Our program manager met me in the terminal and took me straight over to the MAF hangar, which is just on the other side of the runway from the main terminal. I had seen hundreds of pictures of this hangar, I had watched documentaries about the program here, I had dreamt about what it might be like there, but none of that equaled standing there in the heat, smelling the burning jet fuel as the Kodiak started up, hearing the sounds, and feeling the breeze. In many ways I felt like I was finally home.
Over the next 3 days I got a tour of the island, saw a couple housing options, picked a house, unloaded our container full of furniture into the house, started unpacking, and had fellowship with several of the MAF families there. It was fun to see how excited they all are to receive our family in just a few short weeks. We pray that we can be a great addition to that team. We pray for incredible friendships for Ellie and the kids there. There certainly are a lot of kids there! The MAF team consists of 13 families, and we are the only "Westerners" on the entire island. Our new home is only 7 minutes away from the hangar, and 9 minutes away from our MAF team mates. The city of Tarakan is small, with just 2 main roads crossing in the middle of town. You can find a lot of life's necessities there, though there may be no selection...you're stuck with the one type/brand that happens to have been imported there. There are less food selections available there, which will require some adjustment for us. Overall my impressions of our future home were good, and I am excited to return there at the end of July with Ellie and the kids.
The picture doesn't do it justice, but this is perhaps the largest mosque I have seen yet in this country. It is still under construction.
The airplanes get washed every evening. This was a particularly muddy day in the interior of Borneo (Kalimantan) so the Kodiak is enjoying a nice scrub down.
Early morning on the ramp in Tarakan. The Kodiak is just spinning up it's engine, one 206 has taxied out already and is running final checks before takeoff, and the other 206 is just moments away from starting it's engine. Just another typical, busy flying day for the MAF team in Tarakan.
This is Gnochi. He helped me blow off steam at the end of long tiring days of moving furniture around.