Several members of Development and Peace along with two Regional Animators are currently on a solidarity tour of Madagascar to visit with local organizations supported by Development and Peace. Over the next few weeks, they will be writing about their visits and experiences.
It is 10:30 p.m. Madagascar time. Our amazingly long flight that circled the globe via Toronto, Amsterdam, Paris, over the continent of Africa and into Antananarivo, Madagascar is over.
As I stood at the exit of the plane, I found myself facing a precarious decent toward a sea of shiny black tarmac. People streamed out toward the airport and I was carried along. The distinct smell of gasoline assailed my senses. I was unquestionably in “another world!” The crush of people and my nervousness over clearing customs was amusingly alleviated by the sight of my silver suitcase rattling toward me at the baggage claim. It too had arrived safely. Miracle of miracles!
I flowed on with the crowd keeping Sara, Brenda and Martin in sight, until suddenly we were engulfed in the friendly and excited hubbub of greetings from our hosts from CDA, a Development and Peace partner that provides skills training and supports small business enterprises. I am still feeling a sense of wonderment at actually shaking hands, laughing and interacting with real Development and Peace partners in “real time” on their turf. We clamoured into two “newer-than-we-had-expected” vans and literally hurtled off into the night, beginning the encounter that we had been planning for weeks.
I felt truly caught up in an experience of trust in God and people, ready to embark on an exhilarating adventure together.