School, and open house fun


Ready to learn and grow!

 A new school year always seems to bring a new perspective. We are beginning our second school year on board the Africa Mercy, and so many new families have come for this year. As we watch them learning to navigate, determine what is expected, and simply adjust to this wonderful and crazy life on board, I am brought into a place of reflection, as that was us last year. This year we feel settled, like we are ready to charge into this year with great expectations and hope for a positive experience. We are the experienced ones this year.

 We have a 3rd grader and an 8th grader and each class currently has 3 students. I am so impressed by the level of learning that occurs in each classroom. I am even more proud of my girls, and the dedication they have this year. Jocelyn has even brought home an A+ a time or two. WOW! We agreed as a family that we would treat this year with a new appreciation, and I believe I see that in the girls’ attitude toward school this year. I love the teachers that come and pour their love, hearts, and knowledge all over our children. There is no place like the academy on board the ship. The patients have arrived and surgeries have begun, and our girls are excited to begin visiting the wards.

Every role counts

Brad was such a blessing to the staff in the OR and the Wards again this year. It is such a sweet moment when you get to see him use the knowledge he has acquired over the last 20+ years of working in Service Master. Brad made it possible for the floors to be finished in a matter of days, which took 2 weeks in previous years. He has implemented other things here on the ship that he gleaned from the family business back home, and repeatedly you hear people saying how wonderful it is to have him here. It was like he was made for this position. Your support makes this possible, thank you.

A few fun things about Guinea.

I have recently started trying to learn to run. I still say at this time I cannot call what I do running, more of a “wogging” which is basically walking with a touch of jogging. I go down to the dock, which is where our tents are set up, containers arrive, and cars are parked and try to complete a workout. I was mildly entertained when my phone tracked my route last week, as you can see, I make 30 laps in a circle. As long as I stay out of the water, I think we are doing fantastic, right?

 We also discovered that this country has some of the largest snails I have EVER seen. My girls love the children’s movie Turbo, and we joked about collecting some of these HUGE snails to race like in the cartoon. This country is absolutely beautiful and we are so very blessed to be here and discovering the beautiful place, meeting the beautiful people, and even experiencing life size snails.

The PATIENTS have ARRIVED and surgeries have BEGUN.
The day has come, the surgeons don their sterile gloves and gowns after scrubbing in for their first surgeries of the field service. Step stools are requested. The OR staff are well prepped and equipped for the first operations of the field service. The patients may be older than the surgeons, but that is okay as there is such a huge amount of trust.  
 After surgery the patients then go to the PACU to have their vitals taken by the recovery room "fairies" also know as the PACU nurses. They will be monitored closely and occasionally given a lollipop to help ease their discomfort.
 Sometimes patients ask a lot of questions and a translator as well as a nurse will work very hard to make sure the patient is understanding and anxiety is relieved. The nurses remain close to ensure they are available if the patient is in need.
 Some amazing relationships are formed on the wards between the patients and the nurses. Many stories are shared, and the laughter can be heard from outside the wards. It is a glorious sight.

 The hospital open house was a huge success and the crew really enjoys getting to go through and observe areas they are restricted from such as the OR and the recovery room. 
In all seriousness, I had the privilege of helping out on the mass screening day, and it was a tough day (I blogged about it). Now I am back to helping out in the PACU (when people are not sick in my cabin and I can actually go). The greatest thing on this side of the sun is getting to be there when the patients wake up, and I get to look into the same eyes I looked into standing in that enormous line. Something has changed in the eyes of each of them. There is now a hope where there was once despair and desperation. You literally can see the difference, and it makes my heart nearly burst each time. I cling to those moments, each precious patient each precious moment with them reminds me of His faithfulness and goodness.  


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