Well what a day! After leaving Gatwick last night at 6:10pm we finally arrive at Dabolim airport at around 10:00am here. We are 5 and a half hours ahead of the UK. I’m just writing this short post before hitting the hay as I think I’ve been up for about 6 days!
We couldn’t get any shots of us arriving as the airport is Naval property. However, after emerging from Customs we were met by a maelstrom of people: money changers, baggage carriers, taxi drivers! Luckily transport had been arrange before our arrival and we were soon in three air conditioned minivans heading to our hotel complex. We were met at the airport by two missionaries that will be organising our time here. The team were blessed with flower garlands at the airport by them and again at the hotel by the hotel staff (this explains the red dots (not so easy to remove!))
It was then time to get our bearings and try using the equipment lent to the team. They are making a short documentary of their visit that will be hosted on a website after our return. I’m also testing some quite nifty new camcorders and they seem to be performing very well so far!
After cooling off in the Indian Ocean and pools it was time for dinner. There are no street lights here so the 10 minute walk became quite an expedition – especially with the local driving abilities to contend with! I have to say that the hotel we are lucky enough to be in is not a reflection of the surrounding area.
After that it was time to firm up the programme for the week. Tomorrow will be some R+R spent mainly at the hotel complex. The Monday to Wednesday sees an intensive programme of visits.
Monday will take us to ‘MSM’ village to shadow some outreach work before heading to the Shallom House Orphanage. Here the team will play with the young people and see the missionary work in action. On Tuesday we are off to see a Spice Plantation and will visit the Palolim Beach area. This was the setting used for some of the older Bounty adverts – although modern development has spoilt the area according to locals.
Wednesday will be the high impact day as we take the boys to Mapusa market to buy provisions to share out in the Mapusa slum. We will also visit a home for the elderly and the famous Flea market of Anjuna beach.
Thursday will be a much deserved R+R and Friday sees a return to the orphanages.
I’m pleased to report that everything has gone to plan so far!