It’s been said of Canadians, that we’re not particularly patriotic…. UNTIL we go abroad, and I’d say there’s some truth to that. When Canadian young people travel abroad, you are almost undoubtedly going to see them brandish a Canadian flag on their jacket or backpack.
For this reason, when Dominic jetted off to Spain this week, we couldn’t let him go without a little bit of Canadiana and his backpack bore a little Canadian pin.
This week Liz & I made a same-day, round trip to Bordeaux & back to accompany Dominic to the airport and by the time we were back in Châtellerault, he had already arrived in Madrid, Spain. This will be his home-away-from-home for the next two months.
Normally travel between European countries is very easy, but because the effects of the pandemic are still being felt, the airport was a ghost town (see photo) and some extra paperwork was required (We did see people turned away at the check-in counter).
As part of his studies, he was required to do a 2-month (unpaid) internship in a company outside of France. A pandemic is not the most ideal time and certainly adds to the list of potential parental worries when a child leaves home for the first time, but he’s in the Lord’s hands.
We’re thankful that through the missionary leadership in Madrid, he was able to find housing with a young couple from the church and will be surrounded by a Christian family there. What a difference it makes when you can go that far away and immediately be able to ‘fit in’ to a family of sorts.
We’re so thankful!
Of course the days leading up to his departure were full.
Finding gifts for his host family, buying all the little things that you just ‘have’ when you live in a fully functional home, and sorting what will make the 23kg(50lb)-suitcase limit: trying to find an extra 100g here, oops… how much do those slippers weigh?
Even before that however, there were other little things as well.
- Having worn braces for the past couple of years, their time had come and the orthodontist removed them 2 days before departure.
- He’d been wanting to take his kayak out for the first time this Spring and the weather warmed up enough for him to get out.
- He had to have a Covid / PCR test (he had to test negative to enter Spain).
- Get in as much time as possible with his siblings.
It was both funny and heartwarming to see Timo & Sophie just naturally gravitate to his room on the last night. They weren’t particularly doing anything together… they were just being together.
And so…. if only for a couple of months… daily life, inside the house, begins as a family of four. 😦
In Other News…
- Nature: There are more and more colours around as the Spring blossoms increase in number and variety. The fields of blue flax are just coming into blossom down the road and the brilliant yellow of Oil Seed Rape / Canola will soon fade.
- Church: Starting about a month ago, a lady attended for the first time. The following two weeks, she came with her son, who is close in age to Dominic & Soph. Last Sunday, the mom wasn’t able to come, but the young man came by himself, even without his mom. THAT is quite a step. Not only that, but he attended the Zoom youth meeting the day before. (sometimes I stop & think to myself… “Did I just really write that? … a ZOOM youth meeting.” … who’d have thought?)
- Chain Saw vs. Oral Interviews: I still haven’t gotten that thing up & running (see last post), but mostly because I’ve spent the last 7-8 days doing oral English interviews for one of the schools, so I haven’t had as much time to work on the church yard although I’m be looking forward to getting back to that this week.
I’ll leave it there for today.
As always, thanks for stopping by & for your continued prayers for us and for the work we’re doing in France.