Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Hello again to you fine folks who are following the ensemble’s travels by reading this blog!
Following a full and somewhat grueling day of travel on Sunday, Monday’s more relaxed schedule allowed us to spend more energy enjoying each other’s company – talking, laughing, and swapping stories from the places we stayed the night before.
The bus was remarkably loud and cheery for 8:30 in the morning. Jordan read us all a Winnie the Pooh story, In Which Eeyore has a Birthday and gets Two Presents, which added to the merriment. For the rest of the trip, some folks read, some slept, and some challenged each other in games of Rook or several rounds of virtual disc golf.
Jordan and Jesse giving us instructions and an early morning dose of entertainment
We enjoy having a few kiddos along on tour, including Serena, who can say several of our names and likes to talk about riding on the “BUS!”
We were able to stop more frequently on our way from Nappanee, IN to Kalona, IA, including for a 1.5 hour lunch break at a mall in Moline, IL. After eating Chick Fil A and exploring some of the stores in the mall, we piled back into the bus to continue on our way to Sharon Bethel Amish Mennonite Church.
Shout out to our bus driver, Lavelle Beiler, for doing such a great job of getting us to our destination!
Some folks took full advantage of the opportunity for rest and relaxation
After arriving at the church, we had time to spare for resting and relaxing, cleaning the bus, and preparing ourselves for another program.
We began rehearsal in high spirits, which may have caused us to behave in a way that Ken described as downright “squirrely.” Earlier in the day Jesse referenced a similarity to “a bunch of middle schoolers” which was an apt comparison based on the noise and activity levels on the bus.
We eventually settled down and tried to act our age before presenting our fourth program of the tour.
One highlight of the evening was singing Spaseniye Sodelal (Salvation is Created) as a split choir with the men at the front of the church and the ladies in the balcony at the back.
We were again blessed by the wonderful group of people that came to hear us and to join us in worship, and we were encouraged by the kind words they shared with us.
And of course, I can’t say enough to thank the people who hosted us overnight! We have been so well cared for by so many people.
We are now halfway through our tour, and we look forward to sharing more highlights with you over the next several days!
- Vienna Schmucker