Recovering from Orientation

John, Solo and I have been fully focused on Orientation, but since our participants departed this morning, we now have an opportunity to let you know how we're doing. I only hope this will be coherent.....John has been up since 3:30 this morning taking participants to their various buses, so he's feeling a bit zombied, and although I slept until 6:30, the accumulation of constant activity and less sleep than normal for the past 11 days is definitely affecting us. But don't worry; we expect a full recovery within a few days!

This has been one of the smoothest orientations ever. There have been challenges.....but all have been moderate. The team has blended interculturally in an amazing way; the other day we had the team play a game that reveals team dynamics, and were totally amazed to see how there were no dominating factions in the team (ie, one culture did not "take control" over the other, no one sex dominated, or a couple of people take over.) The hardest thing for us with this team has been getting them to stay focused and contribute during group sessions....John always feels like when we have a few graduate level students on the trip, it helps to bring the maturity level "up" on the team, and this year we have only one so he is outnumbered and not able to influence the team as a whole as much as we would like.8-)

I have so many stories I could tell you...and hopefully will find time to post some later on. But soon John, Solo and I will begin debriefing our orientation time and planning our debrief, so let me close with a few prayer requests.

Please pray for all of our participants as they begin their assignments. How they start off tends to set the tone for their internship time; if they don't start making friends and learning the culture asap, they find it harder and harder to do as time goes on. Please pray especially for Michael in this regard, who we see already exhibiting signs of withdrawing from cultural interactions (his assignment is here in Tamale.) Also, please pray for Charlene and Awa, a partnership of two very engaging and delightful young ladies who have a hard time following through on directions and assignments that are given to them.

Next week is the funeral for our friend, Letitia. This will include a wake on Friday night, burial and funeral on Saturday and a Memorial service on Sunday. Already I have found myself crying at inopportune times as I encounter situations that remind me of her...although I am very thankful that we can be here at this time, I am realizing more fully how difficult this is going to be for me. So I would really appreciate your prayers.

John asks that you pray for our recovery from exhuastion....maybe he'll think of more requests after he's recovered!

That's all for now...thanks for your prayers!


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