are good for memories!

Since I will be severely limited in the amount of media upload I can do while I'm in Burkina Faso, I figure I will go a little overboard now, to get it out of my system. 

Ahhh, the classic Coke and Peanuts. What is an airplane ride without peanuts?

This is the gate at which I stood, shivering from the thunder, while I waited for Stuart to pick me up in Charlotte. 

And this is the sign under which I stood. 

As part of our orientation, we are taken to a multicultural dinner. This was an Ethiopian Restaurant, and eating from a communal dish with our hands (really, just the right hand- the left hand is traditionally used for other purposes) was not anywhere near as strange as I imagined. And the food was amazing. I wonder if I will ever be satisfied with American food again!

Because there were 5 of us, we sat at a normal table, but for parties of 2, this is the traditional table for an Ethiopian meal. The cone shaped top comes off and they set the tray or platter in the center. So cute!

At the SIM USA office, they have signs all around pointing to the various countries. They list how many miles it is to that country. This is a picture of Kathy. She will be serving in Kenya.

This is Lindsey, who will serve in Malawi.

And this is me, posing awkwardly with my Burkina Faso sign :)Well, that's all I have for you now. Tomorrow we will be meeting missionaries who have served in our respective countries. I can't wait! 
Please pray that the three of us will have energy and attentiveness tomorrow. Pray for an eagerness to learn and the ability to do so.