Monday, April 18, 2011

preparing for africa

Around the same time I was getting more settled in Temple renewing my nursing contract and getting to know new friends at church, I was also busy applying to serve with the charity Mercy Ships in Sierra Leone. It was a lengthy application, but I finally got it all sent in and at the beginning of November I was accepted to work as a ward nurse on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy for 6 months starting in June! Ever since I spent a month working in a mission hospital in Zimbabwe 5 years ago, I've been hoping for another medical missions opportunity, and am so excited to be returning to Africa!

Anyway...that's another reason I've been dead to the blogging world these past few months. In-between my regular nursing job here in Temple and spending as much time as possible with Pat, I've been preparing for this next adventure. So far I've raised a large portion of the finances I'll need, and this week should have my plane tickets purchased.

Getting all my travel immunizations has been a chore. I discussed it with my doctor a few months ago, and she suggested going to the health department to get my shots, since they're more expensive in the doctor's office and my insurance doesn't cover adult immunizations. After calling around to various travel clinics and health departments, I drove 45 minutes up to Waco to get my first round of shots. Technically I could have gotten all my shots at once, but the idea of getting stuck 6 times in one day just isn't a very pleasant thought. I'd rather not risk a drug reaction, and quite frankly, I don't think my deltoids could handle that many needles at once. So last week I went to get the most important immunization - Yellow Fever. It's the only one that's required (all the others are just suggested, and I'm getting them to be on the safe side). I didn't think much of it until the nurse handed me my yellow WHO card (the form that comes with your passport that you document all your health information on) and said "Now, be very careful not to lose this. Not only will it get you INTO Sierra Leone, it will also get you OUT. If you misplace it, you'll have a hard time getting home." Wow. Scary thought.


  1. Boy do I relate to this post! I was just accepted to work at a children's home ministry down in Bolivia for a six month period and I too will have to get a yellow fever vaccination in order to get a visa in the country. The ministry also recommends a bunch of other shots but I've made an appeal to not have to get them, hoping instead to go armed with natural remedies. We'll see what they say...

    I'm excited about this opportunity God has opened up for you with the Mercy Ships ministry! My parents sent me your letter/flyer that you mailed our family. Looks wonderful!

    Still hoping for the story on your budding relationship... :-)

  2. Yeah, I don't like taking so many shots, but I tend to go that route more ever since I've been in direct patient contact. There's just no telling what I'm going to be exposed to.

    Haha, ok, i'll start working on the relationship story. :)

  3. I'm excited for you! Do you know how much internet access you'll have?

  4. Guess you better scan a copy of your yellow fever immunization. Print an extra hard copy and email to a couple of folks. We want you BACK :-)