Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter break

Happy Easter,
It truly has been a good holiday. No, I was unable to be with my family, but friends are able to become family in times like these.
To the credit of my boss, I had three days off for the Easter weekend. Friday was spent doing things with my friends. Becca wanted to cook for her boyfriend, so she, another girl, and I went to the food market where an assortment of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish (yes that is a type of meat too!), and herbs, lay on the ground (that is the road), on little rickety structures, and in bowls. When one goes to the market around here, there are a few tricks one has to learn:
1st: Don’t get claustrophobic – the crowd likes to surge around you and muffle you.
2nd: Watch out for cars – it’s still a street and when a mini-bus comes through everybody squeezes into the sides of the street including vendors with large bowls of whatever food they are selling in the middle of said street. No, my toes were not squished and yes, I am fine.
3rd: Bartering! Never, ever, buy something in an African market at the price set. The vendor knocks the price up real high so one can barter. When selling things like cloth or little wooden paraphernalia, vendors tend to say things like. “My friend. My friend. I give you special price. Just for you.” In the food market, this did not happen. I don’t think they knew what to do with a bunch of white girls buying African items.
So, that was the first half of my Friday. The second, I went out with Alice, a friend of mine from Sierra Leone who took several of us out to a place called the China house. It is not Chinese at all so I shrug my shoulders at the name. Its basically a bar ( I had three very non-alcoholic cokes, so bar or no, don’t get angry at me), a dance floor, and a band stand. The live music didn’t start until after we left, and their was no dancing until then, but it was still nice to sit down with my cokes and chat with friends. We had street goat-meat (it came and talked to me later but not too badly so I won’t complain), wrapped up in newspaper, which tasted really good. After, we wandered the streets and looked into the shops, including a shop with copyrighted movies and music (most copywriting seems to happen in the third world, being cheeper and all), and other interesting items like headphones and phone cards.
That was Friday.
Saturday I did nothing, so we shall skip that day to Sunday, Easter.
Easter was not a crazy busy day, but relaxing, and good to just be. There was a sunrise service (I didn’t go so don’t ask), and then the Easter service where I was in the choir. We only sang two songs (there were lots of other songs sung, but not by the choir), but it was good being a part of it. There was interpretive dance, a sermon, worship, and sign dancing. Really, it was very good. Of course my favorite part about Easter on board came next (I’m not very righteous when it comes to matters of the stomach).
We had an Easter brunch. The galley did a very good job preparing breads, quiche, fruits, and chicken salad. Yum.
I took a nap after.
When I got up and went into midships, a pleasant surprise awaited me. A small group had formed an impromptu (I think it was impromptu) band. There was jimbes, guitars, vocals, and piano, all while the café was up and running. It was wonderful. I sat in midships for three or four hours rotating between reading, chatting, and listening. Yay. It was a good day.

Anyways thank you all for your prayers and support. Love you

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Hello again,
I can't quite remember how long it has been, but it feels like a while. In a way there are a lot of things going on over here.
The ship first. We have patients so that is a plus, and a full crew. Another plus. Problem is we seem to be using way to much water. I have my guesses on that, but I won't state them. So, the crew has to go through a showerless weekend. Hopefully today we get to take a shower otherwise my hair is going to be very scary. I am just thankful that I did not go to the beach. Those who did, have to shift with briny hair with road dirt salted in. Gross.

Actually we seem to be hitting a lot of road blocks lately. Something happened to one of our containers and is just now getting it when it should have been here more than a month ago.

In all this we must remember one thing: we are missionaries here to serve God and the people who have their surgeries done in the OR. Sometimes we get a little comfy around here with our starbucks coffee (its out of caffeenated coffee and chai so a hit on people like me who seem to be getting addicted to caffeen), our internet, our comfy beds, and our air conditioning. Funny how most of these things have been challenged for me during my time on board. We had no air conditiong in South Africa and it was Summer. There was a brief spell of bad amounts of internet, and now I have to deal with no Chai and no shower. Oh woh is me. Considering Queen Elizabeth only took two baths per year and they thought her crazy for the one extra, I can deal. Thank you all for the scarves I received for Christmas. They are coming handy.

Anyways, as to things I've done of note - not much. Becca took me with her to the Hope center (where the patients go when not in the wards), where I had the pleasure of narrating a story for the sake of a teaching exercise Becca was doing. It was fun, they really got involved. Becca and the interpreter (the people here speak Creol which is a very strange version of English and does need interpretation at times) acted out the bits beautifully.
I think that is it. Please pray for us out here.
Love you all,

Friday, April 1, 2011


Soooo, admitadly I lazed out and didn't make a blog this last weekend.
That is why I shall do so now.
We did have the screening, and it went extroardinarilly well. Their were no riots and a lot of people came to terms about what happened through this screening. Yes, God is good, and He knows what he is doing. It's just that as a rephraze from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, God is not a tame God. How can we know what will happen next and what He will do in each situation, not that He is the one who created what happend the first time.
The ship has been pretty steady on every other note. We have had a flow of visitors from both the US and Norway. We call them vision trips and it is full of people who want to know what we are doing on board. There has also been several big functions, one with the President's wife, and one for all the medical people from Sierra Leone who have helped us out. Without either the Vision Trip people or those we did functions for, the ability to run this ship wuold be nil. So I am not complaining about the vague offset from rotine. We are not here for ourselves but for those in the hospital, and yes we have patients!
I went all around town with Becca yesterday. That was fun simply because I was with a friend, but it was also good because I got to see diferent parts of Freetown. Most of it is full of shanty housing and tiny shops selling everything from electrical fly swatters to fried plantane chips (these are delicious). There were some nice buildings, such as the Judicial hall and other governmental building. Also the areas where foriegners live. That is the hardest part about living in low income country. Sometimes the poverty doesn't seem to end. Then I also see bits and pieces of the war: people without certain limbs.
Then Becca said something which kinda jerked me for one a bit. She said, they were happier here than in Togo. It reminded me to look at their faces. Sometimes we are so caught up with what's going on with their physical being that we forget about what is important. The people here do seem happy. They laugh and chat in the market place. They go to work, they come home, they are normal people with lives. Yes they are poor but first they are humans.