Of course, if you have facebook, you probably already know that by now.
The last 2 days were spent traveling from Texas, to New York, to Brussels, to Freetown. Besides an hour delay on one of my flights, there were no problems in any of the airports. AND all my luggage made it to the same place I did! :-) Getting from the airport in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to the ship was a bit of an adventure. There were 8 of us coming in to the airport at the same time, and we all found each other and were met by 2 drivers who were going to take us and our luggage to the ferry. The airport is across the harbor from where the Africa Mercy is docked, and to go by land would take much longer than the ferry. On the way to the ferry, the car I was in ran out of gas. There weren't exactly any Shell stations in sight, so we were in a bit of a pickle. Our driver, a Sierra Leonean, flagged down a man riding a motorcycle, and hopped on the back with him to go in search of fuel. The rest of us were left to sit in the car on the side of the road. There were some people across the street staring at us, and adorable little kids smiling and waving and yelling something in their language. We found out later that they were saying "white man! White man!" After about 15 minutes our driver returned with enough gas to get us the rest of the way to the ferry. The ferry ride was nice. About an hour long, and we could go out on deck and enjoy the breeze. We saw the Africa Mercy as we went by, but had to be picked up by someone farther on down the coast where the ferry took us to. The drive from the ferry to the ship wasn't a very far distance, but took awhile because of traffic. They told us that Freetown is a city for 200,000 people, but has a population of abut 2 million. Think small roads crowded with trucks, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians, with no traffic signs or stoplights. Lots of honking horns. People out on the streets selling just about anything - sodas, loaves of bread, lanterns, shoes.
Finally on board the ship, we got registered, had ID badges made, had some dinner, and went to bed. Today has been information overload with orientation, paperwork, and getting accounts set up online and in the crew bank. The rest of the week will be more orientation, and next week I'll be on my own working as a nurse in the hospital. I'm still kind of lost around here, but we'll have a tour of the ship this afternoon.
Praising God for safe travel and friendly people! :-)