I thought I’d be bored. It’s tough flying 28 hours to Africa only to spend a day training. However, Rebecca of the Thrive Africa staff  was able to educate us completely, leaving us feeling surprisingly ready (or as ready as we can be with so many unknowns) and yet not drowning in an overkill of info.

After lunch (during which one of our team–whom shall remain nameless for now–ate the leftovers off nearly everyone’s plate), we worked with Josh, another Thrive staff, who led us to a low ropes obstacle course. Not only was it a heap of fun, we learned a lot about each other as well. For example, DSC_0054 I discovered Kevin has—how shall we say—limited balance skills. Fortunately, he isn’t planning to join the circus. However, standing stronger than his wobbly legs was his obvious natural leadership ability packaged in a soon-to-be-a-college-freshman’s body. VERY cool. I also learned my own husband has an uncanny ability on a tight rope (who knew???), as well as Mitch (a football player) and Bethany (who just came to us after spending some time in a broken Kenya). DSC_0061 Laura’s uncharacteristically long arms came in quite handy as she stretched from rope to rope, and—this comes as no surprise—she never failed to encourage anyone who was struggling. Alex hunkered down in a perfect weightlifting stance while expertly sliding step by step on an unstable cable (effective, not picturesque).

Long story short, though none of us were graceful or experts by any means, we each did our part while the other twelve encouraged and applauded and cheered (thank you, Lauren & Alyssa). This show of faith and support left me thinking our highly comic display was—in fact—beautiful. Though we began this adventure 48 hours ago as an oddly mixed assortment of thirteen, many of whom didn’t know each other, we emerged from today’s training as a unified and dynamic family who absolutely adore each other. DSC_0056

Tomorrow, here we come.