Sunday, 12 January 2014

New job (but no raise)

Since my last post, my job here on the Africa Mercy has changed a couple times.  That’s partly because I’m rubbish at keeping this blog up to date, but also I’ve had numerous roles recently.  After I finished up on the plastics dressings team, I covered the Local Nurse Education program for five weeks.  Cross-cultural education has many challenges, the language barrier being just one.  It was certainly a steep learning curve for me, but a challenge I relished.  I enjoyed the opportunity to partner with local nurses & share knowledge.  Performing specialised surgeries is great & it’s what we do, but it only helps an individual at a specific point in time.  Education will last beyond when the ship is in this port.  

I have recently joined the Patient Screening Team as Assistant Screening Coordinator.  I am responsible for helping to select appropriate surgical candidates for the specialties Mercy Ships can do.  At the beginning of December, I joined a team of eight on a two-week screening trip to the Interior of Congo.  We set up screenings in Oyo, Ouesso, & Impfondo, hoping to find around 300 potential patient’s.  The numbers are important, but they don’t tell the whole story.  Every number has a name, and every name is a life, individuals with their own story to tell.  When we talk numbers, we must not forget about the one.  It really was an honour & a privilege to represent Mercy Ships, along with seven others, as we looked for surgical candidates across Congo.  The first of our Interior patient’s have begun to arrive at the ship, & I can’t wait to see them on the wards.

As I find my feet on the screening team, I am realising just how tough it can be to work out who we can & can’t help.  Searching for & finding new patient’s is exciting, but I also find myself on the forefront of our limitations as an organisation, the vast need that exists, & all the people we have to turn away with a disappointing no.  I often find a pile of photographs on my desk, & as I sift through the referrals, there are many conditions that Mercy Ships is simply not equipped to help with.  Saying no often means saying no to any form of treatment, which is heart breaking really.  Back home, there are at least some options available, or a different specialist to refer to.  But working on a ship in Central West Africa, we are constrained in our scope by the medical staff & resources available to us.  Sometimes no is harder to say, but still the right choice to make.  As said by a visiting surgeon, anyone can operate… the wisdom is knowing when not to operate.

The other day I was thinking about my new role & the thought crossed my mind, what if this is not what I'm meant to be doing?!  Not that it's a bad job.  It truly is an amazing opportunity to be on the screening team... it just doesn't look anything like what I thought I'd be doing.  I like nursing & especially Paediatric Emergency, but now I sit at a desk assessing referrals & organising surgeon screenings.  So here I am, doing a job that is almost completely non-clinical, & yet I'm convinced that this is exactly where I'm meant to be!  Maybe that’s what Proverbs 16:9 means when it says man makes plans, but God determines his steps.  I wasn't sure why I was coming back to Mercy Ships last year, but maybe this is it!  Maybe God's plans just look nothing like mine.  

I very easily measure the value of what I am doing according to whether it lines up with my plans or what I think success is.  I realised recently that I had been measuring the value of my work according to a clinical standard I wish I was at, or job security I wish I had, or specific experience I wish I was gaining.  So when my work here doesn't line up to those expectations, I question what I’m doing.  The problem is, I'm measuring by the wrong standard.  I should instead be considering the purpose & motive for what I do.  What am I busy doing each day & what is the gain of that work?  Does it help others & Is it honouring to God?!  The truth is, this looks very different from what I thought I’d be doing, & yet I’m sure this is where I’m meant to be.  From the outset of this year, I am learning to let go of my expectations of the future, & instead submit & trust in God's plans.  

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Down Under

I don't often get homesick.  But sometimes I just miss stuff.  Is that the same thing?

I miss sipping Sav Blanc with Mum while Dad cooks a Sunday BBQ in the backyard.  I miss watching the sunset from the front porch.  I miss clean white sandy beaches.  I miss my gorgeous niece, Indigo.  I miss cricket & AFL.  I miss Ice Breaker Iced Coffee.  I miss comparing medical stories with my sis from our day at work.  I miss the endless summer & wearing pluggers all year round.  I miss having to run from shade to shadow because the ground beneath my feet is burning.  I miss going to the movies.  I miss my brother greeting me by picking me up & throwing me over his shoulder.  I miss the place where thongs are the things you wear on your feet... & bloody isn't a swear word.  I miss lemon, lime, & bitters.  I miss driving (on the left hand side of the road).  I miss being able to order a (proper) flat white.  I miss meat pies, dim sims, fish & chips, & chicko rolls.  I miss milo, fresh milk, & strawberries.  I miss working in children's emergency.  I miss being able to go shopping for new clothes.  I miss hearing the Kookaburra's sing while I hang the washing on the line.  I miss Frangipani's & the Jacaranda's flowering in the Spring.  I just miss grass.

The grass is always greener.

Actually, I don't believe that for a second.  In Australia the sun is hotter & the grass is browner.

The truth is, the grass is greener when you water it.

Recently I have had to say goodbye to more than one friend, as they have unexpectedly had to return home for various reasons.  I have stepped into new roles with only a little notice, quickly getting my head around various education projects, & all the while I have continued in my role on the plastics team.  It has been a hard long month here in Congo, but I am convinced more than ever that I am exactly where I'm meant to be.  & I wouldn't switch my life here for some missed comforts from home.  Not even for Sav Blanc.

Why on earth would I choose to live in a six berth cabin on a boat in West Africa?  I'll tell you why...

Because Eliezer has had his hand reconstructed.
Because Grace has had a tumour removed from her face.
Because Brenda & Sabrina have had congenital deformities to their feet repaired.
& because of Josi, Kiminou, Jessica, Ilaura, Abrahm, Davilov, Graci, Julie, Geril, & so many others.

Lives changed.  Hope restored.  I do this because it's not about me.  It's about them.

Grace's story...

Check out this 12 minute story from a French media crew, direct from Pointe Noire, Congo.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

The Eleventh Hour

[ :the latest possible moment.]

With our first week of surgeries here in The Republic of Congo done, there is a tangible excitement on deck 3 as the sounds of patients echo down the corridor.  The Africa Mercy feels like a hospital again.  There are always a few patients for whom the arrival of the ship could not have been timelier, as was the case for one young boy this week.

On screening day one of my rolls was to be on the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) in case anyone on site (crew member or otherwise) required immediate medical care.  About mid-morning we thought we heard an EMT call over the radio but weren’t sure, so Beth went to investigate.  A couple minutes after she left it became apparent that they were indeed requesting the EMT to respond to Gate 4.  Standing next to all the gear, I realised that the rest of the crew on the EMT were currently nowhere to be found… & Gate 4 was on the opposite side of the screening site!  [gulp]  I quickly grabbed my translator & told him to carry one of the large EMT bags & follow me.   Nate was nearby & grabbed the monitor & suction, & I threw the other EMT bag on my back & took off in the direction of Gate 4.  I have to mention, these bags are seriously heavy, & I usually struggle to get them off the ground, let alone run with one on my back.  It’s moments like these you need minties Adrenaline!!  One of the security officers met me half way across the soccer field & carried the bag the rest of the way.  Beth had heard the EMT call over the radio & already made her way to gate 4, along with one of our Anaesthetists, Michelle.  Our patient was a young child in respiratory distress, obvious from his audible stridor & significant work of breath.  Michelle looked in the back of his throat & saw that he had a tumour obstructing his airway.  Realising there was nothing we could immediately do & he was maintaining his own airway (as best he could), we consulted our surgeons & managed to fast track him through the screening process.  I’m not sure how this patient & his family ended up at the exit gate, but he was definitely in the wrong place at the right time.  

Fast forward one week & I am working night shift on the Max Fax ward.  This little guy had been admitted to the ward pre-operatively, & his surgery was scheduled for the following day.  I was warned that his breathing sounded horrific, & when you walked onto the ward, there was no mistaking it.  As a paediatric emergency nurse, I knew that his stridor & severe work of breathing would have earned him a category 1 in my emergency department back home, & likely a spot on an emergency theatre list.  But on this night, all we could do was wait for his surgery the next day & pray that he maintained his airway through the night.  Exhausted but unable to sleep, he sat on my lap & grabbed at me in desperation when he momentarily couldn’t get any air in.  Occasionally I heard nothing but silence as his chest heaved in & out without actually moving any air.  But each time he would gasp & manage to suck some oxygen down into his lungs.  I tried to find a comfortable position for him, so he could sleep on my shoulder sitting up & breath easier, but there was no sweet spot.  It broke my heart to not be able to relieve his struggle to breath.  But I knew his surgery was only hours away, so myself & the other nurse on duty kept counting down… only 4 hours until your surgery little man, hold on!!!  As I sat there with him on my lap struggling to breath I wondered, how long had this poor kid been compensating like this?  How long had it been since he had had any REM sleep, & how much longer did he have before his airway would have completely occluded?  It certainly felt like the eleventh hour for this little guy.  All I could do was hold him & pray, because although all creation has limits (including medicine) my God has none. 

On Wednesday morning he received his surgery, & after a couple days on the ventilator, he is now breathing on his own & I am told, recovering well.  I can’t wait to see him run down the halls smiling.  But for now… he just needs to sleep.  

Emmanuel  [ :God with us]

Let the eleventh hour quickly pass me by.  I’ll find you when I think I’m out of time.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Je suis desole

It always seems impossible until it’s done.  At least, that’s what selection day feels like in the weeks & days leading up to it.

Some moments in our lives are hard to forget, while others are less memorable.  Last Wednesday was one of those hard to forget days that will long be etched in my mind.  Certainly the biggest day of the entire field service, it was our patient selection day.  Advertised for months in advance, people started to arrive & line up the night before.  With the hope of being seen by a doctor & receiving much needed surgery, they waited throughout the night & well into the day.  As the night stretched on, a few nurses walked up & down the line looking for people they knew we couldn’t help, so that they didn’t wait unnecessarily.  Some understood & left, but others refused to leave the line.  This was their chance & they would wait!  Rarely did we hear of any sort of commotion in the line, which may be attributed to the presence of the local police, guns slung over their shoulders.  Or maybe they were simply grateful for the possibility of receiving well overdue medical care, & without the sense of entitlement you so often see in the west, they simple didn’t complain. 

I could explain the day to you in numbers.  My alarm went off at 4:30am & I jumped out of my top bunk like a wound up rubber band.  I found my pre-assigned land rover & we pulled away from the ship under the cover of dark.  We arrived at the screening site just before 6am as the sun was just starting to rise, & began what would be a 14+ hour day.  There were over 300+ Mercy Ships crew on site at any one time, & we needed every single one.  From the surgeons & nurses, to the amazing patient escorts, to the people entertaining the tired children, & our Academy students who handed out water & food to hungry patients, everyone had a part to play.  Like a well-oiled machine, my Mercy Ships family worked together to pull off one of the smoothest selection days ever.  I’m told we broke all the Mercy Ships records… in fact it was the largest turn out to a screening day Mercy Ships has ever had!!  Over 7534 Congolese people turned up, & 4236+ potential patient’s were seen by our team.  Mercy Ships has never been to Congo before, so no one really knew what to expect.  To be honest, we were a little nervous that we wouldn’t find enough patients.  Why did we ever doubt?!

But numbers cannot even begin to do the day justice.  Statistics could never convey the desperation, the hope, the jubilation & the disbelief.  It was a day full of joy one moment & heartache the next.  It’s not about the thousands… it’s about the one.  Because each one matters.  That’s why we’re here & I hope that’s the message we conveyed to every single person we came across. 

I was working in pre-screening, which was the first stop once those waiting got to the front of the line.  They would explain to us the reason they had come to be seen, & we would make a decision according to our specialties whether or not they were a candidate for surgery.  If their need fell within the scope of specialised surgeries that Mercy Ships can offer, then we would give them a coloured card indicating which specialty they needed to go to.  They would then be registered, have their history & vitals taken, & be see by a doctor.  But many people turned up with chronic conditions or illnesses that we simply could not help with.  If the answer was no, then with regret I would have to explain that we were not able to help.  As the day rolled on, the weight of every no began to weigh heavy on my heart.  I looked into their eyes & told them what they didn’t want to hear, & I wondered, what if this was my Mum, my grandparent, or my friend.  Everything within me groaned as the tears began to well up.  I quickly put the thought to the back of my mind… I didn’t have time to loose my nerve.  After yet another lengthy discussion trying to explain to someone why we weren't able to help them, I looked at my translator & we both let out a big sigh.  This is hard, I remember him saying.  I could only manage a smile, as if to say, I know.  Then we both turned towards the front of the line & put our hand up in the air to motion that we were ready for the next patient. 

What amazed me more than anything was the way so many people accepted a ‘no’ with such grace, humility, & understanding.  Some were upset & disappointed to be sure, while others just stared at me in disbelief.  At times all I could manage to say to the person standing in front of me was, je suis desole [I’m very sorry].  One man replied, “that’s too bad”, while another said to me, “That is the will of God”.  Whether you agree with him or not, his faith & strength in the midst of trial stood out to me as an example.  I am already learning from the Congolese people.  How do you look into a father’s eyes & see the desperation on written on his face for his child’s life, & tell him that you cannot help?!  There’s no changing the channel when you’re standing in the same dirt.  It’s one thing to do the research & know the statistics, but there is a certain sense of responsibility when you’ve seen the need with your own eyes & held them in your own arms.  The injustice of it all reminds me why I am here.  I may not be able to help everyone, but I can help one.  I can use what is in my hands & within my capacity to serve & honour God by serving the poor.

I don’t mean to sound gloomy, because selection day was amazing & I would do it again in a heartbeat.  The truth is there are thousands of people that we will be able to help over the next 10 months, & I am so excited to be a part of that.  In fact this afternoon as I write this, our first patient's are being admitted to the hospital for their surgeries tomorrow.  I can't wait to meet our patient's, to care for them & love on them, & then share their stories with you.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

I don't know why a good man will fall
While a wicked one stands
And our lives blow about
Like flags on the land
Who's at fault is not important
Good intentions lie dormant
And we're all to blame
You who mourn will be comforted
You who hunger will hunger no more
You who weep now will laugh again
All you lonely be lonely no more
The last will be first, of this I'm sure

Sunday, 18 August 2013

My First Sail

4 countries, 3 continents, & 2 hemispheres all in the space of three weeks.  It’s no wonder I can’t figure out which way is up… or which way to look when crossing the road as I dodge the trucks running through the port.  Planes, trains, automobiles, & ships… these past few weeks have contained a little bit of everything. 
Heathrow to Madrid to Tenerife

I stopped over in London for a few nights to catch up with friends.  After a busy few weeks preparing to leave Australia, it was nice to finally stop & pause once I got to London.  Good food, good coffee, good friends, & good conversation… it was a great few days.  The highlight was having the opportunity to see Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre…  such a stunning performance!

Then onto Tenerife, Spain where the Africa Mercy was docked.  The ship spent the summer in shipyard, where a lot of work & upgrades had been done.  The hospital has a shiny new floor, there is a new PACU (recovery), a new ward, & a new CT scanner (just to mention a couple things).  I’m sure they did lots of technical engine stuff too, & I know the chef is very happy with his fancy new coolers!!  We also have new TV’s in midships, & a few new Toyota Land Cruisers.  After a couple days in Tenerife stocking up on essential items, getting re-acquainted with the ship, & meeting both old & new friends, we (all 312 crew on board) set sail for Congo. 

My friend Hannah & I

Docked in Tenerife

Bon Voyage

First things first… pack an “at sea emergency bag”.  What on earth goes in there you might wonder?  Considering this was my first sail, I wasn’t entirely sure.  But, taking the whole “at sea emergency bag” thing very seriously, I carefully selected essential items that I would need in the unfortunate event that I had to abandon ship.  Here’s what went in my pack: thermal top, t-shirt, sweater, undies (don’t ask me how I was going to change my undies), hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, travel towel, small blanket, head lamp, 1L of water, hair ties, bobby pins, x2 pieces of rope, x6 granola bars, & gum.  I think that was it… it had to be small.

This field service (& during the sail) one of my roles is to be on the EMT (Emergency Medical Team).  The EMT includes one anaesthetist, one cardiologist, three ICU nurses, three emergency nurses, & three stretcher-bearers.  After our practice drills during the sail, I must say, we have a pretty stellar team!!  (I kept my “at sea” bag with the emergency gear… you know, just in case).

This is a drill, this is a drill, this is a drill!

My main job during the sail (hospital staff are re-assigned to other departments) was to work in the dining room, serving the meals to the rest of the crew.  It’s been fun working in a different department & seeing another aspect of ship life.  & with the ship swaying from side to side, we had a few interesting moments.  Negotiating trolleys on wheels stacked with pans of hot food while the ground under your feet moves… tricky!!  One morning we were swaying quite a bit, & the industrial size toaster slide right off the counter & flipped as it fell onto the floor.  Flames quickly ensued, but I was on the wrong side of the counter, so all I could do was shout FIRE while one of my colleagues proceeded to unplug everything, not knowing which was the toaster plug!  Drama drama drama.  We quickly flipped the toaster right side up & the flames stopped.  Crisis averted!!  Just another morning in the dining room during the sail… no big deal.  Taking the rubbish out when you’re on a sail is another interesting job.  First, you need to find three friends to help you.  Then you need to call the bridge & let them know how many bags you have (food waste only… don’t go green peace on me).  Then you go up to the bridge on the Port side & tip all the food scraps over board.  Who knew throwing food scraps into the ocean was fun?

Clearly taking my dining room job very seriously...

One of the best things about sailing (now that I’m such an expert) is trying to spot all the amazing wildlife.  Or at least it would have been the best thing, had I seen anything.  If spotting wildlife was the winter Olympics, then I was definitely representing Australia.  Seriously.  There was a whale sighting 20 minutes after we set sail from Tenerife… I saw nothing.  The next day someone spotted a sea turtle… I saw nothing (I didn’t even see the sad sea turtle that was stuck in plastic).  Later that same day it was announced from the bridge that there were dolphins at the bow, so I raced up & managed to see them playing in the wave at the front of the ship!!  More whale sightings… I still didn’t see them.  I didn’t even see the flying fish!

Arguably the most significant event on the sail would be crossing the Equator at the Prime Meridian.  It’s a rare line crossing to achieve because it’s not a normal route for ships, but it just happened to be on our way to Congo.  When you sail over this particular spot (0 degrees latitude & 0 degrees longitude) you become a Royal Diamond Shellback!  Apparently we were meant to kiss the fish, but there was no way I was puckering up for that smelly thing. 

Gimme a kiss
As you can imagine, there was plenty of downtime during the sail & I relished the opportunity to strap my hammock up on deck 7.  We attempted to workout to exercise video’s… & I say attempted because I don’t have very good balance generally, so with the ship swaying it was more funny than a workout.  But points for trying right.  We watched lots of movies, including one called Poseidon.  What else do you watch when sailing across the Atlantic except a movie about a cruise ship that sunk in the Atlantic?!  Stupid or hilarious, I’ll let you be the judge.

After twelve or so days on the ocean, & 5800 km later, we sailed into Pointe Noire, Congo on Friday, September 9th.  

This past week we have been bleaching & setting up the wards, getting deck 3 looking like a hospital again.  It's easy to tell who the nurses are, because we all smell like bleach!  You never know what your job might entail on Mercy Ships.

The patient selection day (formerly knows as screening day) will be held on Wednesday, August 28th.  This is the single biggest day of the whole field service, as we assess thousands of potential patient’s for surgery.  The admissions & out-patient tents are up, dental & eye sights are being prepared, theatres are being scrubbed, & the selection sight scoped out.  Every department is busy preparing to open the hospital, & surgeries will start in just two weeks. 

Local posters advertising Mercy Ships
In the midst of all the work, we've managed to find some time to start exploring our new home… checking out the local markets, restaurants, & beaches.  Not a bad location this Congo.  

I'm in good company when it comes to loving good coffee & granola.  I have some fellow breakfast snobs here, so we've been brewing coffee, toasting granola, & incubating yoghurt.  I'm a happy girl...


More updates will follow once we’ve done selection day & opened the hospital.

Friday, 21 June 2013


When I left the Africa Mercy & Guinea this February, I had a sense that I was leaving the party early.  I felt like I had unfinished business there, & I started to entertain thoughts of coming back to continue working with Mercy Ships.  Out of everyone, I was probably the most surprised by these thoughts, as I had only ever planned on working with Mercy Ships once.  I viewed my six months in Guinea as a stepping stone & a great way to gain some experience nursing in the developing world, after which I would move on to the next part of the plan.  But as I finished up my six-month field service onboard the Africa Mercy, I started to question that plan.  I knew I wanted to come back & work in West Africa again.  I just didn't realise how soon that would happen. 

The older I get, the more I am learning that life is fleeting.  How many times have you heard someone say, I can't believe it's June already, or, I remember that like it was yesterday.  Life is just a vapour.  Here one day & gone the next.  It's fragile.  It's a gift.  We've only got one shot at this thing, & I want to make mine count.  The mandate on my life is to work with the poor, & it's a calling I consider an honour & a privilege.

Which is why coming home was hard.  Is it good to be home is not an easy question to answer.  

Yes.  There are things I love about being in Australia.  It's great to see family & be able to catch up with friends.  The streets are not littered with rubbish.  I can order a flat white in any cafe.  I can eat Vegemite without having to defend it, & the English I speak is not met with blank stares.  & I'm blessed to be able to work & earn some much needed cash.  This season at home has had purpose & I am grateful for it.  However, my answer is also…

No.  The work I feel called to is elsewhere.  Friends have moved on.  My community has dispersed.  This place I used to call home looks the same on the surface, but it has changed.  Or maybe I've changed?  It's difficult to feel like you don't belong at home, but maybe it's for the best.  My heart lingers in Africa, & that is confirmation enough that I should go back.  

Being home for the past 4 months has given me plenty of time to reflect on my time in Guinea, & why I would choose to volunteer in Africa.  One thing that has been quite apparent to me is how Australians view health care as their right.  I hear it on commercials, & I see it at work, both explicitly & implicitly.  Fundamentally, I don't disagree.  In Article 25 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states, everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care.  The problem is, the reality of what I've seen is quite different from this ideal.  In many parts of the world, including West Africa, health care is virtually non-existent.  And the health care that does exist is either sub-standard or not accessible to the general population because they are living in poverty and simply can't afford it.  So although I do believe that healthcare should be a right, the reality for most people on this planet is that healthcare is a dream.  Therefore I can only conclude that healthcare, for the few who do have access to it, is a privilege!  Being an Australian citizen qualifies me for free healthcare in my country, but I've done nothing to earn that right.  It was handed to me by default because of where I was born.  Where you live shouldn't determine whether you live… but more often than not it does.

Despite concluding that healthcare is a privilege, I still hold to the belief that every person should have access to healthcare.  Which is exactly why I'm compelled to continue working with Mercy Ships in West Africa.  Because the forgotten poor are just as valuable & just as worthy of healthcare as me & the next person.  Because God is with the poor & because caring for the poor is mentioned over 2100 times in the bible.  That's a lot of airtime.  God is not silent on the subject.  

Is the need overwhelming at times?  Absolutely.  Does that mean we give up?  Hell no.

"There is a continent - Africa - being consumed by flames.  I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did - or did not do - to put the fire out in Africa.  History, like God, is watching what we do."
- Bono.

My days at home are fast disappearing, but I am excited to return to the Africa Mercy & for the next field service in Congo.  I fly out of Brisbane headed for The Canary Islands (via London) in exactly one month.  A lot of people have asked me how I can manage to volunteer for such long periods of time.  My answer is two fold.  Firstly, I am in a season of life that allows it.  Single & not responsible for any little people, I am free to pick up & move to West Africa.  But I have also made conscious decisions to live unencumbered, so that I am financially free & hence able to spend long periods of time without a steady income.  I sold my car when I moved to London… & I have chosen not to invest my finance in property or something else that would hold me to any one place.  Sometimes those decisions are admired, & other times people think I'm unwise & foolish.  I suppose we all hold to different measures of success, & everyone is entitled to their opinion.  What's right for me may not be right for you.  Do I think there is anything wrong with owning a house or a car, or getting married & having kids?  Of course not.  I just don't think that would be the right decision for me in this season of life.  I prefer to invest my finance & resource & time in being able to work in the developing world.  I don't expect the same of anyone else… I am only responsible for me.  But if you do believe in the work I have been & will be doing with Mercy Ships, then I want to ask if you would consider partnering with me.  & it truly is a partnership, because I can't do it without you.  As I've said, working with Mercy Ships is a volunteer position, & I also pay crew fees to cover my food & board, which will be $600usd/month.  The whole organisation simply couldn't continue if generous people did not give financially to the work of Mercy Ships.  & the same is true for me.  I am only able to to go & volunteer for 10 months because generous people at home are willing to support that work.  If you can sponsor me monthly, or as a one off gift, that would be amazing & greatly appreciated.  Every little bit helps.  Just get in touch with me & I will let you know the easiest way you can do that.

Stay tuned.  I will keep this space updated with stories from my days on the Africa Mercy once I rejoin the ship in July.